Ctěnice Castle Prague
Ctěnice Castle Prague is one of the hidden gems of the Czech capital, a chateau surrounded by fields and farms far from the more famous Prague Castle and Vysehrad in the city centre.
Our curiosity piqued, my son and I set out on a sunny summer afternoon adventure in the far-flung north-east of Prague, out beyond the last Metro station, in the flat fields where the Bohemian countryside begins. This is what we found.
Ctěnice Castle Prague – An Introduction
Its name is pronounced ‘ts-TYEN-ee-tseh’
Ctěnice Castle was first mentioned in documents in the late 13th century, and much of its appearance comes from is remodelling in the 16th century
The fine Baroque clock tower was added in the 18th century, as were some of the surrounding farm buildings
It’s a great place to bring the kids, with a restaurant, café and playground in the beautiful grounds
Ctěnice Castle is also home to a branch of the Prague City Museum, and hosts permanent and temporary exhibitions
What To See At Ctěnice Castle
The castle building is well worth seeing, with much of it dating from the Renaissance period. Make sure you have a walk around the Gardens and orchard, whose trees were bursting with fruit when we recently visited. There’s also a small playground with trees, an ideal place to stop for an ice cream with the kids.
The Castle hosts three exhibitions, the first of which tells the story of its restoration after the fall of the communist regime in 1989.
The permanent exhibition on the first floor is dedicated to the many guilds in the City of Prague, with centuries-old guild flags and what can only be described as their treasure chests. This was also the best-preserved part of the Castle, with some fine restored murals. Our son loved this glimpse into the city’s history, and the puzzles and brass rubbing that awaited him at the end.
He also enjoyed the temporary exhibition on the Czech animated characters Pat & Mat, who hail from the late communist era. We hadn’t encountered them before, but enjoyed the clips of them (imagine Laurel and Hardy but both the size of Stan, both making a complete hash of whatever they do). There was also an informative section on animation techniques which the little fellow loved.
How To Get To Ctěnice Castle Prague
It’s a longer journey to Ctěnice than most Prague attractions, but still one you can easily accomplish. Firstly, take the red Metro line to the end station at Letňany. Then head ‘upstairs’ to the adjacent bus station, and catch the 159 or 182 bus, alighting at Ctěnicky zamek, which is a request stop.
The buses tend to run roughly once an hour each way during the day, but there were more frequent services when we left, around 4.30-5 pm.
When Is Ctěnice Castle Open?
It is open Thursdays to Sundays throughout the year, from 1000 to 1800, with the exception of Thursdays and Fridays between November and March, when it closes at 1600. The Gardens are open all year, remaining open April to October until 2000
Is Ctěnice Castle Worth The Visit?
Definitely, we were delighted that we made the journey there. It’s the sort of place to seek out if you’ve visited Prague several times and are looking to discover something new, or indeed if you live in Prague or nearby.
It’s also a wonderful spot to stop by for a glass of wine or two, or a glass of the local beer. Food and drink are served outdoors in summer, with a fine view across the garden to the clock tower.