The international service of Czech Radio 
29-6-2017, 14:18 UTC
Photo Tour of Czech Republic - Castles
 

Opocno

Opocno is the Renaissance castle located about 150 kilometres east of Prague near the big town of Hradec Kralove. It was built in the place of a very old Gothic castle. It was rebuilt into a Renaissance castle some time in the 16th century.

Opocno Castle houses a fine gallery and a library. In the big halls downstairs there are collections of 19th century tribal costumes, weapons, toys and the like gathered by the former castle owner on his travels around the world. On the first floor are the chambers once lived in by the owners, looking as if they have only just been left. On the top floor you'll find an armoury displaying weaponry from the 16th to 19th centuries, including oriental weapons.

When you visit the castle, the guides will show you around the halls and chambers and if you are lucky, they will tell you this grim legend about one of the first owners of Opocno castle. Mikulas Trcka of Lipa who held Opocno in the 15th century, was already advanced in age when he married a young noblewoman, who was only seventeen years old. Mikulas was away from home much of the time but he was also extremely jealous. When he found out his wife was having an affair with a young yeoman he had him beheaded and his wife immured alive in a cellar of the castle. During renovation works in the 19th century, the workers did find a niche in the wall, and inside a skeleton dressed in medieval costume, fastened to a chair. But as the curious workers touched the find, everything fell to dust.

The tour of the castle begins and ends in the castle's courtyard which is open on one side offering a beautiful view of a wooded gorge. The castle is surrounded by a beautiful park in the English style and behind the park there is also a game reserve with wild animals. Standing in the courtyard you can see that there is a clearing cut out in the woods just opposite the castle, so that the gentry could watch the deer grazing in the morning from their chambers.