A few weeks ago, on the way to Prague we stopped at our favorite hotel in Mariánské Lázně. There is a great swimming pool, relaxing spa, cheap massages and it’s a perfect place for walks in nature as the hotel is situated in the forest. We only had one day there, and we spent most of it in the spa resort so there were no walks this time. It’s good to relax and do nothing from time to time.
Next day, before we left the hotel, we realized that it wouldn’t be the best decision to drive to Prague due to the traffic in the morning and we started to look for something to do before heading to Prague later that day. After a short search we found a state castle called Bečov nad Teplou that is only 30 minutes drive from Mariánské Lázně and we knew that this was the place that we had to see.
The castle was founded by the noblemen family of Osek and its first mention dates back to 1349. It includes a unique set of historical buildings built in various architectural styles.
It consists of a donjon, a connecting wing building, a chapel tower, the Pluh’s palace, a bergfrit, stables, forest administration, a baroque palace, a kitchen, brewery cellars, gardens and a park.
The castle reached its peak in the late 15th century, when it belonged to the Pluh family of Rabštejn, who were engaged in gold, silver and tin mining.
There are several parking places under the castle so be prepared to climb some stairs before getting to the complex. Once you enter the complex you feel like you were transported to medieval times.
If you don’t want to enter the castle you can enjoy the gardens and you can also go on an educational tour around the castle. We decided to walk around the castle first before our guided tour started.
You can choose from various tours. We got combined tickets for the chateau interiors and reliquary but at the end we only attended the tour of the chateau interiors as it took so long, and we didn’t like our tour guide very much. My husband got the information in English with some photos of the reliquary and we agreed that we actually didn’t want to see that. But don’t feel discouraged. It is just our personal preference and you could like it very much.
Let’s start our tour around the castle!
But first we have to climb the stairs up to the small tower with the flag.
Here we go! There is a wooden path around the complex and many signs with various information about the construction of the castle and different aspects of life in medieval times.
There are also some speakers with medieval music. This adds to the atmosphere of being transported around 600 years in the past.
And now we go back to the palace as our tour of the castle is about to start..
The tour guide picked us up at the gate. She led us through the main hall to the room on the ground floor first.
We gathered around the castle model and listened to her telling us about the history of the castle, its construction and inhabitants.
The medieval donjon connected to a Baroque castle dominates the narrow river valley. The donjon had been used as a nobleman’s residence until the Swedish attacks during the Thirty Years War. Afterwards the damaged stronghold was left empty and the owners built a new Baroque castle. It was built in the 18th century by Jan Adam Questenberk.
From this room we go to the library and then to the second floor. Not sure why we went to the second and then to the first floor but well, it is what it is 😊
On the second floor we went through the furnished rooms and observed art from the Baroque period. This is how an artist depicted a giraffe. Yes, it does look like a horse with a long neck 😊
Are you asking why? Artists in the past didn’t travel. It was the noble people who were able to travel to exotic countries. When they came back home they described what they saw to their artists and those created the artworks.
If someone would describe a giraffe to me I would probably depicted it as a horse as well 😊
The rooms were beautifully decorated and we were instructed to only walk on the red carpet. It does make you feel like a superstar!
After we finished our tour it was time to drive to Prague. We enjoyed the castle and its surroundings and I would definitely recommend visiting this place. If you ever happen to be around Mariánské Lázně you will know where to go.
Thank you for reading,