Cesky Sternberg Castle, history and location

Cesky Sternberk Castle

Ceský Sternberk Castle is a castle in the heart of Bohemia, perched on top of a cliff, one side overhanging the village and the other over the Sázava River. In the Middle Ages, thanks to its position, the castle was considered impregnable.

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Video: Cesky Sternberk Castle


Cesky Sternberk Castle was built by a local aristocrat, Zdeslav Divisovets, and was first called “The Pearl of Posazava”. Later members of the Divišovce family, like many other Czech aristocrats, changed their surname in the German manner. The family coat of arms is depicted as a multi-pointed star on a blue background. The name of the coat of arms, translated from German as “star mountain”, gave birth to a new surname Sternenberk, because the star in German is “stern”, the hill is “berg”. So now the Sternberk family is one of the aristocratic dynasties known from the earliest times in Bohemia. At that time it was the most powerful fortress in Bohemia and was considered safe because of the impregnable terrain. The original Gothic fortress is located on the top of a high cliff overhanging the banks of the beautiful Sázava River near the town of Benesov. During the rains, the water in the river reaches all the way to the edge of the banks, which only adds to the inaccessibility of the fortress walls.

As time went by. The castle changed most during the Hussite wars, at that time the owner Zdeněk Sternberk rebelled against the king and was thoroughly destroyed and plundered. The owners decided to fortify the castle with a new tower. The castle was gradually dilapidated, so it gradually lost its true Gothic features and acquired new ones, as the tastes of its owners changed. For example, from 1693 to 1945, owners of the Lichtenstein family introduced a little baroque, and in 1886, the Viennese architect C. Kaiser designed and led the construction of new objects of the castle, changing the appearance of the castle with elements of Romanticism.

In 1907, just a couple of years near the castle laid out a park. The castle was slightly damaged during the Second World War, but after the restoration it was reopened to the public in 1947.

In the southern part of the castle there is Gladomorna Fortress Bastion, an almost perfectly preserved example of Late Gothic fortifications. Peter Golicki Sternberk started to build it in the 16th century, but did not manage to do it in time, so his son Jan finished the construction. The siege and capture of the castle in 1467 showed how weak to defend the southern part of the fortress, which is why the construction was started. It was separated from the castle by a gallery, and when placed on the hill it was reinforced with stone structures. At the top of the tower leads to a spiral staircase, from which it is possible to fire through shooting holes. The basement was used to store guns. Around the bastion is a horseshoe-shaped rampart, but, unfortunately, it is not completely preserved.

A remarkable fact is that since its founding and to this day the castle has been inhabited exclusively by the Sternberg family. It is truly a unique castle, whose walls “see” the new generations of a single family, starting with the founder of the castle – Zdeslav. However, today for the Sternberk family the castle is not just a home but also a source of income. You can take a guided walk here and even rent rooms for weddings in the old style.

What to see

Cesky Sternberk Castle includes fifteen chic rooms and halls. From the threshold, tourists enter the Hall of Knights, where they can view many historical exhibits. Then through the Chapel of St. Sebastian go to the Yellow Salon, where you can admire Baroque frescoes and sit on furniture from the era of Louis the Fourteenth. The next rooms are the Women’s Salon and the library. The castle library keeps several thousand unique books, and the walls are decorated with works of Peter Bradl. Then guests are greeted by the Dining Room, where a collection of portraits of the Sternberk family as well as silver tableware and family utensils are located. The tour continues through the oriental style vestibule to the breakfast room, where a collection of silver figurines and figurines is on display. Jiří Sternberk’s study shows a family family family tree. It introduces six generations of Sternberk in 63 portraits. The next four rooms are decorated in different styles – from Rococo to Baroque. The next hall will not leave men indifferent, because there are placed the trophies obtained during the hunt Sternberk. And at the front staircase, where the walk through the castle ends, it is impossible not to notice the painting by Philip Sternberk, which depicts scenes from battles.

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One of the collections illustrates the life of Prince Kašpar Sternberk, a famous Czech figure from the National Revival era. And, of course, the celebrity of Cesky-Sternberk is the collection of 545 copper engravings on a historical theme. The events of the Thirty Years’ War are represented on them according to the idea of Jiří Sternberk. The Gothic stone statuette, a family heirloom, is on display in the chapel and dates back to the 14th century. The chateau is full of specimens of ancient weapons from different ages, and visitors are delighted by the unique furniture, natural leather wallpaper, paintings by Dutch and Italian masters from the 17th and 18th centuries, fireplaces with tiles, exhibits of the Clock Museum and colored stained glass.

