A Fairytale Castle

Karlstejn is the kind of castle that little kids dream about being princesses and knights in.  Karlstejn is also the kind of castle that looks a lot closer in the distance!  Walking up to the castle entrance is not for those out of shape, and inside the stairs are just as exhausting.  But what else would you expect when climbing to the “Tower of Heaven?”

It took just 17 years to build in the 1300’s, and Charles the Fourth was the main man on the grounds.  Some people collect salt and pepper shakers, others stamps…Charles liked to collect holy relics, like a thorn from Jesus’ crown and a saint’s knuckle for instance.  He kept them safe in the castle, which was not an easy job given those pesky Swedes who attacked for seven months straight.  (Hence the easy-to-burn bridges connecting the towers and walls like an onion skin.)

Fortunately the fortifications worked, and the Swedes never did get to destroy Karlstejn.  It lives on to remind us what life was like back in the really, really old days.

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