The Burtnieki Manor ensemble was built in the 18th-19th century when, after several changes of owners, the estate became the property of the Schroeder family. Around 1860, the Schroeders set about laying out a park. The park is remarkable for its grand staircase each step of which has been hewn from a solid block of granite brought to Latvia from Finland. Another attraction is a vase named "Seasons", decorated with sculptures.
The Burtnieki Manor Park is one of the best maintained rural estate parks in Latvia and is home to more than 70 species of trees and shrubs. The park, laid out in the mid-19th cent. by the last owner of the estate Wilhelm von Schroeder, still retains some features of its former splendour - a staircase of solid granite slabs, a fountain and other elements.
The manor building is now a private property and can only be viewed from the outside but the visitors can take a stroll in the lovely park. The Vīsrags Path leads right from the gates, telling the story of the manor and the park.References:
Hluboká Castle (Schloss Frauenberg) is considered one of the most beautiful castles in the Czech Republic. In the second half of the 13th century, a Gothic castle was built at the site. During its history, the castle was rebuilt several times. It was first expanded during the Renaissance period, then rebuilt into a Baroque castle at the order of Adam Franz von Schwarzenberg in the beginning of the 18th century. It reached its current appearance during the 19th century, when Johann Adolf II von Schwarzenberg ordered the reconstruction of the castle in the romantic style of England's Windsor Castle.
The Schwarzenbergs lived in Hluboká until the end of 1939, when the last owner (Adolph Schwarzenberg) emigrated overseas to escape from the Nazis. The Schwarzenbergs lost all of their Czech property through a special legislative Act, the Lex Schwarzenberg, in 1947.
The original royal castle of Přemysl Otakar II from the second half of the 13th century was rebuilt at the end of the 16th century by the Lords of Hradec. It received its present appearance under Count Jan Adam of Schwarzenberg. According to the English Windsor example, architects Franz Beer and F. Deworetzky built a Romantic Neo-Gothic chateau, surrounded by a 1.9 square kilometres English park here in the years 1841 to 1871. In 1940, the castle was seized from the last owner, Adolph Schwarzenberg by the Gestapo and confiscated by the government of Czechoslovakia after the end of World War II. The castle is open to public. There is a winter garden and riding-hall where the Southern Bohemian gallery exhibitions have been housed since 1956.