Zvikov Castle (Czech Republic)

South Bohemian     See list of castles in Repubblica Ceca

Zvikov Castle is located in the southern part of the Czech Republic. It was private place of Vaclav I (between1230-1253) and Premysl Otakar II. The first time in 1234, the castle Zvikov was founded in a strategically important position above the confluence of the Otava and Vltava.

To the east and west of the promontory is protected by precipitous cliffs, with Otava on the north side. The oldest part of the castle is the great square tower built in rusticated ashlar typical of Hohenstaufen. It overlooks the south side of the promontory and is protected by a moat.

On the ground floor he had a single rib bay at once, the ribs down to pyramid console. The wall-ribs paintings and paintings of the vault are made of brick with surviving impressions of the original wooden dowel. The space was lit by two slits and was accessible through a passage with two portals with pointed arches.

The living room on the first floor had vaulted ceilings supported by brackets on a string course. There were more rooms on the east and west of the tower. The south range retains its primitive form, with two rib vaulted rooms on the ground floor and a wooden entrance with asymmetrical roof from the courtyard, which gives access to the ground floor of the tower and the two rooms of the palace.

The similarity of the Vault tower moldings for those of Cistercian abbeys in Zwettl and Lilienfeld indicate that the laboratory the first masons' in Zvíkov came from the region of the Danube in what is now Austria.

About 1250, when Hirzo, a member of the court, became castle burgrave, Zvikov Castle was radically modified and renamed Klingenberg. The building was taken over by a new laboratory in the Danube region, which has built four ranges of living quarters around an inner courtyard with a gallery with arcades, a new plant type of soil used for the first royal castle of Pilsen. fundamental changes were made to both the floor and the rooms of the castle.

The main change has been to the Great Hall of the function, which has ceased to be the main living area, since each range now had three rooms: a central, two-bay, vaulted room connected to a room lined on one side and a room with a fireplace on the other. This provision has been supplemented by additional rooms as and when required. The best preserved of new housing units is in the range to the west, on the ground floor of which includes a blind-arched entrance and hallway.

The first floor has two slots in the central vaulted room with an adjoining room, and three windows above the passage grouped in the form of a pyramid. The original fireplace survives on the wall adjacent to the large tower. The rooms of the Northern range were similar, but the east range had a large room with six times spans that rest on two central octagonal pillars. To Pilsen, the individual fields of the castle were connected by arcades, which remained intact until the restoration of 1840-1844 and 1881-1885.

The latest and artistically rich palace in the residential part of the castle is St. Wenceslas Chapel, which was built on the first floor of the south range, with a door in the west wall. The chapel is a single cell building with two times spans with six segments.

The walls are divided horizontally from the bottom sill in a lower level of blind arches running round the entire building, the capitals decorated with natural leaves or berries, and a higher level that harmonizes with the High Gothic vaulting cluster wells, which I am projecting to the sills.

The western end of the chapel is occupied by the royal grandstand, with three bays of vaulting that rests on shaped capitals and octagonal pillars. Mullioned windows have a trefoil pattern tunnels. Attached to the north side of the chapel is the sacristy, dedicated to the Virgin. It has two bays of rib-vaulting, the transverse arch resting on shelves carved with human heads.

The chapel retains its original altar; the walls were painted, and the windows were filled with stained glass (destr.). The floors of both the chapel and the sacristy were covered with glazed tiles with heraldic figures and inscriptions in German in praise of Ottokar II. And 'presumably the one who is portrayed as a donor on the west portal tympanum, the center of which is a Virginflanked sitting by angels.

The chapel, which must be completed by 1263 when Hirzo was called to found the city of České Budějovice, is evidently the work of a local team that had absorbed the French High Gothic style introduced by the Cistercian architecture.

About 1270 a new fortified wall curtain was built, and the southern neck of the promontory has been strengthened by a tower-door with a cylindrical tower à bec, the sharp edge facing in the direction of the alleged attack, the Pernštejn Castle.

Images of the castle

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Useful infos

Latitude: 49.4390467
Longitude: 14.1921586
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Map of Zvikov Castle