The legend of the lost treasure

Like any self-respecting castle, Cesky-Sternberg is laden with legends. One legend has it that one of the earls successfully sold one of his castles for a fortune – a trunk full of gold. As he could not think of a better way to keep his wealth, he took part of the gold with him on his long journey, leaving part of it in the castle, entrusting his faithful servant Ginek to guard it. Guinek, unable to bear the burden of this responsibility and sleepless, decided to hide the gold in the mountains. Just a few days later, he fell from his horse and soon died. Before he died, in a semi-conscious state, he tried to gesture to the clerk where he had hidden the treasure, but the latter never understood him. No matter how many people have searched the castle and its environs since then, they have never been able to find the treasure. It is possible that to this day there is medieval gold somewhere in the surroundings of Český Šternberk waiting for the lucky one who can find it.

Information for tourists

The tour of the castle takes about an hour and is led by Count Zdeněk Sternberk, who enjoys telling the visitor about the complicated history of his family and the entire castle complex. The story can be told in different languages, but the cost of excursion rises from 4 to 7 EUR. There is one nuance: the minimum group is 10 people. If you don’t want to wait or your company is smaller in number, you still have to pay for the tour as for ten people. Usually visitors are admitted from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. (till 6 p.m. in summer), but for a fee of 10-11 EUR (per person, min. group – also 10 persons) you can have an impressive night tour.

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The surroundings of the castle attract tourists. A small village with the same name beckons for a hike. On weekends you can take a ride on the tourist train to the sound of an old steam train. The way lies along the gorge of the river Sazava – Posazavsky pacifik, famous for its picturesque view.

There is no need to return to the hotels in Prague for the night, because right across from Cesky Sternberk there is a “Parkotel”. It has 18 standard rooms for two or three guests with obligatory bathrooms. But only eight of them offer a view of the castle from the windows.

The hotel has a bar and restaurant, where the chefs introduce tourists to authentic Czech cuisine. Lunch on the summer terrace will delight you with the scenery of the castle. The hotel invites both tourists and business people to the Czech Republic. Rooms are open for seminars or conferences, equipment and office appliances are ready.

You won’t get bored in the department: paragliding, rafting, cycling, canoeing, mountain climbing and sport fishing await the vacationers. Ping-pong, tennis, soccer, volleyball, billiards, darts, and horseback riding are available.

Organized banquets are accompanied by historical reconstructions and programs, and guests are entertained by jugglers, fakirs, fire-eaters and dancers.

How to get to Český Šternberk

Address: Český Šternberk 1 257 26 Český Šternberk, Czech Republic

Despite the proximity of the capital (it’s only 50km north-west of the castle) and Benesov, which is a transit point to other places of interest in the region, the town of Český Šternberk is not very accessible. This is why many people prefer to take a tour in Prague. But the trouble is that often guides take a little time to see the castle, combining a visit to Cesky-Sternberg with a trip to the other castles. If you want to explore it in detail and thoughtfully, enjoy a walk around the surroundings and take pictures, you have to go there on your own.

By bus

The castle itself is located near the village of Cesky Sternberk, or rather, the settlement at one time emerged around the castle. You can get to this town from Prague by train or by bus, the current information about which you can see on this excellent website Jizdnirady. Choosing a bus trip to Český Šternberk (departure from Roztyly bus station), pay attention to the fact that direct buses to Český Šternberk are few and take quite a long time (2-2,2 hours). But they cost 3-4 EUR for the whole trip together with transfer, and usually there are no problems with it. If you combine your trip to Cesky-Sternbek with your trip to Karlstejn, or for some other reason you get from Benešov, it’ll cost 1-2 EUR, takes about an hour and there are much more direct flights.

By train

Travelling by train, unfortunately, will not save you from transfers. From Prague, from the main railway station (Hlavní Nádraží) or from Benešov station (Benešov u Prahy), you need to change to another train at Cercany station and from there go to Cesky Sternberk station. Journey from Benešov takes about 1,5 hours and costs 2,5 EUR, the journey from the capital takes 2 hours and costs 4 EUR.

