Similar to the cathedral tower or the Pilsner Brewery Gate, the Radyně castle ruins belong to Pilsen’s more dominant features. Originally, Charles IV established this sentry castle. You can find it located a few kilometres from the city, a short way from the town of Starý Plzenec. A wondrous view awaits you from the castle tower, not only of Pilsen, but the Brdy mountain range as well. In addition, the area of the lower castle is used to hold various events throughout the peak season.
April – May
Saturday, Sunday and holidays 10:00–18:00
June – August
Tuesday – Sunday 10:00–18:00
September – October
Saturday, Sunday and holidays 10:00–17:00
Adults CZK 40
Children, students and seniors CZK 30
Children ages 6 and younger free of charge
332 02 Starý Plzenec
Before there was Pilsen, there was the village of Starý Plzenec. Several years before Charles IV founded the sentry castle of Radyně in 1356, the Přemyslid-dynasty fort of Hůrka was built on the opposite hill. In those days, this was considered one of the most important administrative centres in Bohemia, second only to Prague. However, only the foundations of a few churches and the Romanesque Rotunda of St. Peter and Paul survived to our day.
Karlskrone or Radyně
The sentry castle atop the Radyně hill was erected halfway through the 14th century by the Holy Roman Emperor, Charles IV. It was meant to protect the border and ensure safety for those who travelled along the trade route leading from Prague to Bavaria. The castle was first called Karlskrone (Charles’ Crown), however the name never took off in Bohemia.
Rather, the castle is known as Radyně today. According to legend, the castle was owned by the powerful, yet cruel Lord Radouš. It was said that he was half man, half animal with asinine ears and boar’s teeth. No matter what the stories say, Radyně Castle has been left unmanned for nearly 500 years. Even though it was left to ruin, the castle has managed to remain in such a state that it’s relatively easy to imagine what life would have looked like during the Middle Ages
You can check out the castle either on your own or with a tour guide while on one of the several commentated tours. Head up the castle tower to take a look at the permanent audio-visual storybook exposition, including all the mysterious creatures of Radyně Castle’s legends. Another part of the exposition is dedicated to the history of the castle and surrounding area. The castle tower is 22m tall and the 114 steps will take you to the top, where you will discover a sensational view of Pilsen and its environs.
How can I get to Radyně Castle?
Both the yellow-marked hiking path and the Starý Plzenec educational path will lead you out of the village to the castle. You can also take the yellow path from the village of Černice. In addition, the options of travelling to the castle by car or bike are available to you. Although, the castle is closed during the winter, it’s worth taking a stroll around the area no matter the time of year. There is an Info Centre and restaurant located in the castle’s lower section, where you can regain your strength and warm up should you get caught in any bad weather.