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Hartenberg Castle and Chateau Ruins


Category: Castle & Chateau Ruins Region: Sokolov and its surroundings Town: Josefov


The castle Hartenberg (Hertenberch) is of Romanesque to early Gothic origin, dating back to the 12th century. Subsequently, it was converted into a Baroque chateau. You may find and visit it in Sokolov region, near the village of Josefov.

Throughout the history, Hartenberg had been tested several times - conquered, plundered, rebuilt, and its major challenge lied in being occupied by an organization of state farms in the time of 1945. The gradual deterioration of the building resulted in several deliberately set fires in 1985, which almost leveled the castle to the ground. The once majestic building remained dilapidated ruin without roofs and windows.

Since 1997, a private owner has initiated and advocated the rescue of the castle, and the Hartenberg association, which was founded in 2008, has helped in a large scale, as well.  Thus,  clearing work in the building of a large palace started in 2000. Moreover, hundreds of volunteers from 74 countries in cooperation with a non-profit organization INEX-SDA supported the restoration. Nowadays, there is extensive construction work ongoing in the inner parts of the building, financed with support of the Ministry of Culture and the region of Karlovy Vary.

The Hartenberg association also founded a social enterprise that employs people on the margins of society, and make an effort to integrate them into the workforce in order to increase their skills. Moreover, the association together with its friends organizes several traditional and popular public events every year, among them you can visit St. Nicolas Ride, Hartenberg Scare, Hartenberg Vintage, Hartenberg Holy Mass and more.

The aim of the restoration of the castle and its surroundings is to return lively and meaningful content to this place. Whereas a part of the castle should serve to spread its own history, a Gothic chapel on the second floor will offer worship, and can thus become a place of pilgrimage. Castle premises will be used for various social events, and International Volunteering Institute IVAH, founded by volunteers, or similar platforms engaged in beneficial activities should find their place, as well.

Surroundings of the castle offers a nature experience - visitors may admire the highest pine in Bohemia nearby, an old school founded in 1901, or a granary from the 17th century. You can also walk alongside a nature trail introducing history of mining in the area, so called Hartenberg of Lead.

Visitors can reach the castle by train from Sokolov to direction of Kraslice, stop Hřebeny, or by car through both Josefov and Krajková.


The castle is open from May to September.

TUE-SUN – 10–17

Entrance 50 CZK/ adults

Entrance 30 CZK/ elderly and children under 15 yrs

Castle tour only with a guide.

If you want to visit the castle individually, it is necessary to make an appointment by phone.


Opening hours

Period Days Opening hours
01.05-30.09. Tuesday - Sunday 10am-5pm


Admission fee

Admission fee Price
 Adults 50 CZK
Children under 15 years 30 CZK

Contact data

Address: Hřebeny 1, Josefov

ZIP: 35709

Phone: +420 607 649 997




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Other useful websites:

Living Land

Living Land
Official Guide of the Karlovy Vary Region