The ruins of Nový Hradek castle dates from the 14th century, on a promontory overlooking Dyje river. It is situated in the National Park Podyjí, accessible from the villages Podmolí or Lukov, but only on foot or by bicycle.
The first historically proven owners of this territory were the Premonstratensian monks from the Louka monastery in Znojmo, who exchanged it with the Moravian Margrave John Henry von Luxembourg in 1358. He was the one who established – on the narrowest place of the rocky stripe, perched some 80 metres high above the level of Dyje – the so-called Lower Castle as a fortified settlement used for his occasional hunting outings. The lower moat wall has been preserved to this day, with its unique inner oval wall that is up to three metres thick in some places. The castle was substantially reconstructed to withstand the Hussite wars in the 15th century.
In the 16th century, this reconstructed aristocratic seat changed hands between several owners during a relatively short period of time. They added more fortification measures on the northern side – a massive wall and a bastion with loopholes.
In the 17th century during the rule of the Scherfenbergs, the terror of the Thirty Years’ War reached Nový Hrádek. The surrounding villages were plundered, and the insufficiently protected castle was – for unknown reasons – taken and partially demolished by the Swedish army lead by General Torstenson in 1645. Since then, the military importance of the castle has been only marginal. The damaged parts were not renovated.
In 1799, Nový Hrádek received a new owner – the Polish count Stanislav von Mniszek, who reconstructed one of the older buildings in the large courtyard (probably in 1800), and later established a storage and sales department for the stoneware produced in his factory in Vranov. Following the romantic fashion of his period, he also reconstructed the Upper Castle, and adjusted it for short-term outings and hunting events he liked to hold with his family and guests. His daughter and heiress Luitgarde of Stadnice later continued with these activities, and in the second half of the 19th century she ordered the extension and reinforcement of the garden terraces on the south-eastern slope.
The natural, as well as the historic and architectural values of the castle are really outstanding. They were also recognised by the Czech government, which declared Nový Hrádek, together with the Vranov State Chateau, a National Cultural Monument in 2002. By this measure, the supreme executive body of the state expressed the statement that Nový Hrádek represents a valuable source of material culture, and that it belongs to the group of monuments representing the most important part of the nation’s cultural heritage.References:
The Basilica of Santa Maria in Trastevere is one of the oldest churches of Rome. The basic floor plan and wall structure of the church date back to the 340s, and much of the structure to 1140-43. The first sanctuary was built in 221 and 227 by Pope Callixtus I and later completed by Pope Julius I.
The inscription on the episcopal throne states that this is the first church in Rome dedicated to Mary, mother of Jesus, although some claim that privilege belongs to the Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore. A Christian house-church was founded here about 220 by Pope Saint Callixtus I (217-222) on the site of the Taberna meritoria, a refuge for retired soldiers. The area was made available for Christian use by Emperor Alexander Severus when he settled a dispute between the Christians and tavern-keepers.
The church underwent two restorations in the fifth and eighth centuries and in 1140-43 it was re-erected on its old foundations under Pope Innocent II.