The Doria Castle is situated in a dominant position overlooking the Dolceacqua village. The first mention of the castle and the village, called at the time Dulzana, dates back to 1177 in an ancient document in which abuts the property of the counts of Ventimiglia. Will be in 1270, almost a hundred years later, the feud and its manor house will be purchased by Oberto Doria - the latter founder of the famous dynasty that will dominate Genoa and its Republic - which will expand its territories in the Nervia Valley up to the villages of Apricale, Perinaldo and Isolabona.
The castle will be in the 14th century in the center of fights between the factions of the Guelphs and the Ghibellines and the Doria family, exponent ghibellina, will therefore have to undergo two heavy sieges in 1319 and in 1329; the sieges were ordered by King Robert of Anjou, Count of Provence and the Guelfa, who succeeded in his aim of conquest forcing the Doria to submit to his will. The lords of the family will become therefore the vassals of the latter and afterwards of the Republic of Genoa. In 1744 the castle was once again the scene of clashes and furious battles because of its strategic position deemed important for the possible obstacle that could create to the French army and Spanish. The two armies, Allies, succeeded after violent struggles to conquer the fortress on 27 July 1745.
Originally the structure was composed in the 12th century by a circular tower - still existing at the center of the complex - and by a smaller building where he lived the office of guard. The castle was enlarged in the 16th century by the then lord local Stefano Doria, to which he added to the previous structure a bastion rammed in the eastern sector and the two square towers are identical. Today the structure appears as divided into two blocks, the front part was in fact intended to control and safety of the village as well as local service, prisons and warehouses; the rear, connected with the front body through a large courtyard, was instead where they were located the environments of the representation and reception of guests and where did the local lords.References:
The first historical record of Lednice locality dates from 1222. At that time there stood a Gothic fort with courtyard, which was lent by Czech King Václav I to Austrian nobleman Sigfried Sirotek in 1249.
At the end of the 13th century the Liechtensteins, originally from Styria, became holders of all of Lednice and of nearby Mikulov. They gradually acquired land on both sides of the Moravian-Austrian border. Members of the family most often found fame in military service, during the Renaissance they expanded their estates through economic activity. From the middle of the 15th century members of the family occupied the highest offices in the land. However, the family’s position in Moravia really changed under the brothers Karel, Maximilian, and Gundakar of Liechtenstein. Through marriage Karel and Maximilian acquired the great wealth of the old Moravian dynasty of the Černohorskýs of Boskovice. At that time the brothers, like their father and grandfather, were Lutheran, but they soon converted to Catholicism, thus preparing the ground for their rise in politics. Particularly Karel, who served at the court of Emperor Rudolf II, became hetman of Moravia in 1608, and was later raised to princely status by King Matyas II and awarded the Duchy of Opava.
During the revolt of the Czech nobility he stood on the side of the Habsburgs, and took part in the Battle of White Mountain. After the uprising was defeated in 1620 he systematically acquired property confiscated from some of the rebels, and the Liechtensteins became the wealthiest family in Moravia, rising in status above the Žerotíns. Their enormous land holdings brought them great profits, and eventually allowed them to carry out their grandious building projects here in Lednice.
In the 16th century it was probably Hartmann II of Liechtenstein who had the old medieval water castle torn down and replaced with a Renaissance chateau. At the end of the 17th century the chateau was torn down and a Baroque palace was built, with an extensive formal garden, and a massive riding hall designed by Johann Bernard Fischer von Erlach that still stands in almost unaltered form.
In the mid-18th century the chateau was again renovated, and in 1815 its front tracts that had been part of the Baroque chateau were removed.
The chateau as it looks today dates from 1846-1858, when Prince Alois II decided that Vienna was not suitable for entertaining in the summer, and had Lednice rebuilt into a summer palace in the spirit of English Gothic. The hall on the ground floor would serve to entertain the European aristocracy at sumptuous banquets, and was furnished with carved wood ceilings, wooden panelling, and select furniture, surpassing anything of its kind in Europe.