Commemorative medals from points of interest in CZ

The Kratochvíle Castle

The castle is a pearl of Italian Renaissance in south Bohemia. This magnificent hunting lodge 2km northwest from Netolice was built in the neighborhood of the Leptáč fortress with a farmyard. Leptáč was rebuilt and enlarged by Rožmberk regent and founder of south Bohemian ponds Jakub Krčín z Jelčan in 16th century. In 1579 Vilém of Rožmberk has exchanged the yard with him and decided to build a summer residence in the manner of rural Italian villas in its neighborhood.

The construction was assigned to Italian architect Baltazar Maggi of Arogn in 1583. He has divided the regular plan of the area into a rectangle with a barrier wall penetrated by houses on three sides. Storied villa has been situated into the frontal part of extensive garden perpendicularly to the axis of entrance tower and surrounded by symmetrical rectangle of a separately enclosed moat. The entrance wing is concluded by a garden house in the west and by a small church of Holy Virgin in the eastern corner of the barrier wall. Interior paintings according to period models are works of Georg Widman of Braunschweig, who has also worked on the decoration of the castle in Telč. Rich stucco decor of the first floor of the villa and of the small church are work of an Italian artist Antonio Melana.

The construction was accomplished with the help of alder and oak stilts that have progressively fossilized in local swampy terrain, which sure belongs to technical interests of the place. Monumental game preserve founded around the castle belonged among the largest in Bohemia and several villages had to be destroyed in its sake. Vilém’s brother Petr Vok of Rožmberk was often staying on Kratochvíle with his court. Stallions or camels were raised here during his rule. In 1601 Kratochvíle became the property of Rudolf II. and after the White mountain battle Ferdinand II donated it to Oldřich Eggenberg. Finally it became Schwarzenberg property in 1719.

Former appearance of Kratochvíle was depicted on a well-known vista of Jindřich de Veerle. Even today it represents a unique landscape unit with a coherently built mosaic of parkways, forests, meadows and ponds. Mannerist water works and sculptures in the garden as well as part of stucco and interior fresco decor fell sacrificed to frequent changes in owners and later rebuilding. Modern restoration works have started in 1954 and in several phases have proceeded up to year 1978.

New exhibition of Short film Prague has been installed here in the beginning of the 80´s. World-famous Czech animated, facet and puppet film is presented in a unique collection in the castle interiors. The exhibited work originals of Václav Čtvrtek, Břetislav Pojar, Jiří Trnka, Hermína Týrlová, Karel Zeman and other prominent Czech designers and directors are a living remark for all generations of visitors.

The so-called Golden hall with great acoustics is often used for organizing concerts or wedding ceremonies. Holy Virgin’s castle church has been reconstructed and newly consecrated in 1997. In the same year the Kratochvíle castle garden became an outstanding coulisse for series of yearly shows of the Continuo theatre (residing in nearby Malovice) for the first time (see also Feasts and events).

The Kratochvíle Chateau is undergoing the thorough restoration, the outcome of which shall be a substantial makeover of the interiors of the Rennaisance-style mansion house. The entire process of the makeover and ambitious restoration has been motivated by the motto “Revival of the Rennaisance,” which includes recovery of a unique North-Italy-inspired Rennaisance-style mansion house and restoration of all details and its magical position in the Rennaisance-style garden with a decorative water barrier. The aim is to feel the time period and come as near as possible to the shape, in which the Kratochvíle Chateau was at the moment of its birth – at the peak of the stardom of the Rožmberk family and one of their most significant representative – Vilém of Rožmberk. Two of the Rennaisance rooms – Golden Room and Ruler’s Room – were open independently in the mansion house in June 2007. The upper large hall houses a seasonal exposition of the Rennaisance period. The new exposition of the mansion house is available on http://www.zamek-kratochvile.eu/.

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Státní zámek Kratochvíle, 384 11 Netolice Telefon: +420 388 324.


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