Baroque enfilade and other attractions Valtice Chateau
1 - 2 Days
Baroque enfilade and other attractions Valtice Chateau
Valtice is the best preserved baroque chateau in the Czech Republic. The seat of the powerful Liechtenstein family, with sumptuously furnished chambers, richly decorated chapel and a faithful replica of the original theatre, is one of the best examples of how the life of Baroque nobility was like. The Liechtenstein family members, however, did not concern themselves with the family seat only – their aim was to make the entire estate an earthly version of the heavenly paradise. To this end, they gradually added tree-lined roads, chapels, wayside chapels and other landscape features to their surroundings. Today, the Lednice-Valtice area is the largest man-made landscape in the world and to properly explore it, you need at least two days. Besides Valtice Chateau, make sure to see other monuments which bear witness to the extraordinary prosperity of this winemaking region in the Baroque period and sample the best wines grown on the surrounding vineyards. On the second day, hop on a bicycle and visit the other Liechtenstein Chateau in Lednice, whose Baroque period has left us several features, such as the remarkable artificial grotto.
How to get to the starting point
Valtice is easily accessible by public transport from Břeclav or Znojmo (train), or from Brno (buses).
From the Valtice-město train station, the chateau is about 800 m away along the main road (red trail markings).
Bicycle rental is available in Petr Bezruč street not far from the chateau (opposite the St. Augustin Church, http://www.cykloraj.com/), or a bit further away from town, in K lesíku street (http://www.huranakolo.cz).
Another option is the bike rental service in Lednice, on Břeclavská street.
You can also use the services of Fun Moravia, who will deliver a rental bicycle anywhere you want. http://www.funmorava.cz/
1. Valtice Chateau
The residence of an important aristocratic family of Liechtenstein and one of the testaments of how the highest nobility lived in the Baroque period. This extensive Baroque compound was the result of a gradual refurbishment of an earlier Gothic castle and includes, apart from the chateau itself, also large riding stables and other outbuildings. Modifications spanning across the 17th and 18th centuries were designed by a number of eminent personalities, including the main Viennese imperial architect Giovanni Battista Carlone. The basic guided tour takes you through the beautifully decorated representation halls where Emperor Franz Joseph I. and Chancellor Clemens Metternich once stayed. If you want to appear knowledgeable, find out what enfilade is. This is a question your guide will ask – Valtice is one of the few chateaus where this Baroque architectural feature can be seen.
April: Tue – Sun, 9 AM – 4 PM
May, June, September: Tue – Sun, 9 AM – 5 PM
July – August: Mon – Sun, 9 AM – 5 PM
October: Tue – Sun, 9 AM – 3 PM
November: Sat – Sun, 10 AM – 2 PM
Valtice Chateau Aleš Motejl
The unique late-Baroque theatre was founded in 1790 on the occasion of the visit of Emperor Leopold II. and was the location of the premiere of one of compositions by Leopold's favourite composer – Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. Its stage, with a sophisticated control mechanisms for wooden backdrops and sound effects was damaged during WW II and by insensitive building alterations in the 1950s. It was refurbished to its original state between 2014 and 2015. Today, you can try making rain or thunder sounds on the original equipment during the tour. The theatre tours are only available during summer.
September – June: Closed
July – August: Mon – Sun, 10 AM – 4 PM
Chateau TheatreArchiv Centrály cestovního ruchu jižní Moravy
Do not forget to visit the Chateau Chapel, one of the most beautiful in the Czech Republic. Its interior is a masterpiece by the famous Italian decorator Antonio Beduzzi, who designed the chapel, decorated it with frescoes and suggested the sculptural designs too.
If you want a bit of distance from Baroque art for a while, head to the chateau's herb garden to find out about herbs, which were grown in Valtice since the 17th century for the local hospital. Today's herb garden is continuing the tradition. It contains more than 300 species of herbs used for medicinal purposes, dying of fabrics, or as spices.
Church of the Assumption of Virgin MaryArchiv Centrály cestovního ruchu jižní Moravy
2. Church of the Assumption of Virgin Mary
The construction of this monumental church damaged the reputation of one of the leading Baroque architects, Giovanni Giacomo Tencalla. The Liechtenstein family's favourite builder has successfully participated in rebuilding the chateaus in Lednice and Valtice and the new parish church in Valtice was to be his masterpiece. But in 1638, barely a year after the completion of the main structure, its central dome central collapsed. Tencalla was released from Liechtensteins' services immediately and the completion of the church was significantly prolonged (and more expensive). It was only consecrated in the late 17th century and some completion works were ongoing for many years after that. In 1750, the church received an organ from the renowned Austrian master organ builder Johann Hencke, which gave the name to the annual classical music festival in Valtice.
3. Church of St. Augustin
Apart from the chateau and its church, the third most significant Baroque monument in Valtice is the Convent of the Brothers of Mercy, who came to South Moravia at the invitation of the Liechtensteins in 1605 and founded the first hospital North of the Alps there. The convent included the Church of St. Augustin, founded in 1671.
