Czech Open Information Project


DUCHCOV CASTLE


Duchcov Castle, founded in 1570, is a Renaissance structure executed by an Italian Filip to the plans of Andrea Avostalis. In l675 - 1685 it was restyled in baroque for the Wallensteins byJean B. Mathey, a French architect active in Bohemia. The place was enlarged around 1720 and again between 1812 and 1818. Entrance to the court of honour, which is enclosed within three wings of the castle, is afforded by a gateway decorated with four allegorical sculptures deriving from the studio of Matyas B. Braun. Other sculptures of the same provenance are to be seen in the niches set in the back wall of the staircase and also in the park. In the main hall, which was refurbished in the first half of the 18th c. for Jan Josef Wallenstein, the ceiling was adorned before 1720 with a painting by Vaclav Vavrinec Reiner representing Jindřich of Wallenstein and his twenty-four sons in the presence of King Premysl Otakar II. The hall also contains ancestral portraits of the family, some of them by V. V. Reiner, and important examples of European painting, such as Karl van Madera's mannerist Triumph of Love. The famous Giovanni G. Casanova, librarian to Count Emanuel of Wallenstein, lived and died in this castle in the later 18th c. and in 1835 important political negotiations took place within its walls involving the king of Prussia and both Russian and Austrian emperors. At the present time the castle rooms house an exhibition of furniture belonging to the Prague Museum of Applied Arts. The park with the sculptures of M. B. Braun are of course an integral part of the castle complex. The baroque hospital, which had been built to the design of Octavio Broggio the younger, has had to give way to the ever more extensive coal mining operations, but the Reiner frescos which adorned the hospital chapel have been removed to a building designed by Jan Sokol, which also holds some of Braun's sculptures.