Kromeriz Journals

The Archbishops' Treasures

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A September 2004 trip to Kromeriz by kjlouden

Summerhouse with Palace in the Distance Photo, Kromeriz, Czech Republic More Photos
Quote: If there is heaven for tourists, it must be the Archbishops’ Palace in Kromeriz! Mozart concerts are played in the music hall, Titian Gallery houses the most valuable--and most incredible!--paintings in Czechia, and the rare World Heritage baroque lustgarten, with frescoed structures and labyrinths, will stir your most essential fantasies.

The Archbishops' Treasures

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Overview

Center Square Photo, Kromeriz, Czech Republic
Quote:
We visited Kromeriz and Olomouc to get a perspective on Czech history. The two cities were the winter and summer residences of the Olomouc bishopric, which had strong ties to Rome and to the Hapsburg rulers. Most people visit Prague and learn about Charles IV and think they’re acquainted with the history of the nation, but they see only the capital city. Much Czech drama was acted out or repeated in the churches and castles of Moravia. From 1526 until 1918, almost 400 years, the country was ruled by the Austrian Hapsburgs, who (except for Rudolph II, Holy Roman Emperor) used Prague mostly for recreational purposes and let it deteriorate—they were busy in Moravia! Wh...Read More

Archepiscopal Palace

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Story/Tip

Summerhouse with Palace in the Distance Photo, Kromeriz, Czech Republic
Quote:
The grounds We parked near center square, I believe, and walked through the park, or public gardens, which are extensive but not as formal as the ones of particular interest to UNESCO, which require admission. This was the Palace Garden, distinct from the Pleasure Garden further from the castle. Rambling past Roman structures and lakeside pagodas and across picturesque bridges and a waterside, tree-lined promenade of which I couldn’t see the end, we arrived at a summer house by the water, where we had our first glimpse of the Palace. But wait! A little zoo with monkeys and other animals caught ou...Read More

The Titian Gallery in the Palace

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Story/Tip

Room Not Part of the Gallery Photo, Kromeriz, Czech Republic
Quote:
The gallery was founded by Bishop Karl Liechtenstein, made a prince, at least partially in return for his services as an art buyer, or steward, for the emperor in Prague. This was not only the beginning of a new royal lineage, but also the start of a great art collection that was added to by successive generations. Interestingly, just opened in March, 2004, in Vienna, the Liechtenstein Museum is billed as "Vienna’s Newest Temple to the Arts" and showcases more of the collection of father and son, two of the greatest buyers and collectors of their time, much of their treasure acquired in Moravia as Bishop of Olomouc and willed to the Olomouc Bishopric to be displayed in this castle in Kromeriz...Read More

Innocence and Treachery in the Garden

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Story/Tip

Ceiling of Cupola Photo, Kromeriz, Czech Republic
Quote:
At the Archepiscopal Palace, literature refers to it as the Flower Garden to distinguish it from the Podzamecka Garden. The more lyrical Czech name is libosad. It is one kilometer from the chateau, whereas the Podzamecka Garden touches the building—so I call it the Chateau Garden. UNESCO refers to the more distant plot as a Pleasure Garden and declares that this particular one "played a significant role in the development of baroque garden and palace design in central Europe." I prefer the German name lustgarten. No matter what you call it, it’s one of the most delightful spots I’ve ever seen!...Read More

Guides, Languages, and Changing Times

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Story/Tip

Bourzov Castle in Nove Mesto nad Metuji Photo, Kromeriz, Czech Republic
Quote:
My tour of historic towns in Czech Republic was a crash course, crammed with information our guides from Czech Walking were able to supply. Because they and licensed translator Katerina Pavlitova of the Czech Tourism Board traveled with us, we were able to learn at an accelerated pace. Good thing, because I left home knowing next to nothing about Czech history outside of the 20th century! Czech tour guides are trying hard to learn English, but my own experience with languages may be proof that different people learn at varying levels of proficiency! Our guide at Bourzov Castle, for instance, tried her new language in spurts, got frustrated with it, and then reverted back to Czech. ...Read More