Znojmo Castle was initially a wooden structure built by the Přemyslid Bretislaus I, Duke of Bohemia, and completed around 1080. The structure was intended to replace an old castle that was located across the Granice Valley, as part of an attempt at strengthening the defenses along the river Dyje against Austrian attack. From the new castle the river valley and surrounding area could be observed. However, in 1140, the wooden castle was besieged and destroyed.

Towards the end of the 12th Century the castle was reconstructed, this time in stone, and included a deep moat. The entrance to the castle was guarded by an octagonal tower called the Robber's Tower, which collapsed due to neglect at the end of the 19th Century.

The Royal City of Znojmo was founded by King Ottokar I of Bohemia and the Znojmo castle became the city's stronghold, connected to the city walls and containing a strong garrison of soldiers.

The importance of Znojmo Castle diminished near the end of the 17th century, after the Turkish threat was averted by Prince Eugene of Savoy. The Roman Emperor Joseph I redeemed the castle in 1710.

The front end of the castle was sold to local citizens and became the town brewery, producing Hostan beer. The rear of the castle came into the hands of the Lords of Deblin who built a Baroque chateau on the space, which still stands.

The only remains of the castle used by the Přemysl dukes is the Romanesque Rotunda of Saint Catherine, the interior of which is covered with 11th-century frescoes depicting biblical scenes and illustrating the life of Přemysl.

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Founded: 12th century
Category: Castles and fortifications in Czech Republic

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User Reviews

Martin K. (2 years ago)
Znojmo je má srdeční záležitost a místo, kam se rád vracím. Znojemský hrad pak patří k jedné z dominant, která nadchne snad každého. Je zde odsud úchvatný výhled na široké okolí, řeku Dyje a chrám sv. Mikuláše. Vedle Znojemského hradu je pak rotunda sv. Kateřiny. Kdo Znojmo nenavštívil, vřele doporučuji navštívit. Je se zde opravdu na co dívat!
Krzysztof Kinstler (3 years ago)
Znojmo is beauty, Morawian pearl. Day and night visit is absolutely must.
Mc Marik (3 years ago)
Closed at time of our visit for no reason... :(
Markus S. (3 years ago)
The place to be in Znaim!
Kristýna Hotová (3 years ago)
Beautiful nature around castle. Enjoyed.
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Quimper Cathedral

From 1239, Raynaud, the Bishop of Quimper, decided on the building of a new chancel destined to replace that of the Romanesque era. He therefore started, in the far west, the construction of a great Gothic cathedral which would inspire cathedral reconstructions in the Ile de France and would in turn become a place of experimentation from where would later appear ideas adopted by the whole of lower Brittany. The date of 1239 marks the Bishop’s decision and does not imply an immediate start to construction. Observation of the pillar profiles, their bases, the canopies, the fitting of the ribbed vaults of the ambulatory or the alignment of the bays leads us to believe, however, that the construction was spread out over time.

The four circular pillars mark the start of the building site, but the four following adopt a lozenge-shaped layout which could indicate a change of project manager. The clumsiness of the vaulted archways of the north ambulatory, the start of the ribbed vaults at the height of the south ambulatory or the choice of the vaults descending in spoke-form from the semi-circle which allows the connection of the axis chapel to the choir – despite the manifest problems of alignment – conveys the hesitancy and diverse influences in the first phase of works which spread out until the start of the 14th century.

At the same time as this facade was built (to which were added the north and south gates) the building of the nave started in the east and would finish by 1460. The nave is made up of six bays with one at the level of the facade towers and flanked by double aisles – one wide and one narrow (split into side chapels) – in an extension of the choir arrangements.

The choir presents four right-hand bays with ambulatory and side chapels. It is extended towards the east of 3-sided chevet which opens onto a semi-circle composed of five chapels and an apsidal chapel of two bays and a flat chevet consecrated to Our Lady.

The three-level elevation with arches, triforium and galleries seems more uniform and expresses anglo-Norman influence in the thickness of the walls (Norman passageway at the gallery level) or the decorative style (heavy mouldings, decorative frieze under the triforium). This building site would have to have been overseen in one shot. Undoubtedly interrupted by the war of Succession (1341-1364) it draws to a close with the building of the lierne vaults (1410) and the fitting of stained-glass windows. Bishop Bertrand de Rosmadec and Duke Jean V, whose coat of arms would decorate these vaults, finished the chancel before starting on the building of the facade and the nave.

Isolated from its environment in the 19th century, the cathedral was – on the contrary – originally very linked to its surroundings. Its site and the orientation of the facade determined traffic flow in the town. Its positioning close to the south walls resulted in particuliarities such as the transfer of the side gates on to the north and south facades of the towers: the southern portal of Saint Catherine served the bishop’s gate and the hospital located on the left bank (the current Préfecture) and the north gate was the baptismal porch – a true parish porch with its benches and alcoves for the Apostles’ statues turned towards the town, completed by an ossuary (1514).

The west porch finds its natural place between the two towers. The entire aesthetic of these three gates springs from the Flamboyant era: trefoil, curly kale, finials, large gables which cut into the mouldings and balustrades. Pinnacles and recesses embellish the buttresses whilst an entire bestiary appears: monsters, dogs, mysterious figures, gargoyles, and with them a whole imaginary world promoting a religious and political programme. Even though most of the saints statues have disappeared an armorial survives which makes the doors of the cathedral one of the most beautiful heraldic pages imaginable: ducal ermine, the Montfort lion, Duchess Jeanne of France’s coat of arms side by side with the arms of the Cornouaille barons with their helmets and crests. One can imagine the impact of this sculpted decor with the colour and gilding which originally completed it.

At the start of the 16th century the construction of the spires was being prepared when building was interrupted, undoubtedly for financial reasons. Small conical roofs were therefore placed on top of the towers. The following centuries were essentially devoted to putting furnishings in place (funeral monuments, altars, statues, organs, pulpit). Note the fire which destroyed the spire of the transept cross in 1620 as well as the ransacking of the cathedral in 1793 when nearly all the furnishings disappeared in a « bonfire of the saints ».

The 19th century would therefore inherit an almost finished but mutilated building and would devote itself to its renovation according to the tastes and theories of the day.