Kromeriz Castle and Gardens

Kroměříž, Czech Republic

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.

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Details

Founded: 1497/1664
Category: Castles and fortifications in Czech Republic

Rating

4.7/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Garry Smith (13 months ago)
Beautiful gardens to casually explore. Peaceful . Interesting and Special place to visit.
Jamie Ng (15 months ago)
"Kroměříž Castle as a residence of Bishops and later Archbishops (since 1777) of Olomouc documents the power and wealth of princes of Moravia which is the title that belonged to Bishops and Archbishops of Olomouc up until the First World War. The castle as their representative residence is surrounded by two picturesque gardens – the Castle Garden and the Flower Garden. Be drawn into a maze of colourful flower displays and magical statues in one of the world's best-preserved Baroque gardens."
Chris Cornelis (2 years ago)
One of the highlights in the Czech Republic. The representative halls and the sala terrena are very impressive. The only downside is that little or no effort is made for visitors who do not speak Czech.
Sergio Narbona (2 years ago)
Impressive "Sala Terrena", worth visiting. Gallery upstairs is also quite interesting. Only problem was that guide was in Czech and they didn't provide any texts in a different language to follow. Furthermore, guide, when asked, went to look for the texts and said that "they should be somewhere here but they are not, I don't know where they are", apologized and continued in Czech ?
Igor Fabjan (2 years ago)
Big attractive building. Wort a visit if you like historical buildings. lots of nice restored rooms full of original furniture and decor. The best is the view from the tower.
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