Český Šternberk Castle

Castle Český Šternberk

Český Šternberk Castle is located in the Czech Republic, overlooking the River Sázava, around 60 km south-east of Prague.

It is one of two castles founded by Zdeslav, a leading member of the court of Ottokar II Přemysl (reg1253–78).

Český Šternberk Castle History

Castle Český Šternberk

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.

Cesky Sternberk Castle chapel

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 ridge.

In the mid-15th century, Český Štern berk 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 parts.

Cesky Sternberk Castle family tree

An outer castle 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.

Cesky Sternberk Interior

From 1655 to 1666 the Český Šternberk castle 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 1951).

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.

Český Šternberk 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.

Český Šternberk Castle Map

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