Kobersdorf castle was built in 1528 to the site of moated fortress from the 13th century. The history of original castle dates back to the age of Ludwig the German (806-876). The first document of Kobersdorf castle dates from 1229. The fortress withstood the first siege in 1270. 10 years later it was conquered, also 1289 after it was successfully recaptured. Finally, Duke Albrecht I and King Ándrás III concluded the peace treaty of Hainburg in 1291.
In 1319, King Karl Robert sold the estates to Count Simon II of Forchtenstein-Mattersburg. His father and uncle were the brothers of Tota, a spanish court lady of the hungarian King. Both of them have proved themselves in the spanish reconquista and were therefore allowed to wear the spanish eagle in their coat of arms.
About 1430, the artistic decoration of the fortress, from which only the baptistery remained, was made by Count Wilhelm Forchtenstein-Mattersburg, who also changed the main residence of the family from Forchtenstein to Kobersdorf. 1445, Wilhelm put the estates in pawn to the austrish Duke Albrecht VI, who in turn sold the fortress 1451 to his brother, emperor Friedrich III. When Wilhelm died in 1466, he left two daughters. According to the law, the estates has to be given back to the Hungarian Kingdom. But abiding the agreement on ceasefire of 1447, in which Albrecht VI was certified in the posession of Kobersdorf, the estates now were for the first time under Austrian rule.
In 1458 Matthias Corvinus, King of Hungary, conquered Kobersdorf, but according to the peace of Sopron 1463, the fortress remains in the Hands of Austria. Nevertheless, when count Wilhelm Forchtenstein died in 1466, Corvinus gave Kobersdorf to Weisspriach as a present, in consequence of their unfaithfulness for the Habsburg emperor.
The rampart in westward direction and a bigger chapel were erected in 1482. Both of the buildings were held in the style of the late gothic.
In 1529, the Weisspriach family enlarged the fortress of Kobersdorf to a castle and extend the rampart in the style of renaissance. However, in 1683 the turks captured the castle. They ordered the demolishing of the fortress, which existed until then besides the castle.
In 1704, Franz Kéry sold the estate to his brother-in-law Paul I. Fürst Esterházy. Henceforth, the castle lost its function as an residence. This, on the one hand, causes the preservation of the architectural style, but on the other hand, the castle got more and more derelicted. 1809 it was a quarter for french officers, 1876, a fire destroyed the roof, 1914 and 1942-45 a military prison, and 1945-47, a quarter for the russian red army.
Today the castle is known as a location of concerts, exhibitions and seminars. Parts of the castle can be rented for weddings and celebrations. By agreement, guided visitations are possible.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.