According to legend, the castle Veveří was founded by Duke Conrad of Brno in the middle of the 11th century. Nevertheless, the first written mention about the castle is from the years 1213 and 1222, when King Přemysl Otakar I used the fortified castle as a prison for rebellious peers. Initially, it was apparently a wooden or masonry residence situated near the Romanesque church of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary west of the present compound. In the 1220s a stone castle on the extremity of the rocky promontory behind a deep moat cut out of the rock started to grow. The keep is the only structure which has remained well-preserved from this oldest building stage.
King John of Bohemia pledged the castle to nobleman Jan of Vartemberk in 1311, but his son, Margrave of Moravia Charles (later Holy Roman Emperor Charles IV), received the property as a debt settlement in 1335. Charles´ younger brother, Margrave Jan Jindřich, then took a fancy for Veveří Castle. He was responsible for the building of its rear part with two towers and an outer ward. In the central area around the keep, he developed the main palace, which included a large hall and the chapel. The present appearance of the compound is the result of these building activities, giving the castle its basic silhouette of a medieval fortress.
The castle was a military-civic centre around a manor until the Hussite Wars. During the Hussite wars, Emperor Sigismund positioned mercenary forces of his son-in-law, Albrecht of Austria, around the castle, but he later pledged it to local nobleman Petr Kutěj in 1424. The Hussites besieged the castle in vain during the years 1428-1432. During the second half of the 15th century, the castle was rented by Przemyslaus II of Těšín, who decided to reinforce the castle with the construction of surrounding walls. In 1468, King of Hungary and antiking of Bohemia Matthias Corvinus started his occupation of the castle.
In 1645, the Swedish Army laid siege to Veveří Castle, but their attack was unsuccessful, as the castle was well guarded and the defenders well armed.
When the House of Sinzendorf (1707–1804) acquired the castle, an extensive reconstruction was made, and since that time, the exterior structure of the castle has remained practically unchanged. In 1742, the Prussian Army, having gained entry by the treachery of the castle steward, pillaged the interior of the estate.
Number of noteworthy renovations and reconstructions were carried out in the 1990s and since 2002 the castle is again open to the public.
The former Gothic chapel of St. Prokopius in the palace, which originally extended vertically from the ground floor to the second, was replaced in the late 19th century with separate spaces on the ground floor and a library and administrative spaces on the second floor. A preliminary plan has been developed for the reconstruction of the chapel.
Beyond the palace one proceeds through a courtyard, which was created in the early 19th century by pulling down two 13th-century royal palaces. Luckily, records remain of the appearance of these palaces. Beyond the courtyard lies the so-called English Wing, constructed in the second half of the 17th centiry in the corridor between the Gothic calls. The ground floor served to park horse carriages, while the first floor was used as an armory and later as a granary. The building stands in need of extensive and costly renovation. Yet further along is found the so-called Backyard Palace, erected in the 17th century with two valuted rooms, one above the other. The renovation plans call for it to be made into a space for cultural events.
At the southeastern conrner of the castle stands the so-called Eastern Prismatic Tower, built in the 14th century to protect the castle area from the east. South of this tower archaeological remains have been uncovered of walls of a medieval Eastern Castle Palace, which probably dates from the late 15th century and was pulled down before the mid-17th century.References:
The Holy Trinity Column in Olomouc is a Baroque monument built in 1716–1754 in honour of God. The main purpose was a spectacular celebration of Catholic Church and faith, partly caused by feeling of gratitude for ending a plague, which struck Moravia between 1713 and 1715. The column was also understood to be an expression of local patriotism, since all artists and master craftsmen working on this monument were Olomouc citizens, and almost all depicted saints were connected with the city of Olomouc in some way. The column is the biggest Baroque sculptural group in the Czech Republic. In 2000 it was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage Sites list.
The column is dominated by gilded copper sculptures of the Holy Trinity accompanied by the Archangel Gabriel on the top and the Assumption of the Virgin beneath it.
The base of the column, in three levels, is surrounded by 18 more stone sculptures of saints and 14 reliefs in elaborate cartouches. At the uppermost stage are saints connected with Jesus’ earth life – his mother’s parents St. Anne and St. Joachim, his foster-father St. Joseph, and St. John the Baptist, who was preparing his coming – who are accompanied by St. Lawrence and St. Jerome, saints to whom the chapel in the Olomouc town hall was dedicated. Three reliefs represent the Three theological virtues Faith, Hope, and Love.
Below them, the second stage is dedicated to Moravian saints St. Cyril and St. Methodius, who came to Great Moravia to spread Christianity in 863, St. Blaise, in whose name one of the main Olomouc churches is consecrated, and patrons of neighbouring Bohemia St. Adalbert of Prague and St. John of Nepomuk, whose following was very strong there as well.
In the lowest stage one can see the figures of an Austrian patron St. Maurice and a Bohemian patron St. Wenceslas, in whose names two important Olomouc churches were consecrated, another Austrian patron St. Florian, who was also viewed as a protector against various disasters, especially fire, St. John of Capistrano, who used to preach in Olomouc, St. Anthony of Padua, a member of the Franciscan Order, which owned an important monastery in Olomouc, and St. Aloysius Gonzaga, a patron of students. His sculpture showed that Olomouc was very proud of its university. Reliefs of all twelve apostles are placed among these sculptures.
The column also houses a small chapel inside with reliefs depicting Cain's offering from his crop, Abel's offering of firstlings of his flock, Noah's first burnt offering after the Flood, Abraham's offering of Isaac and of a lamb, and Jesus' death. The cities of Jerusalem and Olomouc can be seen in the background of the last mentioned relief.