About Žebrák Castle
Possibly the oldest aristocratic castle with two circular towers. After the reconstruction organized by Wenceslas IV (1361–1419) it became one of the most beautiful residences in the country. Today, Žebrák is the older and lower castle of the Czech largest castle system.
The older of the two local castles is standing on the end of the rocky ridge above Stroupinský Creek. It’s a ruin of the original aristocratic castle owned by the house of Zajíc of Valdek. It was built in the second half of the 13th century, as a guarding castle on the crossroad of the thoroughfares to Křivoklát and Zbiroh.
Soon after the castle had been bought by the Bohemian King John of Luxembourg, it became a home for John Henry, the younger brother of Charles IV, who lived on the castle for seven years out of the public sight. He was unjustly rejected by his wife Margaret of Tyrol. Charles IV lost all affection for the castle because his firstborn son Wenceslas died there in 1351. The glory of Žebrák was restored by Wenceslas IV, who did the major reconstruction. After the fire in 1526, the Royal Chamber lost interest in the castle, and gave it to pledge holders. Their struggle to find a hidden treasure damaged the structure so much that the walls of the old palace collapsed, and the castle became a ruin. The local activities moved to the village, towards the brewery. Until the flood in 1872, the castle was surrounded by ponds; until 1926, it was a home for the local Kundrát family. Currently it’s used as a lookout tower.