In Vranov region, you will feel like in a fairy tale. Hardly anywhere you'll get to see as many impressive castles and magical chateaus, as well as mysterious ruins, as here. Apart from the most famous ones – Vranov and Bítov, there are also many lesser known sites that are definitely worth discovering. On your journeys for centuries old sights can also boldly cross the Austrian border.
Hope you enjoy the romantic atmosphere of the landscape imbued with history.
You cannot help but notice the baroque chateau in Vranov nad Dyjí, for it is situated on a 76m high rock right above the village, thus creating an unmatched dominant in the area. Chateau Vranov is also one of the most important secular baroque buildings in central Europe, naturally becoming a National Monument. The rich and long history of this chateau dates back to early 12th century and it is even mentioned in the Chronicle of Bohemians by Kosmas. Later, the chateau was rebuilt from what was originally a castle, and gained its form as we know it today.
For shaping this transformation, we can mostly thank Johann Bernhard Fischer from Erlach, a famous court architect, who created the projects for the richly decorated Hall of ancestors and the chapel of the Holy Trinity as a custom order from Count of Althann, at the beginning of 17th century.
The Hall of ancestors was decorated by leading artists of that era – such as the Viennese sculptor Tobias Kracker, who fitted the hall niches with statues of important Althann family members, or Michael Rottmayer, creator of the monumental mythological fresco in the dome. The chapel of the Holy Trinity was also honoured with attention of prestigious artists, namely the Austrian Ignaz Heinitz of Heizenthal, who contributed with paintings of the altar, together with an epic dome fresco depicting the family patron and protector of the church – Archangel Michael. Impressive interiors of the chateau and the chapel, as well as the charming gardens are open to visitors.
More information here: www.zamek-vranov.cz
Tel: +420 515 296 215
GPS: 48°53'33.496"N 15°48'39.614"E
One can find a proper castle in Bítov! Being built as early as 11th century by prince Břetislav I in the fertile region around the confluence of Thaya and Želetavka, it mainly served a defensive purpose from its very beginning. After the death of the Přemysl family, it was taken over by the Lichtenburgs, who arranged its major redevelopment and built the Church of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary (kostel Nanebevzetí Panny Marie in Czech) in 1334.
The castle itself will greet you with much more however, as it home to an extensive collection of historical weapons, and especially a unique exhibition of stuffed dogs, founded by the last owner, Jiří Haas of Hasenfels. And trust us – you won't find another one quite like this, for it is the largest in Europe and, who knows? Maybe even the world.
Situated above this monument is also a large forest park with multiple romantic buildings and views not only at the castle itself, but also at the confluence of Thaya and Želetavka. The forest park was built by earls Dauns and today offers a set of inviting standstills. You should not miss the castle fountain Burgquelle with Lourdes Madonna or the Pool of Love with a romantic gazebo in the midst of water.
MORE CZECH CASTLES
Cornštejn, it is happening! If you fancy jugglers, medieval music or fencing tournaments, come right here. At this charming ruin, history can touch you like hardly anywhere.
Not only you can feel a powerful ambiance in this chateau, you can also stroll through its extensive park.
Ruin with an indisputable genius loci. Let yourselves be tempted to walk amongst them.
An attractive ruin, where history and nature are literally conjoined together.
A strategic castle, once a pivot of influential events, today you can visit the museum's exposition on the life of nobility and castle society.
CASTLES OF AUSTRIA
Visit one of the best preserved fortresses in Lower Austria!
Mentions of the majestic castle Raabs can already be found in Kosmas’ Chronicle of Bohemians.
Ruin of the castle Kaja is to be found right next to Hardegg and Czech Nový Hrádek, therefore ideal for a convenient multi-monument visit.
Baroque splendour located nearby the Czech-Austrian border.