Český Šternberk Castle is located in the Czech Republic,
overlooking the River Sázava, around 60 km south-east of Prague.
one of two castles founded by Zdeslav, a leading member of the court of Ottokar II Přemysl
Český (Bohemian) Šternberk
was founded c. 1240 and became the family seat of Zdeslav’s descendants, the lords of
Šternberk. Český Šternberk castle was completed by 1300 and, although it was later modified
several times, the original medieval nucleus has been preserved, an interesting example of the
development of fortified architecture.
Disposed along a rocky
ridge above the river, the Cesky Sternberk Castle has a tower at each end. The
entrance, on the north side, was protected by a massive cylindrical tower à bec, now partly
covered by later buildings.
The tower adjoins the long,
narrow palace, which lies on the steep eastern side of the ridge and was originally protected
on the west by a fortified courtyard (later reduced by infilling). The south side of the castle
was protected by a huge quadrangular residential tower with a thickened gable wall, beyond
which are the moat and the saddle dividing the castle from the summit of the
In the mid-15th century
Český Šternberk was a base for the revolt of the Catholic aristocracy against
the Hussite king George of Poděbrady (reg 1457–71). In 1476 it was confiscated and dismantled,
but later in the century the new owners repaired it, adding a system of fortifications forward
of the original ones, of which the defensive towers are the main surviving
An outercastle to the north
was protected by ramparts and several bastions, accessible from the main castle by a drawbridge
with a free-standing prismatic tower.
Towers were also built on
both sides of the south saddle, that between the moat and the saddle being rounded,
approximately wedge-shaped, and fortified on either side. These towers were also connected to
the main castle by drawbridges.
From 1655 to 1666 the Český
Šternberk castle was modified, the process including the addition of rich Renaissance-style
stucco decoration to the large hall and chapel. In the second quarter of the 18th century a
park was created, within which was built the Lower Castle (destroyed in
In 1795 the south
cylindrical tower was converted to a summer-house and its fortifications into a terrace,
connected to the house by a masonry bridge in 1829.
In the first quarter of the
20th century a copy of the 13th-century portal was built into the southern cylindrical tower,
with the medieval, badly reconstructed tympanum of the Virgin. The Český
Šternberk Castle now houses a collection of antiquities.
Castle Visitor information
Český Šternberk Castle is closed on Mondays. English
tours are available and they cost 170 CZK for adults (approximately 7 EUR). Night tours are
also available but at least a group of 10 people is required.
Šternberk Castle Map
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