The construction on Nelahozeves Castle began under the orders of Florian Griesbeck von Griesbach, a Tyrolean aristocrat and adviser to Emperor Ferdinand I, who commissioned the building from royal master builder Bonifaz Wolmut. The castle took more than sixty years to build and was completed at the beginning of the 17th century, more than a decade after Florian's death.
However, financial difficulties forced the von Griesbach family to sell the castle to Polyxena, 1st Princess Lobkowicz (1566-1642), in 1623. The castle was severely damaged during the Thirty Years' War, but was reconstructed by Václav Eusebius, 2nd Prince Lobkowicz (1609-1677), who used the castle as the center for administration and management of his estates.
The castle never served as the Lobkowicz family’s primary residence. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, it was home to the Order of the Sisters of God's Love, a religious institution for widowed or unmarried noblewomen founded by Princess Wilhelmina Lobkowicz (1863-1945).
Nelahozeves Castle was confiscated by the Communist government in 1948, and housed an exhibition of modern socialist art run by the Czech Regional Gallery in the 1970s and 80s. It was returned to the Lobkowicz family in 1993, and now features an exhibition of historical period rooms, demonstrating the lifestyle of a Bohemian noble family in the mid-19th century. The castle also houses part of the Lobkowicz collection of paintings.References:
Augustusburg Palace represents one of the first examples of Rococo creations in Germany. For the Cologne elector and archbishop Clemens August of the House of Wittelsbach it was the favourite residence. In 1725 the Westphalian architect Johann Conrad Schlaun was commissioned by Clemens August to begin the construction of the palace on the ruins of a medieval moated castle.
In 1728, the Bavarian court architect François de Cuvilliés took over and made the palace into one of the most glorious residences of its time. Until its completion in 1768, numerous outstanding artists of European renown contributed to its beauty. A prime example of the calibre of artists employed here is Balthasar Neumann, who created the design for the magnificent staircase, an enchanting creation full of dynamism and elegance. The magical interplay of architecture, sculpture, painting and garden design made the Brühl Palaces a masterpiece of German Rococo.
UNESCO honoured history and present of the Rococo Palaces by inscribing Augustusburg Palace – together with Falkenlust Palace and their extensive gardens – on the World Heritage List in 1984. From 1949 onwards, Augustusburg Palace was used for representative purposes by the German Federal President and the Federal Government for many decades.
In 1728, Dominique Girard designed the palace gardens according to French models. Owing to constant renovation and care, it is today one of the most authentic examples of 18th century garden design in Europe. Next to the Baroque gardens, Peter Joseph Lenné redesigned the forested areas based on English landscaping models. Today it is a wonderful place to have a walk.