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Follow Steps of Emperor Charles IV

Sites the Emperor Charles IV Stamped With His Influence

Order Tour Code: C B5
Tour availability: Tour available in summer season Tour available in winter season

A Gothic castle built by Emperor Charles IV in the years 1348 � 1357 to house relics and imperial, later also Czech coronation jewels.
In the interiors - the Chapel of the Virgin Mary and St. Catherine�s Chapel with precious frescos are preserved in their original appearance.
In the large tower the Chapel of the Holy Cross (Rood) ,consecrated in 1365 , adorned with pictures of saints by Master Theodorik. A collection of 127 panels with semi-figures of saints, female saints, angels and prophets is the most valuable part to see in the castle , but booking in advance is necessary . The outer walls of the castle are six meters and the inner walls are two meters thick. The panorama of the castle is impressive.
The castle is open to the public every day except Mondays.
It is closed from the 10th of January until the end of February.

The Chapel of the Holy Cross (Rood) is possible to see only in July and in August and it must be reserved in advance.

Karlstejn castle is regarded as the apex of collaboration between Parler and Charles IV, though construction began under Matthew of Arras. It is known colloquially as the "Czech Montsalvat" , after the legendary castle of the Holy Grail, but it is named after Charles in the monarch�s honour. Karlstjen lies a top a steep , almost vertical rise, and is both imposing and majestic to see. It is one of the most esoterically interesting places in all of Bohemia, thanks to the Chapel of the Holy Cross, which contains frescoes by the Czech Master Theodoric.

The spear of Destiny, a precious magical relic associated for centuries with many miracles in favor of its owners, was also in the possession of the Luxembourgs as imperial jewel number one. When chronicles of that time made a list of imperial coronation jewels that were to be returned by the Bavarians after several years of withholding them, they always listed the spear as first. Interestingly enough, the imperial crown, the cult of which was never that big in the Holy Roman Empire as e.g. in France or later on in Bohemia in the case of the St. wenceslas Crown, was usually listed as fifth or sisxth.
For the most part, Charles IV kept the spear in a secret repository behind the alter of the Holy Cross Chapel at the castle Karlstejn. Karlstejn castle, derived from the German name Karl and word stein (stone, or Czech tyn, tejn - fortress) , was designed by the order of Charles IV as the castle of the Holy Grail, a stone that, like the Spear, bears the secret of the blood of Christ. Similarly to St. Wenceslas�s chapel at St. Vitus�s Cathedral in Prague, the Holy Cross Chapel, with its geometrical design and walls encristed with twelve types of precious stones from the Revelation of St. John, is a model of the Celestial Jerusalem.
Charles IV added a spike from the cross of Jesus Christ to the two original parts of Longinus�s spear, drawing them together with a golden sleeve with the inscription "LACEA ET CLAVUS DOMINI" (from Latin: The spear and spike of the Lord) . His subjects had an apportunity to see the spear, as well as other relics of holy men and those of the crucifixion of Christ at Golgotha, once a year in the wooden Church of the Holy Body in Prague (it doesn�t exist any more), a place which in the design of the city represented te Solomon Temple of the Celestial Jerusalem. In the second half of the 14th century, people from the entire empire would come to the church to see the coronation jewels each year during the week following Easter.
According to legends, Longinus�s spear, the Spear of Destiny, has a great magical power. He who owns it hlods the destiny of mankind in his hands. Charles IV added a spike from the cross of Jesus Christ to the two original parts of Longinus�s spear, drawing them together with a golden sleeve with the isncription "The Spear and Spike of the Lord". These relics are now in Hofburg, Vienna, however their authenticity is rather questionable.


