Unravel centuries of royal history amid the dungeons, ramparts and museum of Špilberk Castle. This striking landmark has operated as a seat for the Moravian margraves, a fortress and a Habsburg-era prison. Špilberk Castle dates back to the mid-1200s, when it was established by King Přemysl Otakar II. It looms over Brno’s Old Town from a hilltop surrounded by tree-lined gardens.
Check out the castle’s casemates, where weapons were stored and used to fend off attacks. Members of the House of Habsburg added the fortified chambers to the castle’s medieval structure during the 18th century. Glimpse inside the underground dungeons and imagine a time when the Habsburgs kept prisoners in squalid conditions. Notable inmates include Austrian soldier Baron Franz von der Trenck, Italian poet Silvio Pellico and notorious Czech outlaw Václav Babinský.
Join a guided tour of the bastion to learn about the talented architects that helped shape the magnificent structure. Afterward, climb to the top of the lookout tower, which provides uninterrupted views of Brno’s city center and surrounding countryside.
Within the castle is the Brno City Museum, home to permanent exhibits that retrace Brno’s cultural heritage. See major architectural changes during Špilberk Castle’s 700-year history at the From Castle to Fortress exhibit. Discover more about the castle’s time as an infamous prison at the Prison of the Nations display. See a timeline of Brno’s major historical events plus displays of Baroque sculptures, period furniture and Renaissance-era paintings.
Take time to wander around the castle garden, crisscrossed by paved walkways. It’s a great place to escape the city center and enjoy a moment of people-watching.
The castle is just a 15-minute walk from Náměstí Svobody and the heart of Brno’s Old Town. Public buses will bring you here from various city center locations.
The opening times of the different attractions vary, so check the Špilberk Castle website before visiting. Admission fees apply for the bastion, casemates, lookout tower and museum exhibits. Save money by purchasing a single ticket that grants access to all areas.