Places in Czech Republic

Kozel castle – Part 1

The official website of the castle Kozel states that this castle is the most visited castle in western Bohemia. On the one hand I wonder whether this statement might be biased but on the other hand I find it easily believable. I love the castle with its beautiful garden and park and I like to come back from time to time. But I don’t remember being there in autumn… this might have been for the first time… and I was enchanted.

The castle season ends on 31st October in the Czech Republic, and we came there on Saturday, the 30th. It was a nice afternoon. Quite cold but accompanied by clear sky and only a few visitors, simply wonderful conditions for taking pictures. We explored the park throughout and found many new parts we had never visited.

Kozel used to be a hunting castle and the building itself looks quite simple. The architect of the castle was supposedly influenced by the French philosopher Jean Jacques Rousseau who propagated return to nature.

“Kozel” means “goat” in Czech, and it seems a peculiar name for a castle. According to a legend, this name stems from an old pagan Slavic habit. Ancient Slavs would sacrifice a goat in the time of equinox in this location to reconcile gods with them and to hope for good harvest.

There is also a chapel, riding-school, stable and building for servants in the premises. My friend got married in the chapel, weddings are quite popular there. I wish we visited also the interior, but our children were not keen on that idea, and we didn’t want to force it upon them. Next time, maybe…

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