Places in Czech Republic

Kynžvart castle – Part 1

When we were looking for an interesting destination of our weekend trip a few weeks ago, our eyes fell on a description of the nature trail “Kladská” which we found on the Internet. The trail looked great but as it’s not that long and it’s situated about 100 kilometres from our home we wanted to add one more stop to make the trip perfect. Well, just a few kilometres away from the trail there is a town Kynžvart and its castle, so we went for it. I can tell you now how much I was surprised (once again) what a remarkable place it is. I wish I could see the interior of the castle too with its cabinet of curiosities, library full of precious old books and one of the oldest Czech museums.

The Kynžvart castle is situated in West Bohemia and is known especially as a former summer residence of the Austrian chancellor Klemens von Metternich (1773-1859).

The history of the castle dates back to the end of the 16th century when a renaissance castle was built in the valley. In 1630, five brothers of the Metternich family acquired it. The castle belonged to the family until 1945. Quite a long time, wasn’t it?

At the end of the 17th century the renaissance castle was remodelled into a baroque castle but the most important reconstruction was still to be expected. The moment came after Klemens von Metternich inherited the castle in 1818. He needed an impressive seat and so he let the castle remodel extensively in the Classicism style.

In 1945 the castle was confiscated and soon open to the public. Nevertheless, in 1976 it was closed and emptied because of dry rot fungus attack and the future of the building was seriously at risk. As you can see from my photos, money and effort were expended and the risk was averted. The reconstruction was brought successfully to an end in 2000 and was rewarded in 2002 with the EUROPA NOSTRA prize, which is the highest European award for monument preservation.

Next time I’ll take you to the castle’s park.