Czech Sternberg – an impregnable castle in the Czech Republic

Czech Sternberg is a picturesque castle in the suburbs of Prague towering on a rock. Unlike other Czech castles, it does not have a tragic and complicated fate, but you should definitely visit this place. The attraction will be of interest to everyone who enjoys history, loves nature and is looking for a place that is easy to get to from Prague.

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Czech Sternberg

General information

Český Štenberk is a castle standing on a rock 59 km away from Prague. From three sides it is surrounded by picturesque river Sazava. The Czech Castle belongs to the category of castles-fortresses, because for a long time it was one of the main defensive constructions in the country.

The sight is named after its owners, the Sternbergs, who established their residence here in 1241. But in travel guides the fortress is often referred to as the Pearl of Sredné Posázavky.

Czech Sternberg Castle

What makes Český Šternberg Castle in Bohemia unique is that it has been owned by the same family throughout history. 99% of buildings in Europe constantly changed owners due to wars, revolutions and bankruptcy.

It is interesting that the current owner of the castle Count Zdenek (descendant of Stenberg) still lives in the castle with his family. That is why the castle has an atmosphere of comfort and warmth.

Photos of Sternberg Castle can be seen in the list of the most popular attractions of the Czech Republic, and it is definitely worth visiting this place.

Brief history

The castle was founded on the territory of modern Bohemia in 1241 by Zdeslav of the Divisov family, who later changed their name to Sternberg. Until the 15th century, the site was considered impregnable, as it was surrounded by a moat and two mighty towers. With the advent of firearms strong walls lost their advantage, so in the early 16th century the walls of the castle were strengthened, and the tower “Gladomorna” was built.

Czech Sternberg Castle

During the Hussite wars the castle was virtually undamaged, and, surprisingly, the owners managed to keep their residence. After that, in the mid 17th century the castle was reconstructed once again, recreating the facades in Baroque style. At the end of the 19th century the castle regained its original appearance and turned into a Gothic building. At the beginning of the 20th century the castle was laid out in a beautiful English garden. The last reconstruction was conducted already in modern Bohemia.

It is interesting that Zdeněk Sternberg (heir and owner of the castle), who still lives in Bohemia, takes tours around the ancestral home of his ancestors.

What to see in the castle

The castle was the residence of the Sternbergs in Bohemia for over 800 years, so there is more than enough interesting items and beautiful rooms.

The first thing tourists see in Cesky Sternberg Castle is a spacious hall with white walls, on which hang portraits and landscapes from the brush of court painters. The floor here, as it was centuries ago, is made of stone, and an oak staircase leads to the top.

The castle parade room

  • The front hall was the largest room in the castle. Here guests were received, and in the evenings balls were held. The most expensive paintings from the Sternbergs’ collection and rare jewelry can be found here. In the hall hangs a chandelier of Czech crystal, which weighs up to 150 kg, and on the floor laid parquet depicting eight-pointed stars – the symbol of the Sternbergs. Parade Hall
  • The state hall has a small room with a carved fireplace and a huge picture on the wall.
  • From the front hall you can either go to the local chapel or to the living room. The chapel in the castle is quite small, but there is an altar, and tapestries with images of the Sternberg coat of arms are hung on the walls. As a rule, the owners of the castle came here for morning and evening communions.
  • In a small but richly ornamented living room guests were received. There are five armchairs and one sofa for ladies here. On the walls there are landscape paintings and two tapestries.
  • From the living room you can get into the dining room. It is a rather gloomy and dark room, as the furniture is made of dark wood and there are heavy velvet curtains on the windows. This is where the masters of the house had their breakfast and lunch. The room is still used for its intended purpose.

It is interesting that all the chairs in the dining room are of different sizes and heights: they were made for each member of the family, since according to the rules of etiquette all the people sitting at the table should be on the same level.

  • The next room was the ladies’ hall. Only ladies who wanted to powder their noses or chat in private could come here during balls. The walls of the room are painted bright crimson. The furniture is of walnut wood. The highlight of the room is a big mirror in a golden frame, which hangs between the windows.
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On the second floor, there are salons: the Golden Salon, the Smoking Salon, the Women’s Salon, the Men’s Salon and the Knight’s Salon.

