The Festetics Family is one of the most significant ducal families in Hungary. The family, who was of Croatian origin, moved to Hungary in the 17th century. In 1739 Christopher Festetics (1696-1768) bought the Keszthely estate and its appurtenances, and chose it to be the centre of his estates. He began the construction of the Festetics Palacein 1745. The two-storey, U-shaped, 34-room Baroque palace was rebuilt several times in the 18th and 19th centuries. Between 1769 and 1770 Paul Festetics III, Christopher’s son had the building reconstructed. The wings were enlarged while the facades remained unaltered. His son, George Festetics I, started the next major reconstruction in 1792. He added the southern library wing to the palace.
Between 1883 and 1887 Tassilo Festetics II had the northern wing demolished and a new wing built which was joined to the old one by a turreted central part. Thus, he almost doubled the size of the palace. The building was covered with a mansard roof, and fitted with central heating and plumbing. After the modification of the facades and the interiors, especially the staircases, the palace acquired its present form.
The building is surrounded by a nature reserve park. The sights in the park include trees that are hundreds of years old, colourful flowerbeds, fountains, statues – among them the full-figure bronze statue of George Festetics I –, the garden pond and the fountain decorated with lions. The palm house and the former coach house with the coach exhibition can be found in the park, while the new building of the hunting exhibition and the historical model railway exhibition is opposite the back gate of 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.