» The history of Krupka Castle

The history of Krupka CastleThe castle was probably founded by John of Bohemia sometime around the year 1320 when the king wanted to boost fortifications in the border region with Saxony. King John donated the castle, together with the town of Krupka, the tin mines and Trmice in a charter dated 10 December 1330 in Innsbruck to the Meissen noble Thimoteus (Těma) of Kolditz. Thimoteus subsequently purchased the Kirchlice fort and in 1335 made a contract with the Lords of Bergau to adjust the border between the Krupka and Geisberg (Supí hora) estates. Thimoteus was an important figure in King John’s court, accompanying him with other noblemen in his tours of Europe. The Kolditz family held Krupka, with an eight-year pause, until 1504, a total of 166 years.

The castle was founded on a high rocky promontory accessed from the north. A channel was cut at the section where the promontory was lowest to reduce the level further. Above this, the original castle was built with a roughly rectangular north-south facing layout, approximately 20 x 55 m in size. Its dominating square tower (palace) was both residential and defensive in nature, stood in the north-western corner of the castle walls and likely comprised three storeys (its form has not been preserved). Of the rectangular tower in the eastern castle walls, which guarded the path through the town below, only the ground floor with its Gothic pointed entrance remains.

Krupka Castle – 2nd gateAt the end of the 15th century, grand fortifications were built which significantly extended the construction (the building now about 140 m long). An entrance alley from the western wall and along the building was probably constructed for castle workers, and two semicircle bastions were also built.
In 1695, a house was built onto the first of these in 1695 for the noble upper authority (official house). Although in the 17th century the castle itself no longer fulfilled its defensive and residential roles and its remains fell into disrepair, life on the promontory continued. The Krupka estate’s authorities and upper administration were based in the official house.

J W Goethe memorial at Krupka Castle

The Romantic era of the 19th century rediscovered the derelict castle, with the whole area and surroundings being repaired and opened to the public, and the official house turned into a restaurant. It was visitors to the Teplice spas in particular who used the site for trips and relaxation, and they admired the roses in the manor gardens. More than 100 varieties grew there, and this is why the castle began to be known as the Rose Castle (Růžový hrad – Rosenburg). A constant problem, however, was the crumbling castle walls and how to secure them.

Major figures to have visited the castle

J W Goethe visited the castle a number of times during his stays at Teplice spas. Goethe even sketched Krupka and also recorded that the tower collapse (1807) had occurred because for a long time it had been used as a source of stones and paving. In memory of his stay, a memorial was erected near the southern round tower. Another famous visitor was Empress Marie Louise (1812).

Later, a walking path, terrace, pavilion, new stable, water house and shed were constructed.

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