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Category Archives: Castles and Palaces

City of Telc (UNESCO)

Telc aerial viewIn the 13th century in the Czech kingdom the cities began to develop. Originated either at the site of the old urban settlements, or the still vacant places.
In this period was also established the Old Town in Telc, which gradually merged with the castle courtyard and church.

In 1339 Oldrich of Hradec has bought the town, and although there is no document is believed he has have founded the New Town. Oldrich of Hradec was a member of an important family Vitek, which was settled in southern Bohemia.
The founders gave to the city ​​a number of rights, to make it independent, including litigation, but also a right to have a market, produce beer, etc. The centre of Telc was formed by the market surrounded by narrow houses. The marked was every week attended by traders from the neighborhood, but during the holidays came also the foreign traders.

After a fire in 1530, which destroyed part of the square, the town hall and the residence of Zacharias of Hradec are two other important moments in the development of Telc.  Zacharias of Hradec, a great politician and economist, has restructured the Gothic castle, creating a Renaissance residence. Even in the city fared well: the bourgeois houses were restored, the aqueduct and hospital were built…

In 1604 the town ownership passed into the hands of Svalatas from Chlumec. For the history of the town is important Jachym Oldrich Slavata’s wife who invited the Jesuits to built the college and the church of Jesus. The Jesuits remained until in Telc 1773 when the order was canceled by Pope Clement XIV.

The Lichtenstein-Kastelkorn are the last noble family related to the town of Telc; arrived in the year 1681 and remained until the end of World War II in 1945, when they had to leave the country.

Since 1970 is Telc a part of the national heritage and since 1992 is the city of Telc UNESCO listed.

 

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Vysehrad Castle (Upper Castle)

Vysehrad aerial viewAmong the many monuments in Prague, we should also remember the Vysehrad castle … one of the old fortresses that protected medieval Prague.

The castle on the Vysehrad rock, originally called Chrasten, was founded sometime during the 10th century, certainly later than Prague Castle.

The period of its greatest glory was in the 11th century, when the castle became for a time seat of the first Czech king Vratislav I, whose successors ruled from Vysehrad until in 1140. Rebuilding the original timber castle in stone with the establishment of new churches or religious chapter at Vysehrad changed nothing in his subordination to the Prague Castle.

After the mid-12th century the importance of Vysehrad declined.

Another key moment in the history of Vysehrad arrives in the 14th century, during the reign of Charles IV of Luxembourg. He decided, in deference to his ancestors, to restore the importance of Vysehrad. He wrote the new Regulation of the Coronation, which obliges the future sovereign to make a pilgrimage to Vysehrad on the day before the coronation in St. Vitus Cathedral at Prague Castle.
On a place of a derelict Roman court, the king built a royal palace with a luxurious high arcades and next to it houses for the castle staff, water supply and school. From 1348 to 1350 new walls with battlements, towers, portal, and two gates where built.

Later, especially during the Habsburg period, Vysehrad begins to lose its importance and gradually turns into a ruin, in a symbolic way, reflects the political situation in the Kingdom of Bohemia.

The present appearance of Vysehrad was largely determined in the second half of the 19th century. It was led by a number of nationalist-oriented provosts; of these, the most important in terms of the development of Vysehrad were Vaclav Stulc and Mikulás Karlach, who decisively determined the present appearance of Vysehrad and its major landmark, the church of St. Peter and Paul was rebuilt in the Neo-Gothic style according a design made by J. Mocker and F. Mikes that respected the disposition of Charles IV’s Gothic construction. It was then that the idea arose of founding a national cemetery at Vysehrad on the site of the parish graveyard. It took many years to build the Pantheon. The present Vysehrad Cemetery is a unique artistic whole, harmoniously fitting its surroundings. It is the final resting place of over 600 personalities from the fields of culture and education.

 
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Posted by on April 6, 2011 in Castles and Palaces, Prague Sights

 

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Cesky Sternberk Castle

Cesky Sternberk CastleThe castle of Cesky Sternberk was founded in 1241 by Zdeslav of Divisov later called Sternberg. During the times of the Lords of Sternberg, in the 13th century, the fortification of the castle was strengthened by building the north tower with three floors together with the castle walls. In 1465 Zdenek Sternberg found himself at the head of rebellion against King George of Podebrady and two years later he conquered his castle. At the turn of 15th and 16th century, the castle has undergone several changes during which its fortifications were strengthened and the new south tower, the cylinders, and the tower of hunger were constructed. In 1627, during the Thirty Years War, the people have looted the castle. Since the sixties of the 17th century the castle was renovated by the Italian master, Carlo Brentano. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on February 18, 2011 in Castles and Palaces

 

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Konopiste Castle

Konopiste CastleThe Konopiste Castle was originally founded as a gothic fortress guarding a nearby town of Benesov. Being founded at the end of the 13th century by Tobias of Benesov, it was built at the beginning of the 14th century, following the model of french castles called “castels”.
The castle changed owners and has undergone many changes over time. The most significant alteration took place in the 18th when members of the Vrtba family rebuilt the castle into a baroque residence.

The utterly most important and famous owner of the Konopiste Castle was the archduke Fratisek (Franz) Ferdinand d’Este, a successor to the Austro-Hungarian throne. Being a great hunter and collector he has filled the whole castle Konopiste with hunting trophies, and collections of weapons, furniture and applied art.

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Posted by on November 20, 2010 in Castles and Palaces

 

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Karlstejn Castle

Karlstejn Castle 02The first castle I would like to write here about is the best known czech castle – Karlstejn Castle.  The name of the castle comes from German and means “Charles Stone”.  Charles = Charles IV. Luxemburg, the Bohemian King and Holy Roman Emperor, who founded this castle in the 14th Century.

It’s a Gothic fortress, whose original purpose was to guard the crown jewels and holy relics collected by Charles IV. And as one of the few castles in Bohemia, Karlstein still retains its medieval appearance.

After the political changes in 1989 Karlstejn become one of the most popular tourist destinations. It is certainly a place to visit for those who love gothic architecture, but definitely not a “must-see” for those seeking an elegant atmosphere, full of furniture and art collections.

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Posted by on November 19, 2010 in Castles and Palaces

 

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