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ABOUT ZRUČ NAD SÁZAVOU CHATEAU

Zruč nad Sázavou Chateau is located in Kutná Hora district, Czech Republic. There used to be two castles on the site of today´s chateau, most probably they were built at the beginning of 14th Century. The first written document comes from 1328 and it states Hermann of Zruč as the owner. Unfortunately, all documents were lost in a fire and there are no proofs showing the original look of the castle.

At the turn of 14th and 15th centuries, the Kolowrat clan owned the Zruč manor. During their almost 200 years reign, they re-built and improved the castle. They improved its comfort, built accommodation rooms, added the southern and western buildings, strengthened the walls and built a semicircle bastion. They also added roofs and farm buildings with a separated kitchen. To improve the safety of the castle, new defense walls, towers and bastions were built. The only tower that remained until today is called Kolowrat Tower. It has three floors, slot loopholes, and a conic roof with its outer open gallery and thick defense walls. Let´s hope the future archaeology researches will reveal more information about the original castle.

The Kolowrats owned the castle until 1433. No significant changes were made in the following hundred years. At the end of 16th Century, the Kalenic clan repaired the inner part of the castle in the Renaissance style and from this time, the castle was called “chateau.” Its core was created by a four-wings building with a square yard lined with the old castle trench and walls. The farm buildings were located north of the castle. The entrance was located on the eastern side facing the town. In 1620, Albrecht of Kalenice took part in a rebellion against the royalty and as a punishment, he lost the chateau. Afterwards, there were several owners but no major changes were made.

In 1781, the chateau including its archive was destroyed in a big fire and all the property and documents were lost. However, this was the impulse for its significant renovation in the Baroque style by the Loewenthal family, who also built a massive granary. In 1885, the property was bought by the “Railway King” Jan Schebek, the first railway builder. His son Adolf asked the architect Jan Vejrych to make plans of major renovation. The repairs took several years. In 1909, a noble Romantic style mansion was finished. Three floors of brick hallways were made, windows were shaped into Gothic arches with wooden lining and rich embossed stucco. The roofs were bravely shaped into tall gables with the help of metal constructions. Again, there were Gothic arches, rich embossing, stone attics, and the roofs were covered with clay tiles. The most significant change was erecting the main tower, with a chapel and slate roof in the southern palace. The main entrance and the north-eastern corner were decorated with Gothic gables. The ledges were reshaped in a Gothic style, new ledges above the windows were made. The façade was painted into a three-dimensional optical illusion so it looked like it was made of stone blocks while in fact it was flat. The interiors had the top technologies of that time – built-in bathtub, flushing toilets, boiler room to heat the water and electricity. The owner was keen of the newest technological marvel – automobiles, and the horse stables were turned into garages. The park and the farm and maintenance buildings were renovated as well. There was a new entrance tower with four little towers in the corners, decorated with flags and banners, with a tall central gate and two small gates for pedestrians on its sides. A lake with a colonnade and a gazebo was built, outer walls got their battlements and some buildings were moved. The interiors were modernized again after the WWI ended.

The chateau was confiscated by the Czechoslovakia state in 1948. After the Revolution in 1989, it was returned back to Schebek family who sold it to the municipality. Nowadays, a part of the area is the seat of the municipality, but the major parts of the chateau and the park are open to the public and they offer wide choice of activities for adults and children.


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