The fortress-like Střekov Castle was built in 1316 for John of Luxemburg. It originally guarded the important trade route to Germany. After 1479, the family Glacs´of Starý Dvůr acquired the Castle, repaired the fortifications and built two houses next to the smaller tower and eastern wall. The castle continued to change hands until 1563, when it was purchased by Václav Lobkowicz. It was inherited in 1599 by Adam Havel Lobkowicz, from whom it passed in 1615 to the Roudnice branch of the Lobkowicz family.
Because of its strategic importance, the Castle suffered severe damage during the Thirty Years' War under successive Imperial, Saxon and Swedish occupations because of its strategic importance. During the Seven Years' War the castle was again alternately besieged and captured by Austrian and Prussian armies, resulting in further destruction. Stabilization repairs were also carried out.
A single castle with two connected sections was an unusual architectural style for the period in which Střekov Castle was built. The structure's bastions are also a rare feature. Střekov Castle's bastions are perhaps the first example of this type of defensive architecture in Bohemia.
The Střekov castle has a very long history, where rumors and tales mingle with facts. In the 19th century, a renewed interest in old ruins set in romantic natural settings motivated poets, painters and musicians to visit Střekov Castle. For instance in the year 1842 a real specter appeared on the castle walls. It was the composer Richard Wagner who was looking for a muse in a very fancy way. He wondered around Střekov and looked down into the valley where Ústí nad Labem was set. There he finally composed a poem, which later became the basis for the libretto of the known opera Tannhäuser. Goethe declared the view from the property's perch above the Elbe to be the most beautiful in Central Europe.
Like other Lobkowicz properties, Střekov Castle was confiscated by the Nazi regime and later by the Communist government. The property was restituted to the family in the early 1990s.
Today, Střekov Castle contains an historical exhibition that includes reproductions of guns and knights' armor, drawings and pictures of the property, as well as a scale wooden model of the Castle complex. On visit is enough for the castle to get under your skin. Well preserved stone walls stand next to ruined fortifications. Only its outlines can be now seen. Nevertheless they show us the grandeur of this building, which was supposed to protect the mercantile path of Labe.
What can you do here:
· Explore the fortress ruins: tour the historical exhibition that includes reproductions of guns and knights' armor, drawings and pictures of the property, as well as a scale wooden model of the Castle complex.
· Have a tasty meal: tourists will appreciate delicious food in the local gothic restaurant ("Wágnerka") along with the terrace offering a spectacular view on the picturesque hills of České středohoří or have a meal in "Kovárna" restaurant which is carved directly in the stone massif
· Take part in the festival: throughout the year, Střekov Castle plays host to many special events and festivals, most popular of which are the annual music and wine festivals.
· Entertain your child: the castle is a great place for different types of events, including Sunday fairy tales for children.