Orlik Castle (Czech Republic)
South Bohemian Region See list of castles in Repubblica Ceca
Orlík Castle is a real pearl among Czech monuments. Each visitor captivates with its unique landscape position on the shores of the Orlické jezero, enchants with romantic interiors with rich collections and equally immersed in its history, which blends with the most important milestones of Czech and European history.
Although the exact date of the founding of Orlík is not known, it is certain that there was a stronghold on the high promontory above Vltava at the beginning of the 13th century, which served to protect the trade trail and at the same time as a place where customs duty was applied on the Vltava - document the first preserved archival reports. At the turn of the 13th and 14th centuries, Orlík was rebuilt and expanded into a solid Gothic castle and continued to serve as one of the many pillars and administrative centers of the royal power.
In the hands of the Czech kings, Orlík remained until 1357, when Charles IV. he gave his chancellor Dětřich of Pordice a noble manor. Since then, a number of owners have been replaced in Orlík, some of which have left their mark here, not only from the historical point of view, but also from the construction point of view.
Significant owners were Zmrzlíková from Svojšín, who bought Orlík in 1407 and inhabited it until the year 1508 when a devastating fire broke out in Orlík. The devastated castle was abandoned by the then owner Václav Zmrzlík, moved to Lnář and then in 1512 sold the Orlic estate to Kryštof of Švamberk. Švamberk held Orlík until 1620, when they were confiscated with the entire estate for active participation in the uprising.
Swabian Confiscate bought from Emperor Ferdinand II. Habsburg in 1623 Jan Oldrich of Eggenberg. The Eggenbergs owned Orlik until 1719, when her nephew, Adam František Schwarzenberg, inherited the entire Eggenberg property after the death of Princess Ernestina. Orlik was at that time the seat of the mansion, but not the family.
The revolutionary changes brought Orlik to the beginning of the 19th century - at that time it became the seat of the younger Schwarzenberg family branch (the second-generation).
The Schwarzenbergs held Orlik until 1948 when they were nationalized in the name of the new Communist order with the entire estate. In the following years Orlík Castle was included in the network of state-owned historical monuments. From the state administration, Orlík was exempted only in 1992 and subsequently restituted, along with other family assets and possessions of the second-genus KarluVII. Schwarzenberg. The current owner of the castle is Jan Nepomuk Schwarzenberg, son of Charles VII. Schwarzenberg. Over the course of time, Orlík has often changed not only the owner but also his appearance - most often after fires that affected the castle almost every century .. One of the most extensive and most significant reconstructions was realized after the devastating fire of the 16th century in the Renaissance spirit of Švamberk, who left the castle thoroughly repair, then expand and increase the second floor.
In the first half of the 18th century, the north-west and then the southwest wing of Orlík were rebuilt.
In 1802, the chateau once again caught fire, after which Orlík, the then owner, Marshal Karel Filip Schwarzenberg, raised the next third floor. The last significant construction of the Orlík chateau took place in the middle of the 19th century. The chateau was given especially by the new neo-gothic style facades, according to the plans of the architect Professor Bernard Gruber. At the same time, the family tomb of the second-generation was built in the castle park.
Orlik Castle is surrounded by a large English park, the foundations of which were laid by the wife of Marshal Karel Philip, Princess Marie Anna, born Countess of Hohenfeld. From the original area of the park of 180 ha, 140 ha have been preserved, the rest was flooded in the 60s of the 20th century by the waters of the Orlické jezero, which today form one of the natural borders of the park.