Chateau Žinkovy

My husband’s relatives visited us last weekend and we took them out for a dinner. On our way to the restaurant we were passing by a pond, at whose end we could see a chateau together with its shiny reflection. What a beautiful view… I knew the chateau as I had already been there before and I decided to come back there as soon as possible to check on its present condition and perhaps take a few photos. I did as I had decided and yesterday we (i.e. I and my family) spent 3 interesting hours enriched with a few surprises in the area.

When we arrived at the pond, sky was full of clouds and we couldn’t see any shiny chateau reflection I was hoping for. Never mind, I didn’t give up and here is another reflection we met along the way:

Žinkovy

When we approached the chateau, I was quite surprised to see new buildings there. They were a restaurant and a hotel and obviously there has been some reconstruction work in process on the premises.

Žinkovy

Later I got to know that the chateau had been bought by a foreign company intending to change it into a tourist and congress centre. If realised, it might be a good solution. The chateau is in bad condition (well, to say awful would be more appropriate here) and whatever is done to restore it is good. I have to admit that I wasn’t able to shoot those battered and dirty walls which repelled me and so I won’t show you the front face of the chateau. But take a look at this detail of the roof, isn’t it charming?

chateau-Žinkovy

And this is the back part of the chateau:

chateau-Žinkovy

There is also a large park belonging to the chateau. I’ve never seen it and it was closed this time so I’m looking forward to see it in its new cloths. These trees are decorating the edge of the pond:

Žinkovy

To mention some of the chateau’s history, I have to start in the 12th century when a water castle was built at the edge of the pond. The castle was rebuilt in the 17th century in a baroque style but a dramatic change came about at the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries when it was bought by an Austrian architect. In accordance with French architecture, he let the castle change into a pseudo-renaissance chateau.

Unfortunately, after the end of WWII communists seized power in the Czech Republic and confiscated the chateau (as well as other private possession). It was used as a trade-union recreation facility then and the buildings were slowly falling into disrepair. What a shame. After the “velvet revolution” in 1989 the political situation changed and the chateau was offered for sale. The foreign company I’ve already mentioned bought it, invested some money in it and hopefully the chateau will find its beauty again…

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18 Comments

    1. Red, it’s true, Europe is full of beautiful historic buildings whose value is priceless for all the history they represent. 100 years in your case don’t seem long enough but look at those wonderful modern buildings your homeland boasts!

  1. Oh, I do hope the chateau will be restored to it’s former glory. It would be beautiful. Like Red, it’s hard for me to imagine buildings built in the 12th century. It’s a reminder of how “young” America really is.

    1. Linda, I see your point of view and I also hope that the chateau will indeed be restored. But for me it feels a bit different. E.g. our house is about 100 years old. Of course we restored it so now it has warm running water, central heating and other amenities but it still keeps its old soul, I can feel it in its walls. I wouldn’t change…

  2. What a lovely place and so old! It’s good to see it in such great shape and so well taken care of.

    Thanks for your comment. Palm trees seem to be very hardy and grow in cool climates like ours. I do love the exotic flowers they produce every spring.

  3. Jo

    It’s such a shame when old buildings are allowed to fall in to disrepair. Good to hear that a company is willing to invest in it and bring it back to it’s former glory. It looks to be set in some wonderful grounds.

    1. Jo, the grounds are covered in trees an when the park is finished, it’ll be a beautiful place. I think the problem with these old buildings is that they are too big and too unsuitable for current needs. It’s too expensive to heat them and to keep them in good technical condition…

  4. The chateau is stunning, I can’t wait to hear and see what the new owners do with it.

    I love your first photo as well, it’s lovely and the rust colored roof reflecting in the water is so pretty.

    I’ve been looking through some of your photos and you do some amazing work… or if you’re like me, taking photos isn’t work it’s all pleasure!

    1. Darlene, I hope that when I come here in a year or two, I’ll be able to see some progress and document it.

      Thank you for your warm and kind words, I’m really pleased that you like my photos. Taking photos is a pleasure to me but sometimes also fight to catch what I see.

  5. I have enjoyed your photos in this presentation very much Petra as well as the history… i liked your first photo of the reflections very much.
    Thank you for visiting my photoblog today… it is nice to meet people from around the world with the same interest in photography ….peter:)

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