Best time to visit Czech Republic

Houska Castle in Czech Republic

This medieval castle was believed to contain the gates to hell for trapped demons

Best time: April–October

Houska Castle
Houska Castle
Houska Castle

One of the best-preserved structures of its time, Houska Castle was built in early Gothic style, in the second half of the 13th century. Located just 47 kilometres (29 mi) north of Prague, it serves as a summer venue for various cultural events, craft fairs, and concerts. The castle has a gothic chapel, a green chamber with late-gothic murals, and knight's drawing room. The castle has been featured in many programs about mystic events, including Ghost Hunters International.

The tourist visiting season is April to October. From May to September the castle is open Tuesday to Sunday, while in April and October it can only be visited on weekends.

In 1924, during the times of the First Republic, the castle was bought by the President of Škoda, Josef Šimonek.

Folklore says that the castle's main purpose was to trap demons and, supposedly, the gate to hell is located under the chapel. Houska castle was initially built with no fortifications, no water, no kitchen, and no residents which; proved its unusual mission. People say cars won’t start near the castle and other paranormal things often happen here. When Nazis occupied the fortress during World War II, they supposedly held occult rituals and inhumane experiments there.

Practical info

What is the history behind the construction of Houska Castle?

Houska Castle was built during the second half of the 13th century in early Gothic style. Legend has it that the castle was built to trap demons and remains one of the best-preserved structures of its time. The castle was built without a fortification, a kitchen, or any residents as it was believed to be built above the gates of Hell. The Houska Castle is just 47 kilometres north of Prague and is a popular tourist destination. Show more

When is the best time to visit Houska Castle?

The Houska Castle is best to be visited from April to October, when tourist season is at its peak. During May to September, it is open from Tuesday to Sunday, while in April and October, it can only be visited on weekends. The visitors can participate and enjoy various cultural events, craft fairs and concerts organized within the castle, which attracts a lot of tourists during the summers. Show more

What happens in Houska Castle during summers?

Houska Castle hosts numerous cultural events, craft fairs and concerts, making it a popular entertaining venue during summer. Visitors can explore the castle, enjoy traditional food and drinks, buy souvenirs and also witness the intricate designs displayed on various items inside the castle. The whole castle premises are designed to engage and entertain its visitors during their stay, making it a popular tourist hot spot in Prague. Show more

Where is the gate to hell located inside Houska Castle?

According to legends, the chapel located in Houska Castle is believed to be built above the gate to Hell. The chapel has no altar or pulpit, and people believe the ground beneath it leads straight to Hell. The supernatural and mystical history of the castle make it a popular spectacle for curious tourists, ghost hunters, and paranormal enthusiasts, where they can enjoy its medieval architecture and a thrilling experience. Show more

Are there any paranormal activities reported around Houska Castle?

Houska Castle has been a subject of several ghost stories and paranormal events. Some witnesses have seen ghosts of Nazi soldiers, while others claim that cars won't start near the castle. The Nazis used to occupy the castle during World War II, where they conducted occult rituals and carried out inhumane experiments. Many TV shows have featured the castle on mystic events such as Ghost Hunters International, which attracts ghost hunters and paranormal enthusiasts from all over the world. Show more

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Last updated: by Eleonora Provozin