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Hrad Landštejn

Staré Město pod Landštejnem

Watchful eyes from the Landstein and Landštejn castles at the border

In the early 9th century, trade routes crisscrossed the forested lands. One of them connected the future castles Landstein and Landštejn. This route formed the border between Bohemia and Austria, at the behest of the emperor Friederich-Barbarossa in 1179. With that, the need to secure the territories became more urgent. The lords of Zöbing erected the fortress Landstein at the site of the future settlement Markl/Pomezí.


The Bohemian side countered by building a fortress with the same name – castle Landštejn. The watchful eyes of the castle lords followed every move at the border. But tensions eased thanks to a change of ownership: with the end of the Zöbinger dynasty in 1232, when their territories fell to Bohemia. On the other hand, the Bohemian king Ottokar II Přemysl became duke of Austria. At the beginning of the 16th century, the castle Landštejn evolved into an ornate renaissance residence. In the 18th century, lightning struck and the ensuing fire destroyed parts of the castle. It then deteriorated into a ruin.


After a deep slumber, in the 1970s a reconstruction of the castle finally began. At that time, paramilitary border guards kept a vigilant eye on the territory along the Iron Curtain. And after its fall, the castle Landštejn became a visitor attraction. Today, the army barracks at Staré Město, the former base for the border guards, are a quiet place.

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