The Czech Republic, also known as Czechia, is a land of many untold stories. Located in Central Europe, it is a country rich in historical architecture. You have to set foot on Czech soil to appreciate the various castles, cathedrals and ancient town halls that symbolize the country’s ancient history. Considering the numerous places of interest and tourist attractions, it is not surprising that Czechia is fast becoming a popular travel destination. Apart from the Prague Castle, the other monumental castle that is fast becoming popular is the Špilberk Castle.
Situated in Brno, which is the second largest city in Czechia, the Castle holds many untold stories and historical secrets. Its history goes back to the mid 13th century, and it is not known when exactly its construction began. However, it was founded by King Přemysl Otakar II, the ruler of Czech. He wanted to display his power and might to the rest of Europe. The castle was regarded as a seat of power for subsequent Moravian leaders.
It served as a prison during the reign of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. During that period, the castle was renowned as the harshest prison in Europe. It adopted the Jail of Nations tag, considering the fact that some of its famous prisoners were from different nations other than Czech. It was home to state prisoners, as well as regular arsonists, murderers and thieves.
Špilberk Castle was later converted to a Baroque Fortress by Emperor Franz Joseph I in 1858. This was after the release of the last prisoner 3 years earlier. It served as a military barracks for another one hundred years, until the German occupation during the Second World War between 1939 and 1941. The Germans carried out extensive modifications to the fortress, making it one of the main barracks in the heart of Europe.
The Castle has withstood the test of time. It has survived several wars and historic sieges. One notable siege was carried out by Swedish Troops back in the 17th century. The siege lasted for three months without much success. After regaining control of the castle in 1645, Raduit de Souches, the then Czech leader, restored Špilberk’s lost glory by gradually rebuilding it.
In recent years, the Castle has become the seat of the Brno Museum. It is protected by the Moravian authorities as one of the dominant features in the capital. It is one of the most significant historical monuments in not only Brno, but also the entire Czech Republic. It is a favorite destination among the locals, as well as foreigners. You can take a walk round the fortress or relax in any of the numerous memorial parks.
Every year, throngs of tourists visit this important castle, in a bid to unearth the numerous secrets that it holds. The Špilberk Castle hosts a variety of exhibitions related to its history and the history of Brno, throughout the year. Tourists are allowed to take a tour of the castle at anytime. A tour of the castle at night will send a chill down your spine. Visit any of the dark rooms and dungeons for a more captivating tour.