Gardens and Castle of Kromeríž, Czech Republic
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member dark.metalswamp
N 49° 18.000 E 017° 23.576
33U E 673963 N 5463561
Quick Description: The gardens and castle of Kromeríž are an exceptionally complete and well-preserved example of a European Baroque princely residence and its gardens.
Location: Zlínský kraj, Czechia
Date Posted: 5/2/2007 4:11:37 AM
Waymark Code: WM1G4T
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member Tervas
Views: 286

Long Description:

The Chateau and the Gardens of Kromeríž dominate the town and they are the main magnet for visitors of the Urban Historical Reserve of Kromeríž. Originally the village of serfs, since it obtained the status of a town in the 13th century it was the residence of bishops and archbishops of Olomouc. After destruction by Swedes during the Thirty-years war Bishop Karl II von Lichtenstein - Kastelkorn decided to build up an Early-Baroque palace, a representative aristocratic seat and the place of noblemen’ meetings and courts on the site of the former Great Moravian castle-site and the Gothic and Renaissance castle. Architectural conception of the whole castle complex as well as other objects of the Urban Historical Reserve are works of Filiberto Lucchese and Giovanni Pietro Tencalla, Italian architects. A visitor will certainly notice the artistic design of the Chateau with the splendid decoration created by Italian artists (Baltazaro Fontana, P.A.Pagani) together with local craftsmen (influence of post-Michelangelo school of G.B. Vignola). The square block of three-storied building with a court yard and the huge octagonal tower (84m) is decorated with corner risalits, facade pilasters with roman chapiters and lisene system of sunken oblongs. After fire in 1752 the original attic balustrade was brought down, the corner bastions removed, the court yard amended, the new roof put on and afterwards at the turn of the last century the Castle moat filled in and the staircase leading to the Garden and the pompous porticoes by the Garden entrance built. Interior of the Chateau, permanently opened to visitors since 1950 is the unique example of an aristocratic seat with furnishings, in keeping with the position of a prominent nobleman of Moravia. The Hunting Room with the Entrance Hall - not only the exposition of the trophies of frequent hunts, but also the demonstration of economical activity of bishops (products of smelting). The room holds examples of the weapons used during the Hussite war, the Thirty-years war as well as during inroads of Turks into the region about three hundred years ago. The Pink Parlour - decorated nicely with interior furnishings and pictures. The cristalline chandelier and the Venetian mirror show artistic cleverness of the Czech and Italian craftsmen. The Czar´s Room - served as a reception salon for the Russian Czar Alexander III (1885) and it is decorated with portraits of the Emperor Franc Joseph I and his wife Elisabeth, the Empress Marie Terezie and Franc de Lorraine, the Emperor Franc I and Bishop Leopold William the Habsburg. The Consultation Hall is a gallery of bishops and archbishops of Olomouc. During the Constitutive Imperial Assembly in 1848/49 in Kromeríž it served for meetings and sessions of ministers and deputies. The Throne Hall - holds a rich decoration with pictures in carved frames on walls (boiserie), which replaced textile wallpapers and served for official receptions. Also the Small Dining Room is decorated with numbers of originals of the Chateau Art Gallery. The Great Dining Room was built up in the part destroyed by the fire and nowadays it is known as the Assembly Hall. It is the most beautiful and the largest rococo hall in the country being recommended by František Palacký and approved by the Emperor Ferdinand for meetings of the Imperial Assembly in 1848. Gilded stuccoes, cristalline chandeliers, mirrors, portraits of Archbishop Kohn and Bishop Hamilton - the builder of the hall - and ceiling picture of him (the largest in the castle - more than 400m2) predetermine it for concerts, festivals of music, conferences and congresses. Its Ante-Hall with fresco-decoration serves for short expositions and completes the sight-seeing of this „piano nobile“. The collection of paintings is the most valuable art collection of the Chateau with its origin going back to the 17th century. Its artistic and historical value places it next to the most distinguished European collections. Pictures attained in the auction of the collection of Karl I - King of England form the core of the Gallery in the halls on the second floor of the Chateau. Visitors can see there works of Gothic and Renaissance paintings from the Central Europe (Marian cycle, Lucas Cranach el. and others), portrait art of the German and Dutch painters of the 16th century (Q.Metsys, H.v. Aachen, H.Suess, V.Kulmach and others), genre pictures of the 16th and the 17th centuries (F.Floris, A.Mirou, D.Vinckboons, J.Brueghel el. and others), master works of the Rubens´ pupils and the painters of his age (T.v Loon, A.v.Dyck, H.Safltleven, F.Francis, F.Wouters, P.Boel and others) and the Italian painters of Venice and Bologna (A.Carracci, P.Amalteo, P.Caliari-Veronese, G.A.Fasolo and others). Also the most valuable and precious painting in the country - „Appolo and Marsyas“ by Tizian Vecelli waits for admiration of visitors. Heritage of the Master to all mankind is hidden by means of symbols in the composition of the story. Large paintings on canvases with the topic of Biblical Flood were created as a cycle (Building of Arch, Bringing Animals into Arch, Flood, Noah´s Sacrifice) by Jacopo dal Ponte-Bassano. Next hall is fixed for the masters working in the castle (P.A.Pagani, P.Abbiatti and others) and the painters operating in Italy (German ones e.g. Joh.Liss, J.A.Eismann and others). The Gallery ends in the former Castle Theatre Hall and the Musical Hall with works of J.H.Schonfeld, Chr.Paudiss, Joh.Fuger and Still Life by F.W.Tamm. The sight-seeing the of historical halls continues throughout the rococo pearl of Moravia - the Castle Chapel of St. Šebestián and the Vassal´s Hall with the large fresco by Fr.Ant.Maulbertsch and the decoration of Italian stuccoers. The Castle Library Rooms are in the end and contain more than 80 000 volumes (handwritings, manuscripts, old prints) as well as the grafic collection (19 000 inv. nos.), the musical archives (6 000 inv. nos.) and the world-renowned religious mint collection of coins and medals, the second largest following the one of Vatican. The sight-seeing tour can be completed with the climb on the Chateau Tower offering an interesting view around the Haná Plain or with the visit of Sala Terrena, which used to form an entrance from the Garden. Ceiling frescoes, artificial grottoes, sculpture and stucco-decoration were created by Italian artists (e.g. P.A.Pagani, B.Fontana), being invited to work in Kromeríž by Bishop Lichtenstein. The Chateau Garden was gradually changing from a vegetable and fruit garden in the 15th century during period of the Castle Baroque reconstruction to a landscape park being in the 19th century enlarged into the area of 64 ha, replacing moorlands surrounding the Morava river with meadows, precious trees and shrubs, ponds, rivers and romantic buildings. Frequent use of water (water features) in the Garden has got a great importance for its development and composition and places the Garden to the most important landscape parks in Europe. The second historical garden, founded behind the town walls on moors and uncultivable land as a Pleasure garden called Flower Garden now is the unique example of an Early-Baroque garden design. It became a model for the Central-European gardens, especially these of the Donau river area. Architectural features of the Flower Garden - a gallery called Kolonade, a central Rondel, known as Rotunda together with its top garden art remind the gardens of Italy, especially for its sculptor´s, painter´s and handicrafts qualities. Visitors are attracted by its atmosphere of tranquillity suitable for relaxation. The sight-seeing footbridge on the top of the Kolonade enables to look down on the geometrical division of the high espaliers, the colourful ornaments of parterres as well as the historical panorama of the town, surrounded by modern suburbs today. During 1998 the restored building of the Bishop Mint joint the Castle complex and offers permanent expositions of mintage in Kromeríž now. The Chateau and the Gardens of Kromeríž are registered as the National Cultural Monuments of the Czech republic and in December 1998 were inscribed on UNESCO World Heritage List. This is evidence of the good relationship of the local people and their responsible care devoted to the historical monuments, created for present as well as for future.

