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Being in the Czech Republic and not visiting any castles is like… You just don’t do that, because the number of castles worth seeing is huge. During my last visit to Moravia, I had the opportunity to visit Veveří Castle, which is considered one of the largest castles in the Czech Republic. Indeed, its size is impressive, but you will find out in a moment!
The organizer of the trip was the Grono-Tour office in cooperation with the South Moravian Promotion Office and the city of Brno, and one of the sponsors was Worldee.
Veveří Castle – location and access
Veveří Castle is located on a rock near Lake Brno, above the Svratka river bend. It is less than 20 kilometers from the center of Brno. You can get here by car or by public transport (e.g. ship + bus/tram).
There is a large parking lot under the castle, where you can leave your car. Be prepared for a small steep approach to the castle gate, but it is not an extreme approach and you will easily overcome it with a pram or a small child. We enter the castle through the southern gate, where the ticket office is also located.
Opening hours and entrance tickets
The castle is open to tourists in the season (April-October). In April and October it is open on weekends and holidays from 10:00 to 17:00, and from May to September every day except Mondays from 10:00 to 18:00.
There are four sightseeing routes to choose from. The first one is simply an entrance ticket to the castle – you visit according to your own schedule and pace – the ticket costs 50 CZK. You can also go on the “Construction – historical development of the castle” tour, for which the ticket costs CZK 220 (reduced CZK 70) or visit the castle interiors “Apartments of Prince Vasa”, where admission costs CZK 180 (reduced CZK 50).
History of the castle
The first mentions of the castle come from the beginning of the 11th century (about 1059). It appears in the context of Prince Konrad I of Brno. The first written mention of the building comes from 1213, when it was owned by Štěpán (probably the ancestor of the Lords of Pernštejn).
Veveří Castle passed through the hands of many owners – from Czech kings to aristocrats and magnates. Each of them introduced their own modifications, ensuring that the castle kept up with the changing architectural trends and adapted to the needs of the inhabitants and defence. The castle resisted the Swedish Deluge, just like nearby Brno. Later, it changed owners many times. Some people lived in the castle, others treated it only assumer residence. Among the interesting guests who visited the castle, it is worth noting Winston Churchill, who spent part of his honeymoon there.
The last noble owner of the castle was Mořic Arnold de Forest, who sued the state until 1925, but finally the castle became the property of the country. Even before World War II, it became a tourist attraction. Military operations interrupted this direction and destroyed a large part of the castle and its equipment, but immediately after their completion, the renovation of the castle began. Unfortunately, later the building began to function as the Forestry Academy, and then became the property of the Brno University of Technology – as you can easily guess, these were not times of tourist development of the castle and its historical values were not in the first place.
Veveří Castle has been protected as a cultural monument since 1964 and is now state property. It is the responsibility of the National Institute of Monuments, which has been carrying out a gradual reconstruction since 1999. Veveří Chateau was opened to the public again quite recently, in 2022.
Veveří Castle can be visited on several routes. The first one involves exploring the entire castle grounds on your own. The price includes an audio guide. You choose the route and pace of sightseeing yourself. I just took advantage of such an option and walked around the courtyards and towers of the castle. They offer very pleasant views.
You can also take advantage of the offered routes, including exhibitions such as “The Lion and the Eagle. Moravian Luxembourgers and their Castle” and “Construction – Historical Development of the Castle”. The first one is included in the price of the entrance ticket to the castle I wrote about a moment ago.
The construction route leads from the cellars to the castle towers. This route is a bit more difficult than the classic tour, because it requires frequent climbing of stairs and you can feel the temperature changes. You can also visit the castle interiors where the Vasa family lived in the first half of the 19th century.
The legend of the 12 knights
There is a legend that Veveří Castle is guarded by 12 knights who guard it and are ready to defend it. However, this story has a second bottom. There have been rumors for several hundred years that 12 silver statues of the apostles were hidden in the castle, coming from the spoils of war of Duke Bretislav I. So far, the statues have not been found, but the legend has enriched the tourist potential of the place.
Veveří Castle is located on Lake Brno. You can take it (by a ship that is part of Brno’s public transport) to the tram terminus, from where you are just a stone’s throw away from the city center. In Brno itself, it is worth taking a walk to see the Spilberk Castle, the Cathedral, a crocodile hanging in one of the gates and many other attractions. Be sure to visit these areas!
If that’s not enough for you, remember that Brno is the gateway to South Moravia. This land is the kingdom of wine and a lot of interesting places and delicious drinks await you there. One of the regions is Modre Hory (Blue Mountains), which I recommend to your attention!
Worth a visit?
Veveří Castle is a very pleasant place. The fantastic surroundings and the large-scale architectural assumption make it worth visiting. When planning your visit, reserve at least 2-3 hours to look into every nook and cranny of the castle. Most of the towers and walls are open to visitors and you can admire the panorama of the castle and the surrounding area from them, which makes a visit to this place even more interesting!
Zamek ten jest na trasie jednej z wycieczek z Worldee, którą możecie zrealizować.