An early-Baroque column built between 1680–1690 at the request of Prince Karl Eusebius of Liechtenstein to commemorate the victims of plagues, which hit Valtice several times in the 17th century.
Winemaking Educational Trail
Thanks to its sunny slopes and soil composition, the Valtice region produces some of the best grapes in the country. The best way to find out about local varieties and winemaking tradition is a 5 km long walk along the winemaking educational trail, which runs between wineries to the nearby Reistna Colonnade.
Church of St. AugustinArchiv Centrály cestovního ruchu jižní Moravy
Valticko Ivanka Čištínová
Reistna Colonnade Jan Miklín
The Reistna Colonnade is located next to where the closely watched border between the East and West (the Iron Curtain) was in the second half of the 20th century. The Iron Curtain Museum nearby shows the history of the border protection during the Communism.
This hill offers breathtaking views of Valtice and Lednice. The observation colonnade was built by architect Joseph Hardtmuth (also the inventor of lead pencil and founder of the Koh-i-noor pencil factory) in the early 19th century. In ordering it, the Liechtensteins were inspired by the famous Glorietta in Viennese Schönbrunn Chateau.
(10 AM – 5 PM)
March, April, October, November: Sat, Sun, holidays 10 AM – 5 PM
May, June, September: Fri, Sat, Sun, holidays 10 AM – 5 PM
July, August: daily 10 AM – 5 PM
Valtice Wine cellars
At the end of a long day, relax in the unique underground labyrinth of 13 interconnected wine cellar, enjoy the unique atmosphere and the best of local wineries production.
Valtice Wine cellarsArchiv Centrály cestovního ruchu jižní Moravy
The rolling countryside between Valtice and Lednice was being enhanced by the Liechtenstein family since Baroque times – in 1715 for instance, they founded what is called the Bezruč alley today, a tree-lined road connecting both their chateaus. The present appearance of the entire area, however, was most influenced by their activity in the 19th century, when a number of romanticism-inspired buildings and features were added to the landscape. Given the predominantly flat terrain, the best way to explore the entire area is on a bicycle.
Belvedere Summer PalaceArchiv Centrály cestovního ruchu jižní Moravy
4. Belvedere Summer Palace
Empire-style mansion in the grounds of the former pheasant farm was originally supposed to be decorated with Chinese motifs. It burned down at the end of the 19th century and fell into disrepair for many years. The refurbished interior should be opened on 1/9/2017.
5. Border Palace
The façade of this classicist summer residence on the bank of the Hlohovec Pond bears a German inscription „Between Austria and Moravia“. It was here that the old border between Moravia and Austria used to run.
Border PalaceArchiv Centrály cestovního ruchu jižní Moravy
Pond PalaceArchiv Centrály cestovního ruchu jižní Moravy
6. Pond Palace
Originally the residence of a gamekeeper, later a hunting lodge. A small classical mansion on the banks of the Prostřední pond was designed by Viennese architect Josef Kornhäusel, who was in charge of the overall remodelling of the Lednice chateau.
One of the most famous Czech chateaus, built in its present English Gothic style by Prince Alois II of Liechtenstein. Most of its original Baroque structures were lost and the interiors are a good example of how the life of nobility changed compared to Valtice. One interesting Baroque feature was preserved, however – an artificial cave in the basement of the chateau. It is part of a separate guided tour, which also focuses on the sophisticated technical equipment of the chateau.
Your trip to Lednice will be even more diverse if you take a boat cruise along the meanders of the Old Dyje river, through a preserved flood plain forest with colonies of herons, turtles and beavers. The boats leave from Lednice Chateau, the Minaret, or Jan's Castle.
8. Lookout Tower
A bird's eye view of Lednice's ponds.
9. Apollo's Temple
The Empire-style mansion on the hill above Mlýnský pond is the most beautiful at sunset. Its facade is decorated with statues of the Muses, brought here from the older Temple of the Muses.
Nový dvůr Farm
10. Nový dvůr Farm
The overall composition of the Lednice landscape by architects of the 19th century also included carefully designed and placed farming buildings. The Nový dvůr/New Court Empire farm is an example – it is used mostly for horse stables now.
11. Three Graces
The statue of three Greek goddesses Pallas Athena, Aphrodite and Artemis, despite its name, has nothing to do with the mythological Graces. The real Graces were the daughters of Zeus: Aglaia, Thalia and Euphrosyne. The name of Three Graces is also used for the nearby semicircular colonnade.
12. St. Hubert Chapel
This chapel, dedicated to the patron saint of hunting, is the youngest structure in the whole Lednice-Valtice area. To perfectly imitate the Gothic style, the stonemasons even added fake medieval stonemasons' marks to the sandstone blocks of the chapel.
13. Dianna's Temple (Rendez-vous)
A hunting lodge dedicated to the goddess of hunting, Diana, in the form of a Roman triumphal arch. Designed for Leichtensteins by the inventor of led pencil Joseph Hardtmuth.
Dianna's Temple (Rendez-vous)