Sunday, August 23, 2009

Špilberk Castle

Špilberk Castle (pronounced Sh-pilberk), was founded in the second half of the 13th century. It played a role in the 15th century during the hussite wars. It helped the Czechs defeat the Swedish army in 1645.
At one point it was the worst prison in the Hapsburg Empire. Napolean's army destroyed the most important parts of the fortification systems in 1809. During WWII, the German Gestapo used the castle as its headquarters.

You can take a self-guided tour, including the casemates (dungeon), for 160 Kč (~$8.80 U.S.). At least 65% of the exhibits are available in English.

As you can see, the moat has been drained.

The lighting was not great down in the casemates but here is a shot of a room for 22 prisoners. But I wonder if the bat I saw in the dungeon was supposed to be part of the tour?

In the castle courtyard I caught kids practicing for some kind of performance. These kids sure can sing. Here's another one of my video captures.
To get to the castle you go through Špilberk Park. It is Brno's largest park at 17 hectares (42 acres). Who knew 1 hectar is 2.47 acres? Damn Metric system.
All of the pictures are already up on Flickr. And here's a link to the castle website, in English, that tells you all about it.

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