The golden ring of Charles IV
Prague is not the only place that reminds us of the glorious times of Emperor Charles IV. The whole of Central Bohemia, one of the most unique regions in Europe, offers an unexpectedly high number of palaces, majestic royal towns and majestic temples constructed under the reign of Charles IV.
Central Bohemia encircles Prague like a golden ring. Pretend that you are a medieval diplomat, knight or lady-in-waiting, and travel around Central-Bohemian castles, where Emperor Charles IV made decisions that determined the destiny of the Holy Roman Empire and all of Europe. Absolutely unique is Karlštejn castle, an imitation of the legendary castle of the Holy Grail, with chambers decorated with gold, precious stones and relics of Christian saints. There is also Křivoklát castle, surrounded by dense forests, where the Emperor relaxed and hunted game. You can reflect on the transient nature of world glory in the romantic ruins of Gothic castles depicted in many scary legends and humorous stories from ancient times. You may meditate in the peaceful Sázava Monastery or at the pilgrimage site in Stará Boleslav, where St. Wenceslas, the most important Czech patron saint, was assassinated in 935. In the centers of Central-Bohemian historical towns, you can taste delicious dishes in traditional Czech restaurants, accompanied with local beer brewed in the towns of Rakovník and Kolín, or with wines from Mělník and Kutná Hora, whose production had already started during the reign of Charles IV.
Take a romantic trip by train to the spa town of Poděbrady, with its unique thermal springs or perhaps you would prefer a bicycle ride to Jílové u Prahy, the location of medieval goldmines, or to the traditional villages around the town of Sedlčany. Take a guided night tour of Karlštejn castle or visit the town of Kutná Hora, featured in the UNESCO cultural heritage list, whether you are adults, young couples or families with children you will certainly be impressed by the traditional festivities and grape harvests. Like Charles IV and his court, you may relax in medieval towns and castles or in the beautiful countryside along the rivers Vltava, Labe and Berounka, while enjoying the traditional local gastronomy.