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Karlstejn Castle is a Gothic palace complex of Emperor Charles the Fourth, located above the Berounka River on a 72-meter cliff, only 28 kilometers from Prague.
The castle got its name in honor of its founder Charles IV - the emperor of the Holy Roman Empire and the king of Bohemia. The castle was erected as a summer royal residence, as well as a treasury of holy relics and imperial regalia. The foundation stone of the building was laid by the Archbishop of Prague Arnost, a close friend and priest of Charles IV. The construction of the castle was carried out under the personal supervision of the emperor according to the project of the French architect Matthew Arras. Since 1355, Emperor Charles has already settled in the castle, although the construction has not yet been completed.
The architectural solution of the palace complex was based on the principle of the stepped arrangement of the structures that make up the ensemble. Each subsequent building was built higher than the previous one. The ensemble is completed by the Big Tower with the majestic chapel of the Holy Cross, where the crown of the Holy Roman Empire was previously kept along with royal relics.
In addition to the Big Tower, the Upper Castle complex is formed by the Mariana Tower with the Church of the Holy Virgin Mary, and imperial palace. Below is the Lower Castle with an extensive courtyard, gates and burggrave. At the very bottom of the complex there is a well tower.
In addition to false donjons, made in the Northern French style, the architectural ensemble of the castle includes several structures of cult architecture of the XIV century: the Catherine Chapel with a Gothic polychrome stained glass window and precious cladding of agate, carnelian and jasper, dating back to 1365; Church of the Virgin Mary with hand-made paintings; The cross chapel depicting saints and prophets, painted by the master Theodoric.
During the Hussite wars, in addition to the Roman imperial regalia, the castle also contained the treasures of the Czech kings brought from Prague Castle. The Hussites besieged the castle for seven months, but they never succeeded in capturing it. In 1436, all the treasures were removed from the castle by order of King Sigismund, the second son of Charles the Fourth. Today, one part of the treasure is kept in Vienna, the other in Prague.
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Topic: Karlstejn Castle in the Czech Republic.