HARTENBERG | Hartenberg

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Hartenberg the castle is located in the idyllic and lovely valley of the river Svatava, seven kilometers away from its confluence into the river Ohře, the largest river of the foothills of the Ore Mountains. The beautiful landscape contrasts with the name of the castle: Hartenberg means "hard rock" in German – those who visit the castle and familiarise themselves with its history will understand the reasons for the name.

In the past, the castle was besieged, captured, and plundered several times and its foundations were often shaken by local earthquake clusters. The castle burst into flames many times, with the last three fires in the years 1985–1991 gradually destroying the palace, court, and finally the tower. The castle has not recovered from that shock yet.

The extent of the damage was enormous; the north part of the palace collapsed to its foundations, the tower fell into unstable ruins, all wooden constructions were devastated, and the courtyard buildings almost disappeared.


Nevertheless, the restoration of the castle is a very urgent task, because the castle represents one of the oldest castle ruins in Bohemia. The castle has a long and rich history, and plays a crucial role in the understanding of not only the superregional but also the complex international relationships of that time.

The international significance of the castle survives to this day. Several international volunteering projects are held each year since 2000 in collaboration with INEX-SDA. These projects have been a big success, not only at a national level but also internationally. Hundreds of people from over 55 different countries, including Australia, Mexico, Brazil, Japan, Malaysia, the United States and Canada, volunteered to help with the restoration of the castle, which has become a popular and well-liked base for student volunteering projects in Europe.

Besides these events, the castle continues to live its regional life with an extensive calendar of events, the most popular being: "Hartenberg Scare", and "St Nicholas Ride". The atmosphere and collaborative spirit of these events attract thousands of people each year. Have a look at the castle, enjoy the spacious interior, and host your own event here or one for your children. The gates of this provincial "kingdom" remain open to all who would wish to roam around a magical region steeped in rich history, and full of the beauty of its landscape. Start following in the footsteps of J. W. Goethe or Count Koplova. Come and try to breathe in the atmosphere of this ancient shady nook full of history.