Hluboka Castle History and Legends
History of Hluboka Castle
The chateau of Hluboká was originally founded as a guarding castle in the mid 13th century by the Kings of Bohemia, and being royal property, it was frequently forfeited. Several aristocratic families took turns owning it. The important ones included e.g. the Lords of Pernštejn, who founded the nearby fishpond of Bezdrev in 1490, the second largest fishpond in Bohemia.
The prominent aristocratic family of the Lords of Hradec purchased the domain in 1561. Two years later, the new owners had the original Gothic castle rebuilt into a Renaissance chateau. In the late 16th century, the next owner was the family Malovec of Malovice, who, being Protestants, lost the property in 1619, and four years later Emperor Ferdinand II of Habsburg gave it as a compensation for war claims to the Spanish general Don Balthasar de Marradas.
In 1661, Jan Adolf I of Schwarzenberg bought Hluboká from his nephew. The Schwarzenbergs lived in Hluboká until the end of 1939, when the last owner Dr. Adolf emigrated overseas to escape from the Nazis. They lost their property once for all through a special Act, Lex Schwarzenberg in 1947. Thanks to their very well-managed property and large-scale economic activities, the Schwarzenbergs twice rebuilt the chateau of Hluboká, first in the early 18th century in the Baroque style, and later, they carried out an extensive reconstruction of the chateau in the romantic neo-Gothic style of the in the years 1840 – 1871, including a re-arrangement of the park and the surrounding countryside.
The Hluboka rebuilding was influenced by the journeys of the then owner, Prince Jan Adolf II of Schwarzenberg and his spouse Princess Eleonore, née Princess of Liechtenstein, to England. The main model of the project was the royal castle of Windsor. Rebuilding work were started according to the designs by the Viennese architect Franz Beer, and, after his death, the Schwarzenberg builder Damasius Deworetzky continued, especially focusing on designing the splendid interiors.
Legends of Hluboka Castle
Infidelity or Accident?
One of the Hluboká owners (by the way, that one who wanted to reconstruct it in a baroque style) was Adam František Schwarzenberg. He was a passionate hunter and he had his most favorite dogs painted by the most famous painters. Except that, he was married to Princess Eleonore, née Princess of Liechtenstein, very beautiful, wise and charming lady. Adam František died in a very curious way… he was deadly wounded during the hunt. He was shot by the emperor Karel VI.
According to the historical gossips, it was not an accident. The emperor loved the beautiful lady in such a way, that he decided to get rid of his rival. Even by shooting him, although he was her husband. There are two versions of the way things turned out after Adam František died. One version claims that the charming lady did not love the emperor before Adam´s death and even after. The second one naturally claims, that they were lovers for the long time and the assassination helped them a lot.
An Execution Near Hluboka
Přemysl Otakar II., the supposed founder of Castle Hluboká and aristocratic family of Vítek were enemies for many years. A big shock was experienced amongst the Bohemian aristocracy after Přemysl Otakar II died and a member of Vítek family Záviš from Falkenštejn begun to live with Kunigunda of Halych (former wife of Přemysl Otakar II).
Today we can hardly say if the motive for their love was rational or it was a true love. A fable says, that they loved each other very much.
Kunigunda of Halych met with Záviš for the first time in times when she was 34 years old and the aristocrat was 30 years old. Kunigunda of Halych was a well-known beauty who was funny and very talkative. Záviš was also very handsome, he was wise and charming. What is more, he helped Kunigunda of Halych and her son – king Václav – to gain some privileges.
Záviš had a great influence on Kunigunda of Halych´s son Václav and Václav considered Záviš to be his second father. After few years the marriage between Záviš and
Kunigunda of Halych was allowed. Unfortunately shortly after the marriage Kunigunda of Halych died. (probably on tuberculosis).
Záviš did a huge mistake when trying to save his position. He married immediately a sister of Hungarian king, Elisabeth. Meanwhile he was out from Bohemia and enjoying his time with very passionate Elisabeth, his opponents turned the king Václav on their side. When Záviš´s son was born, he even invited to the christening the king Václav.
He was enticed away to Prague where Václav ordered to imprison him.
An army that carried Záviš walked to all the castles that were owned by Vítek family. The army threatened that if the gates of the castle would not be open voluntarily, they would execute Záviš. Every castle surrendered but the complications begun in Hluboká. That was owned by Záviš´s young brother Vítek, who did not believe the threats (fable says that Záviš shouted that he would rather die than loosing Hluboká). However, Mikuláš Opavský, the leader of the army, meant his threats seriously.
Záviš was beheaded on the meadow near Hluboká, so that the defenders who refused to surrender would have a good view on it.
It is claimed that Záviš´s head was cut by a sharpened batten. (prkno in czech) Historians say that it is not true. In the old chronicles can be found a chapter about executing by „plkno“, that actually was not sharpened batten, but a special executing sword.
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