The Czech Republic’s famous Karlštejn castle, built by the Bohemian King and Holy Roman Emperor Charles IV, as a treasury for the crown jewels and other precious royal artefacts, is marking an important anniversary this week. It is exactly 670 years ago, in 1348, when the foundation stone of the Gothic castle was ceremoniously laid.
Private owners of historic buildings in the Czech Republic have opened their doors to the public and organised special events for their visitors as part of European Private Heritage Week, which takes place until Sunday. The aim of the event, which takes place under the banner ‘Our House, Your Heritage’ is to raise awareness about the contribution private owners of heritage buildings make to society as a whole.
There is a palace in Moravia like none other. You will find it in Kroměříž, not far from the banks of the Morava River. What used to be a summer representative residence of the bishops and archbishops of nearby Olomouc, later became a popular film location. Inscribed in the UNESCO World Heritage list, Kroměříž is a „must see" for all travellers to Eastern Czechia.
Petr Kučera was a successful journalist and later pursued a career in politics. But twenty years ago he decided to swap the hustle and bustle of Prague for life in the country. He bought a dilapidated castle in East Bohemia and turned it into his new family home. Radio Prague travelled to the Castle of Nové Hrady or New Castle to pay him a visit:
Offers of historic buildings, castles and stately homes in the Czech
Republic outstrip potential interest, according to the Czech News Agency
after sounding out real estate agents.
Many would be buyers are deterred by the considerable reconstruction work
and costs that would be required, real estate agents said.
Conservation restrictions on what changes can be made are also a problem with buyers intending to carry out major changes and transformations. Most of the interest in such buildings comes from abroad, mainly from France and Russia, the report added.
The KPMG consultancy said around 1100 castles and stately homes are registered in the Czech Republic but their transformation into tourist accommodation or other uses is not expected to increase significantly in the short term.
Constantin Kinsky was born in 1961 in Paris, France, to one of the oldest aristocratic families of Bohemia in French exile. Educated in France, he became a successful investment banker and strategic consultant and advised the Czech governments of Josef Tošovský and Miloš Zeman thus helping to save the Czech banking system during the crisis of the late 1990´s.
Funds from benefit concerts and other events at the site of Grabštejn Castle near the German and Polish borders in the region of Liberec, contributed significantly to its renovation over the last 25 years, opera singer and main organizer Luděk Vele told the Czech News Agency. He stressed that while the castle, described as a ruins years ago, had been saved by the state, benefit events had played a role. The historic site was saved at the cost of some 100 million crowns; 55 million crowns, Mr Vele said, had come from the Culture Ministry. Renovated at the site were statues, lighting, a church organ and chapel; a gallery was also added.