In the 13th century, the extremely wealthy Pernštejn family built a stunning castle atop a rock deep within the Moravian forest.

The Gothic exterior hides a beautifully preserved interior that boasts generations of renovations. High Gothic frameworks are filled with styles from the Renaissance, Baroque, Rococo, and Neo-Gothic periods. The castle’s most notable feature is the framing around the windows and doors that are made of a rock resembling marble. Thus, giving the castle its nickname, “marble castle.”

This fairy-tale-like castle received its various styles through its many owners. It went through multiple periods of renovation in the 15th, 16th, and 17th centuries. The castle has remained incredibly well preserved due to its long line of caring owners, but also its impeccable defenses. There is the advantage from its position on a high rock and an impressive system of drawbridges, ramparts, and towers.

One unique tower, called the “Barborka” tower, is five stories tall and meant for a worst-case scenario if the castle’s family would need to hide from an invasion. The tower is connected to the main buildings by two wooden bridges, and all the tower’s tunnels are so narrow, an armored man could not get through them. Additionally, the castle was not conquered during the Thirty Years War, which helped preserve this impressive historical site.

Like any good European castle, the Pernštejn Castle has a ghost that haunts the halls even today. Her name is Eliška, known today as The White Lady, and she was a chambermaid during the 17th century. Obsessed with her looks, Eliška spent more of her time admiring herself in the castle’s mirrors than completing her duties. When she missed mass one day due to her preening habits, a monk came to her in a rage. Eliška cursed the monk and accidentally cursed the mirror in the same room. Today, it is said that Eliška roams the halls, and any woman who peers into the cursed mirror loses her beauty within the year.

Featured image by Akil/Public Domain

Michaela Dehning
Czech-American art history major at Arizona State University who lives in Prague. Passions include history, art, and culture.
Michaela Dehning
Michaela Dehning