Feeling at Home in a Czech Castle

No, I don’t think I’m a princess or that I deserve to live in a Fairy tale castle.. but it sure would be awesome. Haven’t you always imagined what it would be like to have your own castle? Secret stairwells and magnificent towers, flowing moats and protective knights all within the confines of your own wonderful little kingdom.

*sigh*

Okay, snap out of the day dream. While you may never actually own your personal castle, there’s no reason that you can’t visit one (or several) during your travels. Eastern Europe is just bursting with dramatically beautiful castles and the Czech Republic is home to many of them.

Castles are a plenty in this Bohemian country, but none are cooler than the historically rich and Cliffside-dwelling locale of Orlik Castle. Orlik Castle is located north-east of the village of Orlík nad Vltavou, in the northern part of the District of Písek, in the South Bohemia Region.

Getting to the castle requires a lengthy walk down a small road leading from the parking area at the top of the hill. As I descended the path I started to feel like I was literally walking into a fairy tale. The vegetation around me seemed to grow to the point where leaves were actually twice the size of my face and willow trees wept into the small valley below. I half expected a cartoon frog to hop and start dancing for me.

The castle walls loomed in the distance, welcoming in visitors and causing those that entered to strain their necks at the view above. Entering the main doors I walked out into a large sunny courtyard lined with tall windows and ornate doors.

From this point, we began our tour of the castle’s interior where we ascended a set of stairs to the second level and entered the first room. As our young guide started to brief us of the castle’s history I found myself drawn toward the window. I caught a glimpse of water in the distance and wanted to see the view.

As I approached the open window I was blown away at what I saw. It was probably the most dramatic, romantic, overwhelming, magical and absolutely beautiful view I had seen in the entirety of the Czech Republic. Suddenly, I could no longer hear the voice of our castle guide, but I imagined living in this very room and being fortunate enough to see this jaw-dropping view on a daily basis.

I imagined sitting in that window sill and watching the river flow through the valley, seeing the sailboats glide around the bend and the other boats float around the tree lines. I wanted to live here, and I wanted to see this view every day.

Finally, I pulled myself away from the window with a view and continued to the next area. Room after room, the castle became more and more enchanting. Patterns were intricate and rooms were luxuriously matched in design. I thought about what it would be like to have tea at the tables or to sleep in the beds.

The hallways between the rooms were perhaps even more intriguing. Lined along the high ceilings of each hall were a series of deer antlers that had been hunted by previous residents and guests of the castle. Series may not be the correct word, as they were so numerous that I could not even count them.

I would never personally hunt an animal, but I couldn’t get over how amazing each hallway appeared. The antlers speared out into the open space in sporadic shapes and sizes, getting smaller in the distance and creating a unique view point.

Some halls were lined with guns, while others were lined with paintings. No two halls were alike, and each one lead to an equally distinctive space.

My favourite room in the castle was that of the library, for one very specific reason. It had a globe. The fact that I am admittedly obsessed with all maps and globes certainly didn’t help, but I fell in love with the way the light fell on the globe.

The room was dark with a single stream of light coming in from the window. The globe sat in the centre of the room, lit up among the dark books. I couldn’t stop staring at it and ended up taking dozens of photos of the single scene.

As we continued the tour we learned a lot of interesting facts about the charming Chateau. Orlik was established as a royal castle beside a ford across the River Vltava in the second half of the 13th century by Premysl Otakar II, although in the Middle Ages it came into the hands of noble families and its ownership changed many times.

Eventually, we exited the castle and hung out on the stone “patio” area above the main stairwell. It provided another amazing view of the surrounding river and yet another opportunity for photos.

The trip to Castle Orlik proved to be a successful one as everyone left happy and some of us *ahem* left wanting to move in. If you have the chance to tour the castles of the Czech Republic, I highly recommend a stop at the castle of Fairy Tale sail boats, hallways fit for a hipster and a globe-centred room of literature.

This trip was made possible by Czech Tourism.
All views and opinions are my own.

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8 Responses to “Feeling at Home in a Czech Castle”

  1. Reena @ Wanderplex
    October 31, 2012 at 7:35 pm #

    Those water views look pretty incredible. I can imagine being a princess and waking up to a sunset over that lake 😛
    Reena @ Wanderplex recently posted..Photo of the week: Bhutanese Monks

    • Seattle
      November 1, 2012 at 5:33 am #

      What kind of princess are you–partying all night and waking up for the sunSET? lol :p

  2. Reena @ Wanderplex
    November 1, 2012 at 10:37 am #

    Haha, whoops! Yeah, I meant sunRISE. Lol 🙂 Though that castle would make a good location for a party!
    Reena @ Wanderplex recently posted..Photo of the week: Bhutanese Monks

    • Seattle
      November 1, 2012 at 5:20 pm #

      lol YES, let’s start planning!

  3. Cristian
    November 10, 2012 at 3:44 pm #

    So happy to see you’ve been to Prague..cant wait to read your blog!I’m heading there next weekend! 😀 Any must do’s /dont’s you can suggest??

    • Seattle
      November 17, 2012 at 8:27 pm #

      Awesome, you’ll love it! I think a walk from the main square to Charles bridge is essential, and lets you see all the main sites. This post has some good views! Also, the segway tour was soo fun!

      • Seattle
        November 17, 2012 at 8:27 pm #

        OHH and drink ALL THE FENIX BEER YOU CAN!! haha

  4. Barbara
    January 18, 2013 at 3:13 pm #

    My favorite beer was VELVET. The foam is almost the texture of whipped cream. So much to see in the CR. I lived there 4 years and still did not get to see everything. It was paradise and my body is in the USA but my heart is still there. I once heard Prague referred to as a symphony turned to stone…that’s the only way to describe it. Barbara

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