Built between 1643-1730 by Anton Florian, this Castle is one of the largest secular baroque building's in Monravia, Czech Republic.
In later years, the Castle became the seat of the Liechtenstein dynasty, and it was three of the family members that made it what we see today!
As I passed through the gate from the Town Square and into the outside courtyard of Valtice Castle, I thought this double-story baroque castle was quite impressive! There was a flight of steps leading up inbetween two, quite big unusual statues, then a lawned area and a path with a fountain in the centre, leading to the main entrance. It has four courtyards, plus underneath the Castle, are the Spanish stable's and the Winter riding school where social events are now held.,
I don't know who the large statue's are of, but one of them looks to have a three faced dog at it's feet! I think VT member "Trekki" has the answer. Cerberus, is a multi-headed dog who usually has three heads, sometimes two. This creature features in either Roman or Greek Mythology as a guard-dog, in this case, guarding the gates to the Castle.
The Castle is
OPEN.....May to August: from 9.00 to 6pm ...Closed on Monday's
............September: from 9.00 to 5pm.........Closed on Monday's
............April and October: from 9.00 to 4pm...Only on a Saturday & Sunday
The inside of the Castle can only be visited by a tour, with the last tour being held, one hour before closing time.
ADMISSION IN 2011.....ADULTS...90.00CZK
On entering the Castle, I climbed the stairs and entered the small room which was a souvenir shop and ticket office.
I needed an English tour, but one wasn't available for 3/4hour, I couldn't wait that long. Luckily, a small group came in, and I was allowed to join their group. I was given a manual, which described the room's in English, I didn't mind this at all!
We were shown through 17 rooms, furnished in the baroque and rococo styles. The ceilings were beautifullly done in guilded stucco and wonderful paintings.
The tour began, and we were told 'NO PHOTO'S"
So let me briefly tell you a fraction of what I saw...........
Our tour began in the dining room, or [Marble Hall] and here were Oriental cooking utensils. Next, was the Emperor Hall, decorated with ceiling paintings of the Greek gods.
The large Dancing Hall made an impression, with its false marble decoration and the gilded musical instruments, plus the chandeliers that were made from Czech crystal...beautiful!
Then we moved into the Picture Gallery, where there is a set of 29 paintings, including landscape's and scenes of life, we saw the largest ceiling painting in the Castle, "Goddess Diana on Return from Hunting."
The Hall of Ancestor's, as the names says, had portraits of the Lichtenstein family, and further on were portraits of Roman Emperor's.
More room's were the Prince’s Office, Bedroom's, Reception, and more I can't remember!
But there is one important one, and that is the Chapel with lots of stucco, painting's and marble-lined walls. It was beautiful, and is often used for musical performances because of good acoustic's.
I enjoyed my tour of this Castle, just disappointed no photo's were allowed.
If you wish to see what the inside is like, then click on the listed website, they have a photo gallery.
Well worth seeing!
This Church is also located in the Town Square. Lucky for me, it was closed when I first went to look, but later on it was open, so I was able to go inside.
It's another building in Renaissance Baroque style, built between 1634 - 1671. Inside, even though a dull, grey colour, it did have nice piece's of work and a lovely stucco ceiling.
The Altar painting with the Holy Virgin Ascension is a copy of the Rubens original!
Two new bells were put onto the tower in 1992 to symbolize the reconciliation between the Czech citizens of Valtice and original German ethnic, expatriated to the neighboring Austria after the World War II. The original bell from the Holy Virgin Ascension Church can now be seen in the corridor of the Valtice Castle.
St. Augustine's Church and the Monastery are all located together in Valtice. The Monastery is one of the oldest of the Brothers of Mercy north of the Alps. The "brothers" founded the first hospice in 1604 and to this very day, it is still operating.
It takes up one whole street block, so is really huge.
Located near the Town Square.
If you have a wander around the outside of the Castle, look out for these cute little fish.
It looks like it may be a water fountain, but it wasn't working. I loved them!
It was located on the wall of Valtice Castle
At any Castle, there are gardens, some much better than other's!
Valtice Castle in my opinion, didn't have anything exceptional. It had a very large lawned area, where there was a nice flower bed, this was on the side of the Castle.
It is quite nice where you walk through to the front entrance, as around the Fountain, there is plenty of seating, a rather peaceful area.
Other than that, I couldn't find anything else!
It is free entry to the garden's.
The town centre of Valtice is a "National Heritage" site and is a must to have a walk around. It is also known as Freedom Square.
Places of interest in the square are the parish Church of the Annunciation of Mary, Town Hall, Plaque Column, Fountain, some of the Town Ramparts and gate to the square.
My photo is of the Town Hall built in New Renaissance style in 1887. I didn't go inside, but I believe the ceremonial room is decorated with beautiful stuccos.
In the middle of the square, infront of the Town Hall, is a fountain with the sandstone statue of a girl holding a Jug, dating back to 1816.
Parking is easy to find here, and a small fee is required at the "pay machine"
This is where I walked through from the Valtice Square to see Valtice Castle.
Would you believe, the reliefs on the gate are plastic!
Have a look at my photo, to understand this.
In the photo, on the left of the entrance, is a goddess with a helmet, and above is the saying, "One hardly forgets kindness."
To the right, is an angel with trumpet, with a continuation saying, "brightness of faith will survive even a rock."
Way back in 1395, the Lichtensteins became the owners of the Castle and Town of Valtice and their Coat of Arms is in a prominent position at the top of the Arch.
As I wanted some information on what to see in Valtice and surrounds, I headed to the Tourist Information Centre.
Outside, there was the big green with a white "i" sign pointing to a building.
Problem was, I walked into the building and straight past the door! It didn't have any large signage to say it was the Tourist Information Centre. Luckily, I saw somebody opening the door to the TIC, otherwise I don't think I would have found it. With Information centres in a lot of countries, the doors are open or have a large notice that can be seen, not so here.
Anyrate, once inside, I found what I wanted. Brochure's are free.
Postcards, maps, books, souvenir's can be bought here.
OPEN....April - September... Monday - Sunday 9 - 5pm Closed [12.30 - 1pm]
October - March......Monday - Friday 7 - 3.30pm Closed [11.30 - 12pm]
In Czech Republic the TIC'S close for lunch
The Plague Column was built in 1680, and is located in the town Square.
It is an interesting column as it has the Virgin Mary at the top, and on the bottom are four cardinal statues. The Virgin Mary is seen as the vanquisher of evil.
This Column was erected in gratitude of the end of the plague and was among the first columns of its kind in Moravia.
The Wine Salon was founded in 2000 in order to promote Czech wines, that are not really famous outside the country but worth trying (first of all the white wines).
It is situated in a very nice cellar of the Valtice palace.
For about € 9.5 ($ 11.5) you can order an "open tasting" where you can taste all the wines you want. As you will find a collection of the best 100 Czech wines, you will hardly be able to taste all of them, but you can stay for a few days ;-)