It’s not every day you get to sleep in an old castle. Let alone a haunted one. But Svojanov Castle, close to Polička in East Bohemia, has its own guest accommodation. You can sleep, explore and discover the ghosts…
Exploring Svojanov Castle
The castle has an idyllic setting, on a tall hill in the middle of a forest. It was built as a royal residence in the 13th century, although only the tower and the defensive walls remain from the medieval structure. New palace buildings were added in the 16th and 19th centuries, and the whole complex was renovated and reconstructed in 2013.
You can explore Svojanov Castle even if you are not staying there, with a choice of three different tours. The first explores the interior of the imperial palace, furnished in the 19th century style. Or you can visit the Gothic cellars, the Renaissance castle and the torture room. The final tour is of the gardens: Svojanov has the only traditional Gothic garden in Central Europe.
Accommodation in Svojanov Castle
Accommodation is on the first floor of the 19th century entrance building, originally used as staff quarters. The rooms are of various sizes, some accommodating up to four people. They have access to the inner courtyard and panoramic views over the surrounding countryside.
This is not luxury accommodation – most of the rooms share bathroom facilities – but who needs luxury when you can stay in a historic castle? The rooms are spacious and well furnished, with period furniture from the 19th and 20th centuries. And traditional Czech cuisine is served in the Castle Restaurant. It is probably fair to say that today’s visitors enjoy a much greater degree of comfort than the previous inhabitants!
The Ghosts of Svojanov Castle
Of course, such an old castle is bound to have a few ghosts. My favourite story concerns the painting of an old woman with her eyes shut. Until about ten years ago her eyes were open, but one day they closed as if she had just fallen asleep. There are several theories as to why this happened, but I am reliably informed that the painting has not been tampered with…
Then there is Lady Catherine, who was bricked up in a wall, and the child who died when a large stone fell on her. Svojanov Castle has lots of legends, but if you want to know more you’ll have to go and find out for yourself.
As for me, I slept well and didn’t see any ghosts.