Hrad Kost


Unique exhibits

Kost Castle survived times of glory and decline. Some times its palaces served as a granary and the building deteriorated. As all czech landmarks, Kost was transfered to the state ownership during the communist rule. From the original equipment of the castle nearly nothing survived. But it certainly can not be recognised on the today´s castle that is full of interesting exhibits, that have been put together by a local restorer. Something is nice on its own, some exhibits become interesting after a guide´s commentary.

From the courtyard to the torture chamber

Interesting exhibits can be seen during the whole sightseeing. When you enter the courtyard you will be astonished by the huge wooden construction. It is a functionable copy of a catapult that had been used in the medieval times for conquering castles. Functionable is also a copy of a guillotine, shown in the torture chamber. It had been used even in times of First Czechoslovak republic and during the protectorate. Today the original is saved in Pankrác prison in Prague. Kost guillotine never killed anybody, but it was used in film – in 2005 american filmers used it in their film Hannibal.

Strange window and strange Madonna

Vartemberg palace is named after the first owners of the castle. In 14th century more than a comfort a safety was preferred. The safety was ensured by thick walls, strong fortification and small windows. Bigger holes for enlightening the chambers were used later. But the medieval builders weren´t stupid at all. The dominant round window in Vartemberg palace is double – funnel shaped. Alhough the hole in the wall was small, much light entered the room. The soft sunrays enlightened also three hundred years old statue of Madonna. Oto Sandler has made her from karalian marble in absolutely different way than it was usual. Madonna was usually depicted with small Jesus in her arms, but the Kost Madonna holds him on a kind of ball.

A picture that is shot-through

A picture, exhibited in Vartemberg palace, is very mysterios. Todays owners – Kinský brothers, have left it being shown. The strange effigy that is shot through is owned by their family for many years. However, nobody remembers who the portrait depicts and why it is shot through. It is said that a wife of one of the owners is depicted on it. She was very beautiful and misused her beaty very often. Her husband tolerated her lovers for a while. Who knows what happened precisely. One day he rushed to his wife´s chamber, aimed his gun on her and said that it was enough. But when he was pressing the trigger, he moved the gun towards the effigy of his beloved and shot. She lost her voice in horror. But if she had lost her tastes, a chronicler does not say.

The best swordsman in the world.

There is another painting in Vartemberg palace that is worth your attention. It depicts the most famous member of Kinský family – Stephen. A story from his life that is told by your guides is in comparison with the first picture true and proven by historic sources. When Ludwig XV came to power in France, many noblemen went to wish him the best. Habsburg family was represented by Stephen Kinský who went to Paris. Mr. Kinský was well-known swordsman and that´s why one marquis, who loved swordsmen fights, took note of him and they became friends. Once the marquis invited Stephen to his castle. Then he showed him twenty dead men in his basement, linked in a row and said, that they had been the best swordsmen he had ever known. And after this the marquis challenged Stephen for a fight. The era was different and a knight´s honour did not let Stephen to not accept the proposition. But before picking the sword ask the marquis to let him make a small bodywarming. As he was waving his hands and training his foots, he noticed that every man died the same way – was hit to his head. When the marquise did his famous maneuvre, Stephen covered himself succesfully and shortly afterwards the marquise was added to the line of dead bodies. Stephen returned to Paris but did not boast with his victory. After his return to Bohemia people discovered how the marquis died. Habsburg emperor then praised Stephen Kinský for his bravery and modesty and Stephen was made a prince.