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Krivoklat (Czech Republic)

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Krivoklat (pronounced Kzhee-vo-klat) was once owned by Czech kings (what wasn't in this region?), but lost its prominence after being turned into a "harsh" prison castle. Leaving Prague, it's on the way to Karlovy Vary, about 45 minutes into the trip. We like to take American visitors here, as (along with Karlstejn) it's one of the best "fairy tale castles" in the area, built on a mountaintop and overlooking the valley.
Links: Krivoklat official site History of Krivoklat
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Devin (Bratislava, Sovakia)

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Devin (pronounced "Deh-veen") sits atop a rock formation where the Danube and Morava rivers converge. The castle remained relatively intact until Napoleon's army blew it up in 1809 (the reasons for which are unclear). Devin is about a 5 minute drive from Bratislava, Slovakia.

Links:
Wikipedia History
Info with Aerial Satellite view

Okor (Czech Republic)

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Okor (pronounced "Oh-kozh") is about 30 minutes from Prague by car. I found it particularly remarkable that it was built not on a high, defensive area - like most castles - but on a small hill that barely rises from a small valley surrounded by farmland.

This from a Czech Castles blog:
"The Okor village is first mentioned in 1228 as a property of St George Monastery in Prague Castle (klášter sv. Jiří na Pražském hradě). A Gothic castle was built here in 1359 by a wealthy burgher of Prague's Old Town Frantisek Rokycansky, what was quite unusual in those times, when most castles were built by noblemen."

Links:
Short Video Tour (from Prague.tv)
Hotel Okor
Okor Open-Air Music Festival

More Spissky Hrad (Eastern Slovakia)

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View my other Spissky Hrad photos here.

Spissky Hrad (Eastern Slovakia)

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Spissky Hrad (pronounced "Speesh-skee"), according to historians, dates in various forms back to the Neolithic Period. Located between Poprad and Presov, it offers a 360 degree panorama of the surrounding valleys and distant mountains. These photos were taken on a dismal day in September, 2007, while returning from visits to Michalovce, Kosice, and the Andy Warhol Museum in Medzilaborce (near the Poland border).

Links:
Spissky Hrad Official Site
UNESCO historical evaluation