It is the best known spa in the Czech Republic.
It is the best known spa in the Czech Republic founded in the 14th century by the Emperor Charles IV.
There is the Sprudel Spring colonnade in the centre of the town. Spa treatment is based on the local thermal springs. The beneficial springs have been used for medical treatment for over 600 years. A list of the names of visitors to Karlovy Vary would be endless. They include the Tsar Peter I, the Empress Maria Tereza, Goethe, Schiller, Paganini, Schopin, Beethoven, Brahms, Liszt, Dumas, Smetan, Dvorak and others. The town of Karlovy Vary contains many historical buildings. The founder of balneological treatment was the 18th century physician David Becher, who chemically analysed the local springs and indicated patterns for therapeutical procedures.
The most importatnt application of the waters is regular drinking straight from the springs. Twelve springs , emanating from the depth of 2.000,- to 2.500,- metres , of temperatures of 41� to 72�C and containing up to 40 chemical elements, are used for spa treatment.
This treatment is usually combined with procedures such as physiotherapy, walks in the fresh air , bathing in mineral water, bathing in mineral carbon acid water, mud packs, steam baths, massage. All of this you can try there , too.

Treatments free salable - without physician�s examination:
Natural Geyser mineral water bath
Carbon-dioxyde bath
Oxygenated bath
Classical massage partial
Classical massage total
Group gymnastic in swimming poll
Oxygenated bath with herbal ingredients
Cosmetic pack

It is also possible to see our best crystal factory called MOSER ( production of lead free crystal ) , the museum of Moser crystal factory and their shop as well. There are also a few porcelaine factories , their shops you can find in the city centre.

It is a 10 hour round trip.

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"...........Charles IV of Luxembourg (May 14,1316 - November 29, 1378), originally baptised Wenceslas, was the last descendant of the first old Czech dynasty of the Premyslids on his mother Elizabeth�s side. His father, Czech king John of Luxembourg, separated him from his mother and, after many years of separation, sent him to France to be raised at the royal court. There he received an excellent education. One of his educators was Pierre Roger, who foretold the young prince an imperial future. The sharp-witted young man responded to this flattery by saying that his educator would first have to become a pope. Both of these prophecies came true. Pierre Roger became Pope Climent VI, and Moravian Margrave and Roman King Charles was elected Roman Emperor by imperial elecetors on July 11, 1346. One month after the death of his father, Charles became the Czech King. During his reign, Bohemia (Czech Rep.) became an oasis of serenity and peace, Prague thrived, and Charles founded Charles University in his royal seat. This is why he is called the Father of the Homeland.His Latin autobiography Vita Caroli became famous.

Holy Roman Emperor and Czech King Chares IV created not only a notable centre of Gothic art in Prague, but was instrumental in creating an oasis of free knowledge in the city. Charles introduced the principles of Christian mysticism to his kingdom, which he supported at heart but often contradicted in his decisions as a ruler. His friend and teacher Pope Clement VI issued a bull in 1347, whereby "the foundation of student societies was permitted, and scholars in Prague could found a Theological Faculty". With the issuing of the Studium Generale decree, the emperor founded his own university on the 7th of April, 1348.
High learing attracted new professors immediately, their arrival in Prague brought bold new ideas and impulses, which would be put to the test in the near future. Although professors were formally loyal to the Church and the papal court, they were nonetheless free scholarly men, with international experience and fame.

Aside from university professors, Bohemia withessed other important figures of the day, such as Cola di Rienzo, a spiritual monk with prophetic abilities, who was hunted by the Inquisition and escommunicated by pope Clement VI. Rienzo�s close friend and another giant of his day, was the poet Francesco Petrarca.

Francesco Petrarca (1304-1374) came to Prague in 1356 and was welcomed at the Castle as "an honoured guest without equal" . The emperor greatly admired Petrarca�s sonnets, and accepted the poet as a diplomat of Milan�s Visconti family, who were in the emperor�s favour. Petrarca had personal reasons for visiting Prague as well, in a period which was experiencing the Pala Scism, Petrarca dreamt of a "renovatio Roame", or rejuvenation of Rome, in its literary, historic, and religious spheres, and hoped Charles IV would prove a mighty ally. All the same, Petrarca did not live to see the return of the Avignon pope to Rome..........."

".........The first lessons at the university were held in monasteries and private homes, while university ceremonies were held at St. Vitus cathedral. The Carolinum, which is the university�s oldest building was donated by the emperor�s son and heir Wenceslas IV, in 1381.........."

