A fireworks display at Náchod Chateau went wrong on Friday night with one of the fireworks failing to take off and exploding close to the ground. The explosion shattered several windows and damaged the façade of the chateau’s southern wing. Nobody was injured in the incident. The material damage to the historic monument is estimated at around 1 million crowns. Police are investigating the cause of the accident.
Anyone visiting the area of southwest Bohemia throughout May to October shouldn’t miss a tour of Švihov Castle, one of the country’s most significant water castles found not far from Plzeň. Founded in the late 16th century, the castle represented the best defence system in its day – a combination of high fortifications and moats that put off the most obstinate of would-be attackers. Today the castle offers two tours, which include a look into its inner courtyard, a private chapel and the armoury.
Orlík Castle in southern Bohemia, one of the region’s most significant and popular tourist destinations, was broken into on Sunday night. The thieves stole a number or precious historic weapons, including swords and sabres before they were disturbed by security workers and ran away. The chateau, originally a 12th century castle, belongs to the Schwarzenberg family.
The tourist season kicked off for Czech castles and chateaux on Saturday with the ceremonial opening of Křivoklat Castle in the west of Central Bohemia. Speaking at the event, Minister of Culture Václav Riedlbauch announced that season would see a continuation of last year’s Memorials Reborn project (Oživlé památky). In May, visitors will be able to take tours of Czech castles guided by the wardens and access parts of the monuments that are not generally open to the public. In June then that system will apply to castle gardens. The summer months are to highlight the household life of noblemen, and September will offer special programmes providing an inside look at the process of memorial restoration.
A stately home on the edge of Prague has been snapped up for just under a quarter of a billion crowns. The new owner of the well preserved Baroque Koloděje landmark will be getting not just a luxury property and grounds but also an interesting slice of Czech history. We look at the individual property and top of the range real estate market.
Many historical monuments in the Czech are under threat and action needs to be taken to save them. So says the state-funded National Monuments Institute, which has just launched a campaign to draw attention to the subject. But what kind of sites are actually in danger? That’s a question I put to the Institute’s Věra Kučová.
If there were a capital city of legendry in the Czech Republic, the town of Nepomuk would be a hot contestant for the honour. There are said to be graves that glow when someone’s about to die, a landscape littered with the petrified cattle of a greedy pagan and the ghost of an evil musketeer who walks the earth with the still-ferocious spectre of his dog. The official population of Nepomuk may be 3,700, but that’s only if you count the living.
Zbiroh Chateau has stood on its hill between the Křivoklátské and Brdy Forests since the 12th century, a beautiful thing, wistfully recalled in the famous melody by Václav Vačkář, “A Memory of Zbiroh”. Until recently, memories of Zbiroh were just about all anyone had, because the chateau and its many treasures and mysteries were strictly sealed off for most of the 20th century. The memory of its illustrious history is only resurfacing today.