The Château de Kérouzéré is a Breton manor castle built in granite in the first half of the 15th century for Jean and Yves de Kérouzéré, seneschal of Morlaix, and followers of the dukes of Brittany. Visible from the sea, Kérouzéré was dangerously exposed and was particularly vulnerable to English attacks. As such the duke permitted him to erect a single tower of more than twenty-four feet in width with crenellations and ditches. This construction caused a major controversy with the neighboring seigneur of Kermorvan. As a result, from 1466 the building was always unfinished and, in 1468, François II had to grant a second authorization for its completion. The original tower is the part of the manor-house located to the west of the current entry (the window of the chapel sits above it).
It was besieged in 1590 during the French Wars of Religion and seriously damaged as the southeast tower was destroyed. It was rebuilt around 1600. There are four superimposed halls: the lowest hall is on the right of the entry and the upper-hall, arranged in the roof, gives access to the covered wall-walk. The kitchen, the common rooms and the private quarters, above, are directed towards the west. There were originally four corner towers; the moat, of which vestiges remained until the last century, has been filled in. The interior of the manor-house still has some 17th century wall paintings. The roof of the northwest tower was restored at the end of the 19th century.
Today visitors to the castle can still see the armoury, chapel, stairs, wall-walk and the watchman's tower with a view over the sea. There is also a 15th-century dovecote still standing on the grounds.References:
Kroměříž stands on the site of an earlier ford across the River Morava. The gardens and castle of Kroměříž are an exceptionally complete and well-preserved example of a European Baroque princely residence and its gardens and described as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The first residence on the site was founded by bishop Stanislas Thurzo in 1497. The building was in a Late Gothic style, with a modicum of Renaissance detail. During the Thirty Years' War, the castle was sacked by the Swedish army (1643).
It was not until 1664 that a bishop from the powerful Liechtenstein family charged architect Filiberto Lucchese with renovating the palace in a Baroque style. The chief monument of Lucchese's work in Kroměříž is the Pleasure Garden in front of the castle. Upon Lucchese's death in 1666, Giovanni Pietro Tencalla completed his work on the formal garden and had the palace rebuilt in a style reminiscent of the Turinese school to which he belonged.
After the castle was gutted by a major fire in March 1752, Bishop Hamilton commissioned two leading imperial artists, Franz Anton Maulbertsch and Josef Stern, arrived at the residence in order to decorate the halls of the palace with their works. In addition to their paintings, the palace still houses an art collection, generally considered the second finest in the country, which includes Titian's last mythological painting, The Flaying of Marsyas. The largest part of the collection was acquired by Bishop Karel in Cologne in 1673. The palace also contains an outstanding musical archive and a library of 33,000 volumes.
UNESCO lists the palace and garden among the World Heritage Sites. As the nomination dossier explains, 'the castle is a good but not outstanding example of a type of aristocratic or princely residence that has survived widely in Europe. The Pleasure Garden, by contrast, is a very rare and largely intact example of a Baroque garden'. Apart from the formal parterres there is also a less formal nineteenth-century English garden, which sustained damage during floods in 1997.
Interiors of the palace were extensively used by Miloš Forman as a stand-in for Vienna's Hofburg Imperial Palace during filming of Amadeus (1984), based on the life of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, who actually never visited Kroměříž. The main audience chamber was also used in the film Immortal Beloved (1994), in the piano concerto scene.