"...........The 14th century�s "Majestas Carolina", put forward by the emperor himslef, was struck down by the diet of the Czech gentry in 1355, in spite of the fact that it was one of the most humanistic legal charters in the history of European rulers. In charter Charles IV recommended so-called trials by fire and water be banned in Holy Tribunals, since they were "inappropriate for a Christian kingdom". The document also forbid land owners from employing common punisments such as putting out of one�s eyes, or the cutting-off of the nose. It also forbid games of hazard, including dice games, which would prevent "children from ending-up begging in the burden of shame". Charles IV�s farsightedness even included "ecological" legislation which was meant to protect the forests "so admired by foreigners".........................."

Peter Parler - the architect, the builder (St. Vitus�s Cathedral, the Charles Bridge, the New Town, the castle Karlstejn, Prague of the 14th century .............) Peter Parler�s exact date and place of birth has not yet been documented. It is generally believed that he was probably born in Cologne, Germany, sometime in 1333. Peter Parler came from a family of master builder Henry Parler. Members of this large family worked in construction works around all of Europe - in Nurnberg, Vienna, Basil, Ulm, Zegreb and other cities. Peter (Pierre) means stone, Parler (parler) means to speak in French. His father Henry Parler was in charge of the construction of the Holy Cross Church in Schwabish Gmund town, and from the year 1336, of the construction of the Minster in Augsburg as well. According to tradition, young Peter received his master builder�s education at his father�s works. A twenty-year-old Peter worked on the construction of Virgin mary�s Church in Nurnberg, the Western part of which was founded by Charles IV. Peter also worked on the construction of the cathedral in Cologne, Germany, where he met his first wife, the daughter of stone-mason Hamm. His stay in Strasbourg is more than interesting for us in respect to the circumstainces of the origin of the Prague Horologe............."
"............Another source of information is a memorial stone plate embedded by the canonry in the Southern pillar of the Golden gate of St. Vitus�s Cathedral. Its inscription specifies the consecration of the chancel to Virgin Mary and St. Vitus in the year of 1385, the foundation of the triple-aisle nave in the year of 1392 when rector Vaclav Radec was in charge of the construction and Peter Parler directed the construction works, and the transfer of the remains of St. Adalbert and the Five Saint Brothers from an old church to a new church in the year of 1396. Peter Parler is mentioned twice in weekly construction bills dated from the year of 1373. Peter�s sandstone tomb slab, discovered together with that of Matthias in the year of 1928, says that Peter Parelr died on 13July 1399 at the age of sixty-seven. Peter Parler was commissioned in Prague to continue with the construction of St. Vitus�s Cathedral. The cathedral church at the Prague Castle was founded on 21 Nov. 1344. Its first master builder was Matthias of Arras whom Charles IV had met during one of his frequent visits to Avignon, France. The Prague bishopric was just about to be promoted to archbishopric, and it became necessary to build a representational cathedral for the new ecclesiastical province. Matthias was commissioned to build the cathedral and was in charge of its construction for eight years. He completed the construction of the chancel, eight side chapels, and pillars. A twenty-three-year-old Peter Parler took on the construction which, after the death of Matthias in the year of 1352, had been abandoned. The emperor had no time to immediately look after a new master builder. When travelling through Schwabisch Gmund on the verge of the beautiful summer of 1353, the emperor noticed a new construction of the Holy Cross Church that was beautiful. Therefore, Charles IV stopped there. When Henry parler was showing the church to the emperor, the latter became intrigued by the stone-mason�s work of Henry�s son Peter. After having seen the church, Charles IV asked the young man if he would be interested in directing the construction of the in-progress cathedral in Prague, which the emperor probably considered the most important ecclesiastical building in all his empire. The young architect became the head of the construction works, quickly hiring new people................."

Jiri Kuchar - "Praha esotericka"
Jakub Malina - "Staromestsky orloj"

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2006 Private Tours Prague

Last updated on Feb 28, 2006