Friday, April 26, 2013

Today's Castle: Pernštejn, Czech Republic

Pernštejn is one of the Czech Republic's most famous castles. It was the seat of the Lords of Pernštejn, who played an important part in politics of late medieval Bohemia. There was a castle here by 1300, but most of what you see today was built in the 1400s. The projecting bits were added in the early 1500s by an owner who wanted more space and light but without changing the basic structure.

The castle is scenically placed in the mountains of southern Moravia, and it is today surrounded by forests.

The name is probably a Slavic corruption of the German Bärenstein, Bear Rock, which makes me think of Beorn and his Carrock.

The castle has a famous ghost, the White Lady, who is said by some to be a serving girl who was cursed by a priest for her vanity. Hence her habit of appearing in mirrors.

Although the exterior of the castle looks much as it did in 1525, the interior was extensively renovated in the 17th century. Ah, the Baroque. This is the chapel, of which the less said, the better.

But the same period gave us this marvelous library.

The castle has appeared in so many films that it has its own page at the Czech Film Institute -- I think this is Van Helsing.

This is a very fine photograph of the castle by somebody who signs himself SwedishNerd.

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