Hrad Kost


Castle´s palaces

One does not have to walk through castle´s palaces, to recognise the greatness of Kost. It is enough just to observe its monstrous silhouette from the distance, or to walk through the courtyard or just list through historic books.

Hollow walls

When you go to the castle, you will be charmed by several things. For example by the trapezoid shaped tower, which all four edges are visible from one place on the courtyard. Another interesting fact is, that Kost doesn´t stand on a high rock but was built hidden in the walley. Attention should be paid to its „hollow walls“. For what reason is there a small hole in every castle stone? The answer lies in the times of Karl IV, when builders tried to construct unconquerable castles. Small stones were replaced by huge ones, of weight greater than 400 kilograms. The defenceability of the castle was thus increased, but the builders did not have their work easier either. Just to place the stones on place where builders needed them to stand, the so-called „rumpál“ had to be used. Stones had to be drilled in place of their centre of gravity and were risen to the certain height by a special pincers, called „krepny“. (By the way, some are shown in Kost) This process was usual in building of every gothic castle, but at many of them they turned the stones in that way that the holes were not visible. But that was not necessary in Kost, because the walls had to be painted by a cover paint. But that paint vanished and now we can see the walls with their small holes.

Sad „palace“

You can not get to the saddest chamber in the castle. Former dungeon was walled up in 30years war and serves as forever lasting bedroom of dead soldiers. In times when Swedes besieged Kost, a black death erupted there and many soldiers died not by hands of the enemy, but thanks to the disease. Who knows where their souls went – but the problem was, what to do with bodies. Burring them to the sandstone rock was impossible and carrying them outside the walls meant showing the weakness to the enemy – which meant „suicide“. The only possibility was to put dead soldiers to the dungeon and wall them up. It will be four hundred years they are sleeping in the basement. The fact, that Swedes broke their siege and did not conquer the castle ensures that their sleep is restful.

Lobkovic and Bibrštejn palace

First two palaces that you will see shortly after your arrival to the castle served as an administratory buildings. Formerly the governance of the castle was located in Bibrštejn palace. Later on officials moved to the lower placed Lobkovic palace. Today you will find an office and an apartment of Kost castellan. Bibrštejn palace is distinguished for its sgraphitto wall paiting. You as a tourist will be mostly charmed by the black kitchen situated in its groundfloor.

Vartemberg palace

When one says „a palace“, a majestic chamber full of expensive paitings, nicely decorated furniture and soft carpets is imagined. In Vartemberg palace one will find all that is imagined under the term „a palace“. But – in the second floor. Vartemberg palace was in 1690, when some its walls collapsed, used as a granary. For good storage of grain decorations were not needed. Things that are seen there today are made by skilled Kost restorer. In the lower floor of the palace there is original only the wooden ceiling. The wood remained „healthy“ thanks to traditional and functionable impregnation – cow´s blood. It was filled with it in 1982 for the last time. From the exposition of arms the tower rifles are the most interesting. Those 5 metres long rifles were used from the castle walls. But the effect of the shot was so strong that it was able to throw the shooting soldier from the walls down. To avoid it, those rifles were equipped with a hook, which fixed the rifle to the wall. Except arms, huge coffers for soldier´s salaries are shown off. They are so heavy by their own, that stealing all the money at one was practically impossible.

Five in one

Upper floor of the Vartemberg palace is simply a spacy chamber, that served as a living room, dining room, bedroom, bathroom and toilet. Owners of the castle lived here, which can be seen on the way the chamber is modified. They had higher tables than we have today. When they were eating, their feet were not even touching the ground. It was because they wanted to look on their servants from above even when they were eating.  During the regale aristocrats did not hesitate to use their clothes or hair instead of non-existing serviettes. There are many interesting exhibits in the chamber. For example baroque Madonna from 18th century. Usually Madonna is depicted with small Jesus in her arms, that one only holds him on a kind of a ball. A picture of small Filip Kinský would not impress the visitor for the first sight. It would be thought that it is a picture of a small girl. Filip is depicted in girl´s clothes, because he dressed in that way. However, it is not true to think he was queer. Aristocracy dressed their sons usually in girl´s clothes, because this was the easiest way of avoiding kidnappings. Boys as a future leaders of the ruling family were demanded amongst kidnappers, but girls were not. If we see it from the material point of view, girls were more of negative value for the family. A tocher had to be paid for them when they married.

Šelemberg palace

A time flew by and the style of living changed. Aristocracy wanted luxury more than inaccessibility, so the old fortified castles were rebuilt to representative palaces. In fact a sublime chamber was built in Kost. Spaces of Šelemberg palace are one of the most sublime in the whole castle. In comparison with Vartemberg palace, that had only small windows, there were nice big windows from the beginning, which allowed the daily light to shine on the expensive furniture and decorations. Today, a pair of huge wardrobes are in the centre of attention. The baroque wardrobe is older, but it does not have so archaic decoration.