the period of the next burggrave, Vilem
Slavata of Kosumberk, several building works were completed,
the paintings on the staircase of the Great Tower were repaired and
new Renaissance cabinets were provided for the archives.
little has been preserved to the present of Avostalis's reconstruction.
During the Thirty Years' War the castle lost its original purpose -
it ceased to serve as the place of safe-keeping of the coronation jewels
and the Czech archives. In 1648 it was conquered by the Swedes and gradually
began to fall into a state of disrepair. Only the burggrave's residence
continued to fulfil its mission as the administrative centre, the other
buildings being used for farming purposes.
the late 18th century, when romantic artists turned their attention
to Karlstejn, voices were raised in favour of saving this historic monument.
The first basic repairs were carried out after the visit of the Emperor
Franz I in 1812 and in 1886 the complete restoration of the castle
was started. The building works were supervised by Josef
Mocker, first under Professor
Fridrich Schmidt of Vienna and after his death in 1891 wholly
by Josef Mocker himself until he died in 1899. This was in conformity
with a decision taken by the restoration committee whose members included,
among others, J. Hlavka and V.V.
Tomek. According to the given aim the castle was to be restored
to its original medieval form.
the result of the restoration gave rise to a number of problems. Some
parts of the castle regained their original appearance, bur others were
demolished and replaced with new ones. The reconstruction of the castle
was realized in the spirit of purism with an endeavour to renew the
original Gothic castle and rid it of later, even if valuable reconstruction
results and modifications. In the given period the outline of the castle
was changed thanks to the building of new roofs, this being particularly
marked in the case of the Great Tower. The Imperial Palace, of which
only the central part remained, was rid of its Renaissance elements.
Most of the windows and doors were renewed in copies and the floor tiles
were changed. It was the burggrave's residence that was most strongly
affected. Only the southern part of the large building remained as the
result of the demolition of the northern and western tracts round the
first courtyard. The two gates of access were rebuilt. The fact that
the castle had a romantic appearance before its puristic reconstruction
is documented by a whole number of preserved vistas, views of the castle
from the 18th and 19th centuries which portray the Renaissance phase
of the building with its numerous details.
1901 Karlstejn Castle was visited by the Emperor
Franz Josef I, who inspected the renovated interiors very thoroughly
in the company of a number of important personalities, including the
Supreme Provincial Marshal Prince Jiri
of Lobkovicz. The emperor was particularly interested in the
decoration of the interiors and rooms once occupied by the Emperor Charles
IV. Franz Josef promised that several paintings by Master
Theodoric from the Chapel of the Holy Rood, taken away in 1780
to Vienna for detailed examination, would be returned to the castle
- and he kept his promise.
at the beginning of the present century the first voices criticizing
the puristic reconstruction of the castle made themselves heard. Numerous
discussions are still waged on this theme. However, with the passing
of time the negative attitudes towards the results of the restoration
of Karlstejn Castle changed. They were a manifestation of their time
and must be judged accordingly. In spite of a number of negative aspects
the restoration of the outstanding historic monument preserved its interesting
interiors and inimitable atmosphere which still present visitors with
a view of the original wall paintings of the time of Charles IV. Through
its majestic appearance it documents explicitly the importance which
its founder, the Czech king and emperor Charles IV, attached to it.