Location: On a rock above Tržiště Street in the historical centre of Karlovy Vary
Period of construction: Around 1358
Period of reconstruction: 1608 and 1766
Official opening: Mid 14th century
Accessibility: Accessible during opening hours
How to get there
Route 1: You may reach the Castle Tower if you walk from the Hot Spring in the spa centre across Jánský most (Jánský Bridge) to Tržiště Street where you will climb up Zámecký vrch (Castle Hill) to the tower. This short walk is approximately 200 metres long and takes about 5 minutes.
Route 2: If you decide for the second route, travel by Bus No. 2 from the "Tržnice" (Market) city bus terminal to the "Divadelní náměstí" (Theatre Square) terminal stop. From there, follow Route 1 to Tržiště Street and the Castle Tower.
History of the structure
Zámecká věž (Castle Tower) seated on a rock above Tržiště Street in the historical centre of the city is the last standing remnant of the original small Gothic castle, that was built upon the order of Emperor Charles IV probably around 1358. During a devastating fire in 1604, the castle burned to the ground and changed into ruins. The tower that had survived the fire was converted into a watchtower in 1608.
In 1766, after another fire, the tower was complemented with an arcaded gallery, from which important visitors arriving to the town were greeted by trumpet horns. Later, annual spa season openings took place at the tower. In 1911, a robust lift designed by Friedrich Ohmann, author of the Art Nouveau Castle Colonnade, was installed on the rock below the Castle Tower.
Today there are exhibition rooms in the Castle Tower and historical underground rooms have been opened to the public.