Renaissance chateau with Baroque and Neo-Classical modifications. This extensive complex with five courtyards includes ceremonial, residential and agricultural areas, walled gardens and parks. After severe devastation (use as a collective farm, then military base) it is undergoing an ongoing long-term reconstruction.
The basis of one of the biggest castles in Moravia is a Late Gothic three-winged fortified house from the turn of the 15th and 16th centuries, belonging to the Kreiger (Krajíř) von Kreig family, which creates the northeast part of the current complex (around a small courtyard). In the mid-16th century Wenceslas Kreiger took part in a Grand Tour with other Czech nobles to Genoa, during which he encountered Italian architecture. After his return, he rebuilt the castle, had a two-story arcaded courtyard added to the east wing and built a large residential tower in the southeast corner. Under the Streun von Schwarzenau the house grew into a magnificent Renaissance residence in the last quarter of the 16th century. Two long parallel wings, with residential, ceremonial and agricultural uses, stretched westward from the original house (north and south). The two-storey part of these wings were joined in the middle by a transverse walls with an arcade on the upper floor open to the east (dated in the spandrels 1586), thus separating the space into main and agricultural forecourts.
Several rooms have preserved their Re-naissance appearance, with ribbed vaults decorated with fine stucco mascarones. A garden, preserved until now, was formed simultaneously in the western part of the complex, with two corner turrets and a gazebo in the enclosing wall. In the 1590s the Streuns continued with the construction of an entrance courtyard south of the courtyard. It was lined with ground floor arcades, and to the west of it they established a garden surrounded by a wall with a corner turret. Until its collapse in November 1970 this courtyard was dominated by a four-story tower. Only part of the front wall remained, and this was unnecessarily demolished in 1987, along with part of the original stables. (Using measurements taken in 1969 and photographs, the NPÚ intends to build a replica of this tower, because it is inherent to the silhouette of the house.) In 1661, after the Thirty Years War, Early Baroque modifications followed under Francis Benedict Berchtold (to the gables of the western facade of the core, the portal on the north terrace, the establishment of the present chapel). Another owner of the house, the Imperial commander General Donat Heissler von Heitersheim, had the arcades along the west wing of the main courtyard added in 1692–6, after he was ennobled, to signify his social ascension. The northern arcaded corridor was also added to the south courtyard, and the facades were remodelled. The interiors were significantly enriched with valuable wallpaintings and stuccowork during this phase, by Giovanni Battista Bussi. These modifcations continued under the general’s heirs at the beginning of the 18th century (Baldassare Fontana). During the Baroque period a French park with orangery was established southeast of the house. The last aristocratic owners were members of the Italian family Collalto et San Salvatore (1768–1946). The initiator of the most important changes was the early 19th century Eduardo III Collalto. The author of the projects to modernise the interiors in the late Rococo and Neo-Classicial spirit was the Viennese court theater architect and member of the Vienna Academy of Art, Anton Ortner (1776–1862). At that time an im-pressive Banquet Hall with excellent acoustics and wall paintings of Apollo and a multitude of Muses developed ’from a former prison and portable granary’. An English park, which connected to the former French Park at its northern corner, was also founded, to Ortner’s plans, at this point. In addition to this landscaping various follies were built just after 1800 (gazebos, Temple of Diana, a Swiss Cottage etc.). The obelisk and the ‘little castle‘ – a romantic castle ruin with a tower that served as a lookout – have been preserved to date. In the second half of the 20th centrury the house was badly misused by the army, and then a state farm, and the complex fell into chronic disrepair. Somehow the rich artistic decoration survived in a very authentic state, although one section was damaged. The complex only came into the care of the Heritage Institute in Brno in 1995 and in 1996 a gradual conservation-renovation program was launched. It is open to the public to a limited extent.