  • In the Smoking Salon, the walls of which are covered with striped wallpaper, one can see a collection of fine smoking pipes and a number of paintings. The Golden Salon, contrary to its name, is quite modest and not “heavy”. The walls are painted in watercolor, and the only golden elements are a table and the sofa upholstery.
  • The Knights’ Hall is a place where a collection of cold and firearms is kept, as well as hunting trophies: antlers of deer, moose, stuffed birds and animals. On the floor lies one of the most curious things – a crocodile skin.
  • In a small room near the Knights’ Hall you can see the Sternberg tree. Despite the rich history of the castle and the family, the tree is not big at all, and, moreover, it was made very recently (and most likely just for tourists). Sternberg Tree
  • The Ladies’ Salon is another place where the ladies could rest in time for or after the ball. The room has many gold-colored details and has the only harpsichord in the house.
  • The men’s salon is decorated in a similar way to the women’s salon. There is also much gold and porcelain, and portraits of ladies of the Sternberk family hang on the walls.
  • The fifth salon is a children’s room, where all the newborn Sternbergs lived. There is not much space here, but it is the brightest and brightest room in the castle. Decorative plates are hung on the walls, and there is a crib and a rocking pony on the floor. The children’s room
  • The last living room on the second floor is the bedroom in which the owners slept. The walls of the room are covered with burgundy wallpaper with monograms and in the middle there is a massive oak bed. Next to it are two small dressing tables.

After visiting all the halls of the Czech Sternberg, be sure to check out the library. The room is quite small, but very cozy and refined. There are more than 3,000 books (mainly fiction, science and literature on the history of Bohemia), and you can enjoy an impressive view of the surroundings from the windows.

Liebenstein Castle Prison, now a hotel and restaurant

Castle Park

Castle park

People of Bohemia say that the best time to visit the castle park is in autumn – during this time of year it is very beautiful. Colorful leaves fall into the deep moat, which has survived until now. There are practically no flowerbeds, but they are not needed: the charm of the park lies in ideally trimmed lawns and elegant sculptures.

Practical information

Where is the chateau (coordinates or address): Cesky Sternberk 1, Cesky Sternberk 257 27, Czech Republic

Month Opening Hours
January, February, March, November, December Open for sightseeing groups only
April, October Saturday, Sunday (9.00 – 17.00)
June, September Tuesday to Friday (9 a.m. to 5 p.m.)

Entrance to the castle closes 45 minutes before closing time.

Photo of guide at Cesky Sternberg Castle

Children’s photo of the count, who leads tours.

You can visit the Chateau Český Štěnberg in the Czech Republic only with a guide or audioguide. A ticket with an audio guide costs 180 CZK for an adult and 130 CZK for students and children.

Adult ticket with Russian or English speaking guide 230 CZK, for students and children 160 CZK.

For Czech citizens and those who know Czech language the ticket costs 150 CZK for adults and 100 CZK for children.

How to get there from Prague

You can get to Český Štenrberg Castle, Czech Republic from Prague without a transfer. This is one of those rare cases where the destination is accessible by train, but there are no shuttles and buses.

It is necessary to take a train of Czech Railways at the station Praha hl.n, and get off at Cesky Sternberk zast. The remaining 500 meters between the castle and the railway station you have to walk (the road goes uphill). The cost – 3-5 euros. Travel time: 1 hour 50 minutes. Tickets must be purchased at the train station.

Railway Station

Prague railway station

To get to the castle Czech Sternberg from Prague is possible in 45-50 minutes. Average cost is 75-80 euro.

Prices on the page are for May 2019.

Useful hints
  1. Český Šternberg Castle is a great option for a day trip in the Czech Republic
  2. Remember that it is not possible to visit the castle without a guide (the tour is led by a descendant of the Sternbergs), so it is necessary to arrange a visit to the attraction in advance.
  3. Photos of the castle Czech Sternberg is better made from the nearby hill.
  4. From the railway station to the castle leads usual (not paved) road, so do not go to the castle when it rains heavily.
  5. On the territory of the castle Czech Sternberg in the Czech Republic there is a small cafe and a souvenir shop.

Czech Sternberg is a castle located in a surprisingly beautiful place. Even if the purpose of the trip is not to explore the historical site, it is worth coming here to admire the nature.

Video about the trip to the castle Czech Sternberg:

Author: Maria Protasenya

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