Saturday, May 1, 2010

Pernštejn Castle

Forty kilometers to the north west of Brno, a beautiful armour-bearer looking castle called Pernštejn stands quietly overtopped by the neighboring hills.

There were only two trains going to the Pernštejn castle area from Brno in the morning, and we took a later train which left Brno at 10:55am. The train was comfortably packed with hikers, bikers, and families. We rode the train for about 30 mins to Tišnov, and there we switched a train to go to Pernštejn Castle.

After 30 min ride, we arrived at Nedvědice, where lots of people got off. We were wondering why the place was so popular. We kept riding the train. Then as the train goes faster and faster, we saw a castle on our right hand side. But, the train kept going, passed the castle, and never stopped until we were about 5km away from the castle. My hubby who was responsible for checking the station to get off surrendered and said "ooops, we missed the right station." We got off at the next station called Vežná, a nowhere land without any people. We checked the time for the next train going back and only found out it wasn't coming for another two hours.

We could have waited there, but we said "well, we got two pairs of legs. why not walk!" So, we headed to the direction of castle not knowing whether the road will lead us there (although we had a high confidence it would, as it was the only road). The walk was amazingly nice. We walked 5.5 km (it wasn't bad at all) to the magnificent sight of the casltle. It looked strong but elegant and a bit odd like a bunch of different sizes of square and triangular boxes stuck together on one side.  It reminded me of an art homework once I did in college.

Once you go into the entrance, the first thing you notice is the bar and restaurant.  After accidentally ended up walking for 5.5 km without water, we were so thirsty and hungry.  We sat down at the bar restaurant and had a sausage (well, that's the only thing we could order as we didn't know any other foods in Czech) and a couple of beers (well, I thought beer would make me more dehydrated, but I tried beer anyway - I guess I am just trying to be a Czech person).

The castle was indeed sturdy looking. It was first built by the Lords of Medlov in the 13th century on the rock (the rock penetrates the building up to the second floor). The family branch seated at the castle and adopted the then fashionable name Pernštejn, which is the Czech version probably derived of the German name, Bärenstein - the "Bear Rock".

We took a tour (well, the tour was in Czech, so we went along with the English brochure in our hands) through the main part of the castle. The first thing you notice when you step into the castle is the temperature. It was a warm day, but you could tell the significant drop of temperature immediately. I guess the thick wall shuts out the heat coming in from outside. There were hundreds of rooms connected by the nesting corridors and staircases (unfortunately we don't have any pictures of inside, as we were not allowed to take any pictures). I am sure it was meant for the protection from the enermies, but it reminded me of old fairly tales related to the European castles that I read when I was kid. And, it would be a fun place for kids to play hide and seek for sure :)

I had been having very dull pain around my neck and shoulders since I moved to Czech Republic, but they disappeared after visiting this castle.  Is it due to the ghost supposedly appearing in this castle?  :)


  1. what fun! i love keeping up with your adventures. we miss you guys!

  2. thanks chris! we miss you guys too. visit us with brandon.