Perched atop its cliff where the Ploučnice meets the Elbe, Děčín Castle is one of the oldest and largest landmarks in northern Bohemia. In the past several hundred years it has served as a point of control for the Bohemian princes, a military fortress, and noble estate.

The forerunner of the Děčín Castle was a wooden fortress built towards the end of the 10th century by the Bohemian princes. The first written record of the province dates from 993 A.D. and of the fortress itself from 1128. In the thirteenth century it was rebuilt in stone as a royal castle that, under unknown circumstances, fell into the hands of the powerful Wartenberg dynasty around 1305.

Numerous later renovations has erased all but fragments of the original medieval semblance of the castle. A significant change to the castle came in the second half of the 16th century when it was held by the Saxon Knights of Bünau, who gradually rebuilt the lower castle into a Renaissance palace with a grand ceremonial hall. The current semblance of the castle is the work of the Thun-Hohensteins, who held the Děčín lands from 1628 to 1932. The Thuns originally came from southern Tyrol and gradually worked their way to the upper echelons of Hapsburg society where they regularly filled important political and church appointments.

The Thuns reworked the castle twice. The first reconstruction, in the Baroque style, was undertaken by Maximilian von Thun, Imperial envoy and diplomat, and was meant to enhance the ceremonial aspects of the property. A central element of the project was a grand access road, the Long Drive, ending in the upper gate of the completely rebuilt entry wing. Along the drive stretched an ornamental garden (today known as the Rose Garden) and a riding yard. Maximilian’s brother Johann Ernst von Thun was responsible for the erection of the Church of the Ascension of the Holy Cross in the town below.

The second and final reconstruction of the castle was undertaken in 1786–1803. The Gothic and Renaissance palaces were torn down, all structures were leveled to the same height and gave them a unified facade. On the riverfront the castle's new dominant feature arose, a slender clock tower. Thus the castle took on the Baroque-Classical style we see today.

In the course of the 19th century, the castle became an important cultural and political center. In the 20th century the castle was used as a military garrison for German and Soviet troops after being handed to the Czechoslovak state in 1932. In 1991 the castle reverted to the ownership of the city of Děčín and the gradual renovation of the devastated structure began.

The eastern wing serves as a branch of the Děčín Regional Museum. The northern wing is occupied by the State District Archives. The staterooms of the western wing welcome individual and group tours, weddings, concerts, exhibits, and other cultural events. The castle courtyard comes to life throughout the year with events ranging from the Historic May Fair to the Wine Festival in September.

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Details

Founded: 993 AD
Category: Castles and fortifications in Czech Republic

More Information

www.zamekdecin.cz

Rating

4.6/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

George Konovaliotis (4 months ago)
I visited this place with my friend and I was amazed by the view and the green. I'd visit again had I had the chance! ?❤️
Leszek Antkiewicz (4 months ago)
This renovated museum is a joke. Audio guide in polish was created using Google translate and presented using Speech synthesis...
Prosenjit Giri (5 months ago)
It's beautiful. The castle is close to Decin hl Nadrazi.
uffe hanghøj johansen (7 months ago)
Interesting 45 minutes guide tour. Be aware that you can't take photographs in the castle, before you come to the little church at the end. Audio guide in English and German can be purchased.
Moulick Doshi (10 months ago)
Chateau of Decin, located in the heart of the Czech Republic, is a stunning and historic castle that is a must-visit attraction for anyone interested in architecture, history, and culture. The castle dates back to the 14th century and has been beautifully restored to showcase its original Baroque and Rococo style. Visitors to the Chateau can explore its opulent interiors, including the grand ballroom, banquet hall, and exquisite salons. The castle also features a stunning library, filled with rare books and manuscripts, as well as a fascinating museum showcasing the castle's history and collections. The Chateau of Decin is surrounded by beautiful gardens and parkland, including a romantic rose garden and a large English park with a lake. Visitors can enjoy leisurely strolls through the gardens or relax on one of the many benches and enjoy the peaceful surroundings. The castle is easily accessible by car or public transportation, and there are plenty of guided tours available for those who want to learn more about the castle's history and significance. Overall, the Chateau of Decin is a must-visit destination for anyone seeking to experience the beauty and grandeur of one of the Czech Republic's most magnificent castles
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