Friday, 23 May 2014

Buchlovice chateau, Part 1

There are several chateaus with similar names in Moravia, beginning with B and ending with -ovice. The original idea was to visit them all and then completely confound you with a series of posts about them all. But that plan fell through because we did not visit Boskovice last year, and we will never visit the fourth one (the name of which I can never remember), because it turns out it's actually not open to public.

So you got the post about the beautiful cheateau in Bučovice, and now, much later, you get posts about Buchlovice (there must be more of them, because there was so much to see and photograph). And you may get Boskovice even later. (It's an Empire / Neoclassical / Regency-style chateau, so we've been saving that for when I have my Regency dress. So hopefully this year.)

Buchlovice are further to the north of Moravia than Bučovice. There are hills (quite steep at places) and there is also a castle nearby, Buchlov. But we did not go there, so we had a lot of time and spent a very pleasant carefree July day roaming the surroundings of the chateau. It turned out to be a good choice, because there's a large park with various hidden statues and buildings. And beside this, there is also a little zoo - actually a sanctuary for injured wild animals, whatever those are called in English - and every summer, a fuchsia exhibition. So we had a lot to see, and I'm actually still not sure if we managed to find everything that is to be found in the park!

You can read all about the history and so on on the webpage - I'd just pull it from there anyway. :-) Suffice to say, the chateau was built in 1701 and it's an Italian Baroque style of building, I believe one of the first so lightly designed, "summer" chateaus in the country, a type that later became very popular (some of the most famous Czech chateaus - like Lednice and Hluboká - are summer residences, although those two are both from the 19th century). It actually consists of two very similar buildings facing each other symmetrically, one on a terrace above the other. The upper one used to be stables and now houses all the offices, toilets and an exhibition room. The lower building is the chateau itself where the guided tour takes place.

I think I knew I would love the place the moment we entered the ladies' toilets and saw this, just sitting there utilitarianly (is that even a word?):

Even the view from the window was nice.

I have a thing for old buildings with thick walls and paneled windows and doors...

This chateau is more popular than Bučovice, so it was quite difficult to photograph the chateau itself without people getting in the way...

So I turned to the upper building instead. This is the side where there is an exhibition room (more on that later).

If you look closely, there are house martin nests all above the windows. They were flying around, feeding their young.

I think this is one of my favourite things about my new camera. It has such a powerful zoom that I can take fairly good photos of birds and other shy animals...

One of my favourite things about old chateaus is the attention to symmetry.

On one side, there is the coat of arms of one of the families that founded the chateau, a collumn.

On the other side, the coat of arms of the other family, a peacock. Peacocks are still present at Buchlovice, as you'll see later.

Few things are as photogenic as water lilies.


  1. Well, it looks like your day was delightful, Hana! What a gorgeous place; thanks for sharing. I looked up the house martin - it looks very like a tree swallow my brother saw in Massachusetts recently. Your close-ups are nice and clear - I'm glad you have a new camera to better record these fabulous excursions!

    The only buildings of that age in this country tend to be New England homes. Which is fine, but it's nice to see these palaces in Europe. I love the idea of the place for injured animals.

    1. It is definitely related to swallows. It could easily get confused with it were it not for the lack of red...
      There is a number of animal sanctuaries in this country. Their official site lists 29 sanctuaries that cover the whole of Czech Republic + other affiliated ones, and says that about 50% of the animals can return into the wild. Usually it's birds, sometimes you find other animals as well.

    2. Thank you Hana, for this guided tour of Buchlovice chateau, a place I've neither been to nor heard of, until reading your post, even though I have visited nearby Uherské Hradište. . I very much look forward to reading part 2!