Podzamecka Garden
With its area of 54 hectares, on one hand took advantage of the castle northern front face, which stands in the garden parterre adjacentto the portico once used as a large balconyfor the ground floor, on the other hand it had developed all the features and possibilitiesof a landscaping park.The nearby flow of Morava river with its branches helped to enrich the park with various water sheets, including the Chotek Pond on the north.The scenery of the place has always been changing. The Long Pond on the western side offered a possibility to cruise around on boats,or to skate in wintertime. The shorter bank of the pond gave the locality to the small unpretentious Fishermen Cottage constructed by M.Sc. Kroupalof Grünberk. The northern part of the Podzámecká garden is flown around and bounded by the river of Morava, forming thus the monolithic unitwith the surrounding landscape.

Flower Garden ("Libosad")
has somewhat come nearer to the town,when the city forts and walls were torn downand the houses built instead reachedthe Libosad. The design and lay out were drawn up by Anton Arche, the implementation took place in the years 1840 - 1845. The Libosad is another work of extraordinary value. Without any attempts to violate or modify the original layoutof the early-Baroque Libosad, its side parts were supplemented with another buildings, namely:the tropical stove, cold greenhouse, residential and administration buildings.This quasi-quadrangle created a yard inside giving to the Libosad and Rotunda standingin its centre. The entrance was emphasisedwith a portal embedded into a shallow three-axis buttress. The buttress is capped with a triangle tympanum carrying the gilted Archbishop's indicium. The yard is fitted with garden furniture made from cast-iron in the Archbishop's ironworks factory in Frýdlant. The vases furnished with the Archbishop's indicium and benchesin the secondary rococo style all look smartand modern coated with white colour.LIBOSAD or FLOWER GARDENis an axially-oriented late-Renaissance or, as a matter of fact, manneristic garden, foundedin 1665 on the oblong rectangular platformwith dimensions 300 m x 485 m.The front gate verges into the extraordinary long and monumental gallery, called collonade.224 m in length forms the phenomenal shapeof the architectural element. The ground platform of Libosad was interlaced with a complex water distribution system supplying the ponds, fountains, the lake by the aviary, waterworks,and the sophisticated machinery-like unit called the "water-jests" located in the interior of the central Rotunda. The axis of Libosad is stretched from the front gate, across the Rotunda to the skittleground equipped with the water-jest as well. Along the main axis line there were the mazes and rectangular ponds stocked with carp and trout fries. Further on, the axis runs over two artificial HUMMOCKS called the Strawberry Hills, the popular composition elements. The occurrence of these dates back to the antique gardens, e.g. the Chorsabad Garden. The then hummocks already had summer-houses, which was also the case in Kromeriz. Another stageof the axis were the amusement facilities of the garden.

Type: Site

Reference number: 860

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