From the majestic, High Gothic castle radiates that it was built by an orthodox Christian. Its staggered arrangement symbolizes Jerusalem Holy mountain with a temple on top. The medieval cosmography considered Jerusalem as the center of the world, so perhaps Charles IV. He wanted Karlstejn to become the center of the Holy Roman Empire.
Treasury of the Holy Empire
Year 1348 in Czech history, wrote a really significant. Then he established by Charles IV. Prague University, founded New Town Quarter and built a Karlštejn. The foundation stone of thought on the bank of the Berounka Archbishop Ernest of Pardubice for unprecedented glory. Construction of any other castle apparently has not begun so solemnly. But it was also Karlštejn built an extraordinary purpose - storing the crown jewels of the Holy Roman Empire and holy relics.
Pilgrimage to the symbols of eternal salvation
Karlstejn towered (and off) on a rock on several floors, where the treasure was located at most - in the chapel. Cross in the Great Tower. Pilgrims who wanted to see him, they had to go through the shrines in the Imperial Palace and Marian Tower. The lowest "floor" of the castle consists Well Tower with a well. On it is interesting that no wells actually is. Kutná Hora miners drilled rock almost 80 meters deep, but the water did not encounter. Thus pit teamed with the nearby creek and collected water into the tank. They knew about it for centuries only the king and burgraves - during the siege would not be any easier than divert the stream bed or (and it would be even more effective) to poison the water. Rumor has it that because of security were executed all the laborers who worked on the canal.
Battles for crown jewels
In 1421 they lived in Karlstein castle kings and flourished. For some time there were hidden imperial regalia, along with the Czech. But then let the brother of Wenceslas IV. Zikmund Roman treasure away and Czech koruna followed him at the beginning of the Thirty Years War. It turned out that fear for the safety of jewelry was misplaced. Hussites obleželi all the hills around here Karlštejna and hurled rocks, barrels of burning pitch and faeces, but did not get either the courtyard. The Swedes broke the big tower, but its fortifications, he has not. The decoration of the chapel. Cross suffered more for defenders than enemies. The soldiers stole many valuables away to secure the supply of reserves in the castle.
Glittering Karlštejn walls
Karlštejn at the end of the 15th century has Gothic adjustments later he decorated a number of Renaissance elements. But since 1619, when the Czech crown jewels were taken away, construction began to deteriorate. Treasure traveled to Vienna in 1867 returned to its original location, where it was stored Wenceslas Crown - the Cathedral of St.. Vitus. Queen Eleanor Karlstejn stopped in the second half of the 17th century, some of its facilities threatened to collapse. For some time there was a granary and a warehouse. Interest in cultural monument returned to the Romantic period.
At the end of the 18th century, the dilapidated castle with mysterious atmosphere became interested artists. Perhaps at their instigation here in 1812 came the Emperor Francis I. With a grand reconstruction, but it started up about seventy-four years later. He led by Josef Mocker in the spirit of purism, which means that it tried to restore the original appearance of the Gothic castle to the detriment of all - even those povedených - later alterations and modifications. Karlštejn got a new roof with them today distinctive character.