Státní hrad Zvíkov, 398 18 Záhoří
Tel. +420 382 285 676

   The hill towering over the joining of the Vltava and Otava rivers had been considered a suitable place for new settlements since the prehistoric times. It was there that a castle was founded by King Wenceslas I in 1234. The building and development of the castle is connected with the name of the son of Wenceslas I, Přemysl Otakar II. It was he who added a four-wing huge palace with an irregular layout, unusual for that time. On the ground and first floors, the wings are connected by arcade passages with circular windows facing the courtyard. Towards the end of the 13th century, construction work woes begun on ramparts with gates and bastions of the chief administrative buildings, and a tower called Hláska which was made higher in 1554.

   The 17th century marked the end of Zvíkov's prominent era. Although the castle was repaired, and in 1648 was ready to face the attacks of the Swedes, it began to dilapidate in subsequent years in the hands of the Eggenbergs and the Schwarzenbergs. Only in the first half of the 19th century were the roof of the chapel and the castle towers repaired. Between 1881 and 1885 more extensive restoration works were done, thanks to the owner, Karel Schwarzenberg, from the Orlík family branch. To mention just one change, the Early Gothic arcade in the courtyard was renewed under his care.