Originally the Ducal Palace of Lerma had immense gardens below it, on the banks of the river, with fountains, stately homes and seven chapels, of which one (Cristo) remains. All documents relating to its construction have been conserved. A 17th-century work, building started in 1601 under commission from Francisco Gómez de Sandoval y Rojas, Duke of Lerma. Its architect was Francisco de Mora and is it is considered de Mora's masterwork and one of the finest buildings of that era.
During the Spanish Civil War the building was used as a prison. It is currently used as a parador.
The doorway is crowned by a frontispiece held up by columns. The large walnut door is decorated with 520 bronze nails. Above the door are two of the duke's coat-of-arms, decorated with laurel. The railings of the windows and balconies are painted blue and gold.
The interior of the patio round arches on each side. The columns are made of single pieces of granite (the quarries were owned by the duke). On the upper level the columns do not support arches, but rather a running frieze with iron balconies between them, and windows which were originally made from walnut wood.
The palace has four towers at the corners, whose spires were also recovered after the restoration works. No palace could have more than two towers except those belonging to kings, but the Duke of Lerma was given this privilege due to his great powers in Court.References:
Hluboká Castle (Schloss Frauenberg) is considered one of the most beautiful castles in the Czech Republic. In the second half of the 13th century, a Gothic castle was built at the site. During its history, the castle was rebuilt several times. It was first expanded during the Renaissance period, then rebuilt into a Baroque castle at the order of Adam Franz von Schwarzenberg in the beginning of the 18th century. It reached its current appearance during the 19th century, when Johann Adolf II von Schwarzenberg ordered the reconstruction of the castle in the romantic style of England's Windsor Castle.
The Schwarzenbergs lived in Hluboká until the end of 1939, when the last owner (Adolph Schwarzenberg) emigrated overseas to escape from the Nazis. The Schwarzenbergs lost all of their Czech property through a special legislative Act, the Lex Schwarzenberg, in 1947.
The original royal castle of Přemysl Otakar II from the second half of the 13th century was rebuilt at the end of the 16th century by the Lords of Hradec. It received its present appearance under Count Jan Adam of Schwarzenberg. According to the English Windsor example, architects Franz Beer and F. Deworetzky built a Romantic Neo-Gothic chateau, surrounded by a 1.9 square kilometres English park here in the years 1841 to 1871. In 1940, the castle was seized from the last owner, Adolph Schwarzenberg by the Gestapo and confiscated by the government of Czechoslovakia after the end of World War II. The castle is open to public. There is a winter garden and riding-hall where the Southern Bohemian gallery exhibitions have been housed since 1956.