Hrad Kost

HISTORICKÁ PAMÁTKA

Sightseeing paths

1st Sightseeing path: Kinský family in Bohemia

A sightseeing takes about 50 minutes. Normal entrance fee is 90 Kč, discounted (for children, seniors and disabled persons) 60 Kč. You will get to know something about a history of the castle, you will see a courtyard, a chapell, castle palaces and black kitchen.

Palaces of administrators

Kost castle is entered by a mysterious entrance. The first building, that is seen on your left hand, is Lobkovitz palace. Its interiors served as offices and apartments of castle administration. Originally the building was higher on the path from the first gate. But former owner, Jan baron from Bibrštejn (who loved modern rennaisance) did not like the way it looked. He demolished the rounded tower, enlarged the building and left the walls be painted in a sgraffito style. Palace is then named after him – Bibrštejn palace.

Black kitchen

Why the old castle kitchens were named „black“ is very well visible on the parto of the original wall. The black colour this cooking place acquired shortly after it was established – thanks to the smoke. Meals had been prepared on stoves that had been fueled from the above and the ashes were taken away from the below. Original dishes then stood on a small rests – to avoid the open fire to be choked up.  The black kitchen in Kost was established sometimes in 17th Century and then it was modernised. But do not expect some microwave ovens – for us it is still historic and interesting. Nowadays, we are not able to imagine a kitchen without a sink and a drain. But in the past, a cookie got rid of everything that made kitchen dirty (for example dirty water, bits of unused meal or ashes) by a historic sink (not as today´s one) that lead directly under the castle.

Before the castle´s gate

It is worth stopping before the gate on the courtyard. You will have a nice view, but what is more, you will see a coat of arms of Kinský family. You will see a roof of the former brewery and shining surfaces of two lakes: Black and White. The first one was named thanks the dark peat on its bottom. The second one would get bright always after strong rains, thanks to the clay. A symbol of Kinský family is three boar´s fangs in Juneé field. It is told that some old member of the family saved a king from being killed by an angry boar and let the fangs being painted on the coat of arms of Kinský family. It is said, that the fact, that there are exactly three fangs has nothing to do with the Kinský motto „God, honour and homeland.“

An unconquerable chamber

If you look towards the dominant tower from the right angle, you will see all its four edges. It is thanks to its trapezoid shape, that had been chosen in the way, that the edges were turned in the direction of the greatest threat for the tower. The thickness of the wall is on that places the greatest. So if the cannonball hit this place, it would slip to the side and cause no harm. The tower is named as a „White tower“. It is because it was built from sandstone, that shines nicely in sunny days to the distance.  The white tower has five stories, but only the last one is suitable for living. In the times of siege the first story was entered from the Vartenberg palace. An aristocrat with his family ran over the wooden bridge, burned it then and hid to the fifth story of the tower. The rest served as a container of water and grain for the castle crew. Supplies were enough for one year. In the chamber on the top of the tower an aristocratic family did not have to worry about anything.

Castle´s palaces

Chambers of Vartemberg and Šelemberg palace dominate the first sightseeing path. As the time flew they were changed to serve several purposes. For a certain period of time the chambers were used as granaries. Nowadays the interior of chambers is designed in that way, that it is pleasurable to see and it depicts the history of castle and Kinský family – today´s owners. As men will probably appreciate show-cases full of rifles arranged chronologically (as the style of charging them evolved), women will probably like nice historic clothes on slim figurines. If you want to know more, choose one of these hyperlinks:

Castle´s palaces – more detailed description of palace sightseeings, namely Vartemberg and Šelemberg palace.

Unique exhibits – the most interesting items of the castle were chosen and can be seen namely in castle´s palaces

2nd Sightseeing path: Medieval torture chamber

A sightseeing takes about 50 minutes. Normal entrance fee is 90 Kč, discounted (for children, seniors and disabled persons) 60 Kč. You will get to know something about a history of the castle, you will see a courtyard, a chapell and basements of Vartemberg palace in which a medieval torture chamber is situated.

Hanging rights

Till times Maria Theresa came to power the medieval torture was called „a law“. But there are some clues that it was not the law as we know it today... for example the cages for witches that hung above the staircase leading to the upper part of Vartemberg palace basement. So-called witch (in other words ordinary woman who did not suit the medieval conventions) was locked into the cage and dropped into the water for 5 minutes. If she died, she was pronounced innocent and burried with all the Christian honour. If she survived, it was taken as a proof of witchcraft. The poor woman was then burnt at stake.

The medieval torture chamber

Basement of Kost, in which a torture chamber is located today, served as a sotrage for good wine. This is the only nice information you will come across with during your sightseeing of this place. Local torture chamber is equipped with archeologic foundations from Veliš u Jičína castle, with historic paintings capturing process of Inquisition and with the only functionable guillotine in Czech republic. So beware! Smiling and nice guides are in fact very nasty and nothing would do them bigger favour than using the spanish boot or other torture equippment on you. :) For more info click here:

Medieval torture chamber on Kost – more info about sad, but favourite sightseeing.

An Inn in the castle

Cleverness of castle lords should be a good inspiration for today´s economists as well. As every other fort, Kost needed a crew, that had been paid for its work. However, to earn the money back, local aristocrats built an inn here, where people spent all their earned money for food and drinks. An inn operated even in 17th Century. Today, several historic stuff is shown there (guns, pictures etc) from the private collections of Kinský family and from museums in Prague and Mladá Boleslav. Controversial feelings are raised when a picture depicting the so-called „canvas-hunt“ is seen. Animals were forced into a yard bounded by a canvas and men on horses shot on them. And for better view of young ladies there was a leveled stage placed in the middle of the circle. Some more sensitive ladies will probably protest, but if we think about it deeply, nowadays bullfights in Spain are not more peaceful than this canvas hunt.

In the tower…

The second sightseeing path will lead you to the lowest story of the White tower. The most interesting thing in the room is a passageway, that looks like a corridor. In fact, you are just passing the hole in the three metres thick wall. At the turn of 16th and 17th centuries the room had been used as a warehouse and later on as a granary. Today it is, similarly as a local inn, equipped with showcases full of historic arms and clothes. The child clothes from 18th century is very interesting – it was made for Karl Schwarzenberg senior, in that times a small boy – it was made over from adult´s clothes. A young aristocrat wore it on a ball.

3rd sightseeing path: Shortened sightseeing

Sightseeing takes for 30 minutes. The entrance fee is 50 Kč. You will get to know something about the history of the castle, you will see the courtyard and lower story of Vartemberg palace. The shortened sightseeingis available only in the summer months!