Východočeské muzeum v Pardubicích, Zámek čp. 2, 530 02 Pardubice vcm@vcm.cz
+420 466 799 240

The Pernstein Residence – the Early Renaissance in Bohemia

Pernštejnská rezidence – nejstarší renesance v Čechách

Great Gothic Hall, Knights´ Halls, armory

Travel back in time to the Late Gothic and Early Renaissance era, when Pardubice and its castle were the main residence of the Pernsteins – the richest aristocratic family in Bohemia and Moravia. Over the course of seven decades (1491-1560), Pardubice was home to three generations of the Pernstein dynasty. During that time, the castle underwent a complete reconstruction which transformed it into a grand and comfortable home for its wealthy owners, as well as turning it into an impregnable fortress. Pardubice’s castle combines these two roles in a beautifully preserved historical jewel. So welcome to the Pernsteins’ court!

on-line ticket

Meet at the Pardubice Castle ticket office (Labská Gate).

Basic admission 220 CZK, reduced 110 CZK, family 440 CZK, group 3,300 CZK.

E-ticket allows for a one-time entry.

The Pernstein family in Bohemia and Moravia

Meet the Pernstein family in the Great Gothic Hall on the ground floor of the castle palace! An animated film tells the family’s story, and the richly ornamented heraldic murals showcase three generations of the Pernstein lords – from Vilém (+1521) to his grandchildren. Explore a floor map with lights showing the Persteins’ most important residences.

Rod Pernštejnů ve velkém gotickém sále

Rod Pernštejnů ve velkém gotickém sále

Pardubice and Europe

In the first half of the 16th century, Pardubice was an important centre of economic and political power: from their residence in the castle, the Pernstein dynasty influenced the course of history in Bohemia and elsewhere in Europe. Even now, half a millennium later, you can still admire some of the original interior décor dating from this era: in fact, Pardubice’s castle is the oldest truly Renaissance residence in Bohemia.
You’ll be enchanted by the beauty and fine craftsmanship of the murals in the knights’ halls, based on works by Lucas Cranach the Elder and other leading artists of the period.

A family gallery

The family gallery of the Pardubice Pernsteins can be found in one of the best-preserved Renaissance halls at the castle, featuring an original coffered ceiling. These modern portraits were painted by the renowned artist Petr Nikl, who has captured the essence of this historical period to complement the distinctive atmosphere of this authentic Renaissance-era hall.

The castle embankments – a unique feat of European fortress-building

Pardubice’s castle is a rare surviving example of a military construction project dating back more than half a millennium. Our ancestors faced a difficult problem: how to protect themselves from increasingly powerful artillery guns that were capable of destroying even the strongest stone walls? Their solution was to build massive earth embankments with round towers (roundels) at the corners, further fortified with an outer wall and a water-filled moat. The castle is the only place in Central Europe where this historic defensive system has been preserved in its original form.

The rise and fall of the Pernsteins’ armoury

The third generation of Pernsteins in Pardubice fell on hard times. Jaroslav of Pernstein ran into financial problems, forcing him to sell the Pardubice estate to the Royal Chamber (1560). But not even that was enough to pay off his debts, and the Pernstein had to sell everything they had once owned. Archives give us precise information about the impressive armoury built up by the family until the mid-16th century. It held a huge arsenal of weapons, enough to equip several thousand troops.
As a potential buyer, you’ll be able to try out some cold weapons and firearms. Have you ever used a Renaissance-era gun like an arquebus?

Admission and Tour Duration

Admission: 220 CZK / reduced 110 CZK.

Available for self-guided tours or guided tours (every hour from 10 am to 5 pm).
Tour duration: approx. 60-120 minutes; with a guide, 60 minutes of explanation followed by free access to the entire tour route.
Open daily from 10 am to 6 pm, except Mondays.
Ticket reservations at rezervace@vcm.cz, 773 819 028, 601 078 491.