The Château de Janvry dates back to the 17th century. It is still partially surrounded by watered moats. Its main building includes a primary wing facing west and two attached side wings, the north wing and the south wing. All wings are linked, creating a U-shaped château.
The château was built around 1600 and 1650 in the Louis XIII architectural style. It has been part of the Reille family for many centuries. The château has always been passted from generation to generation by the women of the family. Therefore, each succession brought a new last name as the estate’s owner. During the French Revolution of 1789, the château was robbed, resulting in the family losing all of its older documents regarding the château, its estate and history. Since the mid-19th century, the château has been used as a secondary residence by the family. The monument located at the village entrance was built following the death while giving birth in 1847 of Elisabeth Anjoran.
The Baron Jean Victor Reille inherited the domain during the Second World War. As the château had been unoccupied by the Reille family during the war, German, English and French troops were successfully lodged in the château. Local inhabitants witnessed the degradation of the property by some of the French troops, unlike the Germans or the English who took care of the estate. Some soldiers extracted wood panels from the original 17th-century hardwood floors to use as fuel for the master living room chimney during the harsh winter months. Today, traces of the new and replaced wooden panels can be seen in some parts of the formal living rooms. Also, in a bedroom on the second floor of the north-west tower, some inscriptions and writings on the walls can be found, witnessing the occupancy by French soldiers.
When Baron Jean Reille arrived to the château returning from the war, nettles were growing in some of the rooms of the house. Over the next few years following the end of the Second World, he and his wife Liliane successfully gave the château back its ancient splendor by installing a new roof, adding modern plumbing and electricity, also remodeling the interior of the house. His son, the Baron Ghislain Reille, pursued this laborious work when he took responsibility over the house in the 1980s. The château is now a modern property where many renovations have been made within the original style and charm of the Louis XIII-style chateau.
The main building follows a Louis XIII architectural style. Following this architecture trends, the château shows a very typical dissymmetry, unique to the Louis XIII style. The west side of the main building has four windows left to the main entrance, and three on the right side. Similarly, on the east side of the building (facing the private park), five windows can be found on the right of the entrance door and four on the left.
This courtyard is surrounded by barns and granaries forming a closed square where poultry, cattle and other farm animals used to be raised. All barns still have many traces of past activities. In one cowshed, some cows’ names can be seen. The stable is still functional and can house up to four horses. The attics above the barns are sumptuous with their vaulted ceilings and large oak beams from the local forests. One barn in particular has ceilings soaring 15–20 metres high. They were used to store cereals and grains. One of the barns leads to the south-western part of the tower, where four jail cells can still be found. In order to preserve its authenticity, no one has ever renovated these cells. Only a small and inaccessible fanlight gives air and light to the room. Two of the four jail doors are still present. It has been confirmed that these jail cells were being used during the Second World War for war prisoners.
The cellar runs under the entire west and north wings. The vaulted cellar has been used to store food and wine for many years. The cider and apple liquor produced in the château were stored there to mature.
The château is surrounded by a 14 hectare park. The park offers complete privacy and is surrounded by stone walls except for a small section wire netted. The park includes 10 hectares of forest with large alleys for leisurely strolls. There is more than two hectares of grassy area, half of which is mowed lawn. A one hectare lake and a tennis court are also located in the park. The park is accessible to modern vehicles through the small courtyard. There are also two portals located on the east and north walls.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.