Kafka’s castle? Frýdlant, Czech Republic

Frydlant Castle, Czech RepublicIf you’re in northern Czech Republic, just beyond Liberec and close to the Polish border, you’ll want to see the dramatic Frýdlant Castle in  the little town of Frýdlant that is dominated by its hilltop castle.

This is said to have been the castle that inspired Franz Kafka’s famous novel The Castle.

Following the Battle of White Mountain in 1620, this property became the property of the powerful Albrecht Wallenstein, who assumed the title of the Duke of Frýdlant. The Wallenstein (Valdštejn in Czech) family would later fall into disgrace over charges of treason, and Wallenstein himself would be assassinated, supposedly with the approval of the Emperor.

Frydlant, Czech RepublicThe Swedes occupied the castle at the end of the Thirty Years’ War, and strengthened its defensive walls.

The castle was open to public visits as early as 1801, and is still open today.

Unfortunately, we arrived just as the castle was closing to the public.

Frydlant Castle, Czech RepublicThe caretakers were kind enough to show us the courtyard, explain a little of the history to us, and allow our children to gawk as they closed the drawbridge.

We’ll return another time, since we’re curious to see the castle and the interesting exhibition on the Thirty Years’ War it houses. If it could inspire Kafka, after all…

Enjoy your visit to Frýdlant Castle when you’re in the northern reaches of the Czech Republic.
Frydlant Castle, Czech RepublicFrydlant Castle, Czech Republic


  1. ledrakenoir on February 9, 2016 at 7:48 am

    In many ways Czech Republic and immediate neighborhood have been the focal point for much of european history… 🙂

    • kimberlysullivan on February 9, 2016 at 9:14 pm

      Too true. I suppose one could judge by how many times a country’s map has been redrawn throughout history. Then again, surrounded by Germany, the Habsburg Empire and Russia, a small country was destined to have an ‘exciting’ history.

  2. evelyneholingue on February 9, 2016 at 2:27 pm

    Lucky you! The Castle is one of my favorite books of all times. So cool to be where a writer drew his inspiration from.

    • kimberlysullivan on February 9, 2016 at 9:15 pm

      Ooh, glad to hear you like Kafka, too. It sounds like you’ll have to make a trip to this castle. : )

      • evelyneholingue on February 10, 2016 at 2:15 am

        I love his work. I heard of a recent French picture book about him, although not so direct. I must find it.

  3. […] more Czech castle tips, see my earlier post on visiting the Frydlant Castle – the one said to have inspired the author Franz Kafka for his novel The […]

  4. […] For other castle visit ideas in the Czech Republic, see my earlier posts on Rožmberk nad Vltavou  and Frýdlant Castle. […]

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