Sychrov Castle can be found near the village Sychrov in the Liberec Region of the Czech Republic. It is a unique example of Neo-Gothic castle architecture from the second half of the 19th century. A large park surrounds the castle.
Since the 15th century, a fort existed in the place now occupied by Sychrov. During the years between 1690 and 1693, a small baroque castle was constructed here. In 1820, the castle was bought by the Rohan family, French aristocrats exiled by the French Revolution who decided to stay in the Austrian Empire. The 125-year-long ownership by the Rohans proved to be the most important in the castle's history.
In 1945 the castle was nationalized. Since 1950, it has been open to the public to a small extent. Since the 1970s, however, large parts of the castle were open to the public. Since the beginning of the 1990s, an extensive reconstruction and restoration of the castle exteriors, interiors, and the park have been underway, the object of which is to make Sychrov look as close to its original form at the time of its biggest boom, i.e., its condition in the second half of the 19th century, as possible. In 1995 it came under the protection of the state as a national cultural heritage site.
A small, dilapidated, Baroque castle was rebuilt by the Rohans and finished in 1834. A second reconstruction (1847–62) put romantic neogothic style into the castle, and this style remains today. The reconstruction was carried out according to the plans of Bernard Grueber, and all works were facilitated by domestic artists and craftsmen.
The owner paid specific attention to the Castle Park, designed in the English style. The park became a model for the establishment of many now-important arboreta such as in Průhonice and Konopiště. During this period, a rare harmonising of the castle exterior, interior, and the park was accomplished. During the late 1920s/early 1930s, the castle interior was renovated. Especially valuable are the interior carvings by Petr Bušek, who worked in the castle for 38 years.
The castle boasts a collection of around 250 portraits of the Rohans, related families, and French kings. It is the largest collection of French portrait paintings in Central Europe. Sychrov hosts unique glass paintings by Jan Zachariáš Quast.
The English park has an area of 23 hectares. The older, classical park was remodeled into the romantic style. Since botany was a hobby of the castle owner, the park received a lot of attention: There are rich dendrological and botanical collections. Unique beech (Fagus silvatica Rohani) was cultivated in the park.
Today Sychrov is a popular tourist attraction. The castle is often used as a film location for Czech films and foreign films. The castle is also a popular place for wedding ceremonies.References:
The Church of St Donatus name refers to Donatus of Zadar, who began construction on this church in the 9th century and ended it on the northeastern part of the Roman forum. It is the largest Pre-Romanesque building in Croatia.
The beginning of the building of the church was placed to the second half of the 8th century, and it is supposed to have been completed in the 9th century. The Zadar bishop and diplomat Donat (8th and 9th centuries) is credited with the building of the church. He led the representations of the Dalmatian cities to Constantinople and Charles the Great, which is why this church bears slight resemblance to Charlemagne"s court chapels, especially the one in Aachen, and also to the Basilica of San Vitale in Ravenna. It belongs to the Pre-Romanesque architectural period.
The circular church, formerly domed, is 27 m high and is characterised by simplicity and technical primitivism.