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Zvíkov Castle (Czech: Hrad Zvíkov, German: Klingenberg) is a castle located some 15 km north of Písek, in the South Bohemian Region of the Czech Republic, next to the village Zvíkovské Podhradí. It is one of the most important early-Gothic castles in Czech lands.

Zvíkov is placed on a hard to access and steep promontory above the confluence of rivers Vltava and Otava. The area was inhabited during prehistoric times. Celts built a fort here around the time of Jesus' life. The current castle was founded during the reign of Ottokar I of Bohemia (d. 1230) but the exact date is not known. The first written mention of the castle comes from year 1234. The castle was owned by the Kings of Bohemia.

The oldest part of Zvíkov is a massive rectangular tower named Hlízová. Palace buildings have been built on its sides. During the reign of Ottokar II of Bohemia (1253– d. 1278), a palace named Královský (King's Own) was built and this ground plan has been preserved until today. The new palace was built in lavish style and its parts were connected by monumental arcade. Chapel of St. Wenceslaus belongs to masterpieces of early-gothic Czech architecture. The fortification was extended with Hláska, large 32 meters high tower (bergfrit) on the south side. The castle has two gates (majority of contemporary castles used only one).

Today, Zvíkov (opened from Spring to Autumn) is hiking attraction and serves as a place of art exhibitions and stage plays.
(www.wikipedia.org)

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