The Collegiate church of San Pedro de Cervatos was built around 1129. The main entrance of the church is framed by a series of archivolts. The tympanum is profusely carved with vegetal motifs that are reminiscent of Al-Andalus art. The tympanum is supported by two superposed lintels. The one above is decorated with six lions while the one below with a vegetable motif. The archivolts are plain and stand on capitals decorated with animals and birds.
The doorway is protected by a cornice sustained by corbels carved with figures of dancers, monkeys and other fantastic creatures. Between the brackets, the metopes have also been sculpted with images of animals, birds and strange characters.
On the right hand side of the doorway an inscription in Latin states that the church was built around the year 1129. A second inscription, also in Latin, explains that it was consecrated to Saint Peter in the year 1199 by bishop Marin, while he was abbot Marin.
The exterior of the apse shows a great variety of sculptural motifs both in the windows as well as in the brackets under the cornice. Many of these sculptures depict explicit sexual images, which was not unusual in Romanesque Art.
The interior consists of a single nave covered with gothic vaults. Only the head of the church retains the original Romanesque elements. The interior of the apse is decorated with an arcade of round arches that stand on sculpted capitals, the whole inspired by the art of Cluny. The capitals are decorated with either vegetable designs or figurative motifs such as fantastic animals and birds.
The bell toward was built at a later stage than the church, probably towards the end of the 12th century, around the time it was consecrated by bishop Marin.References:
The first historical record of Lednice locality dates from 1222. At that time there stood a Gothic fort with courtyard, which was lent by Czech King Václav I to Austrian nobleman Sigfried Sirotek in 1249.
At the end of the 13th century the Liechtensteins, originally from Styria, became holders of all of Lednice and of nearby Mikulov. They gradually acquired land on both sides of the Moravian-Austrian border. Members of the family most often found fame in military service, during the Renaissance they expanded their estates through economic activity. From the middle of the 15th century members of the family occupied the highest offices in the land. However, the family’s position in Moravia really changed under the brothers Karel, Maximilian, and Gundakar of Liechtenstein. Through marriage Karel and Maximilian acquired the great wealth of the old Moravian dynasty of the Černohorskýs of Boskovice. At that time the brothers, like their father and grandfather, were Lutheran, but they soon converted to Catholicism, thus preparing the ground for their rise in politics. Particularly Karel, who served at the court of Emperor Rudolf II, became hetman of Moravia in 1608, and was later raised to princely status by King Matyas II and awarded the Duchy of Opava.
During the revolt of the Czech nobility he stood on the side of the Habsburgs, and took part in the Battle of White Mountain. After the uprising was defeated in 1620 he systematically acquired property confiscated from some of the rebels, and the Liechtensteins became the wealthiest family in Moravia, rising in status above the Žerotíns. Their enormous land holdings brought them great profits, and eventually allowed them to carry out their grandious building projects here in Lednice.
In the 16th century it was probably Hartmann II of Liechtenstein who had the old medieval water castle torn down and replaced with a Renaissance chateau. At the end of the 17th century the chateau was torn down and a Baroque palace was built, with an extensive formal garden, and a massive riding hall designed by Johann Bernard Fischer von Erlach that still stands in almost unaltered form.
In the mid-18th century the chateau was again renovated, and in 1815 its front tracts that had been part of the Baroque chateau were removed.
The chateau as it looks today dates from 1846-1858, when Prince Alois II decided that Vienna was not suitable for entertaining in the summer, and had Lednice rebuilt into a summer palace in the spirit of English Gothic. The hall on the ground floor would serve to entertain the European aristocracy at sumptuous banquets, and was furnished with carved wood ceilings, wooden panelling, and select furniture, surpassing anything of its kind in Europe.