The first references to a settlement here date back to the end of the 12th century. At that time, an order of Benedictine monks from the village of Postoloprty built a branch of their provostry, a so-called claustrellum (small monastery), here. Although provostry disappeared during the 13th century, the name of the settlement survived and was changed to the German Klosterlin and then to the Czech Klasterzecs during the 15th century.
In the past, the Klasterec estate was held by various aristocratic families. One of the most renowned of them were the Thuns who purchased the confiscated estate in 1623. Their influence was quite distinctive throughout the region until the end of the 19th century and many historically valuable monuments in the town commemorate the family name. There is the Baroque Church of the Holy Trinity, the neo-Gothic chateau, or the nine-hectare English country park with its Sala Terrena and unique dendrological specimens. The chateau burned down on a number of occasions and took on its current pseudo-Gothic appearance after a fire in the year 1856. The chateau is currently completely restored and is home to a museum of Czech porcelain. The Sala Terrena is an early Baroque garden storied building with a terrace that connects up to a wing corridor arcade. It was built in the second half of the 17th century and features a number of statues created by J. Brokoff.
Klasterec nad Ohri began to take on greater significance at the end of the 18th century. It was here that J. M. Weber in 1794 established a porcelain factory that later made the town as well as the knowledge and skills of the local people famous. Presently, porcelain is produced in new premises and its production represents one of the most important activities of the town. Since the original factory was taken over by the Thuns in 1820, all products made here still carry the family’s name.
In 1514 Volf Detrich Fictum founded a mansion on a headland of the river Ohre, later expanded by his sons to a fortress. During the second half of the 16th century it was rebuilt into a chateau. The Chateau’s stairway tower was built in 1590. By 1618, it was transformed into a representative four-wing Renaissance structure by Krystof Fictum.
The Chateau was rebuilt into its present Neo-Gothic form in 1860, after a great fire in 1856. Because of the tradition of china production in Klasterec nad Ohri, the Museum of Applied Arts in Prague decided to open an exhibition of Czech porcelain in the Chateau in 1953. Czech porcelain production started in the 1890s, when extensive deposits of kaolin clay were found in the region of Carlsbad. In 1792 a manufactory was established in Horni Slavkov and two years later, in 1794, another one in Klasterec nad Ohri. In 1803 factories in Stružná and Brezová followed. Until 1810 Czech manufactories were making products based on Thuringian decors. The porcelain manufacture in Klasterec nad Ohri was founded by Mikulas Weber, a retired estate manager, on the estate of Count Frantisek Josef Thun.
The exhibition in four ground-floor halls situated in the southern wing - the remnants of the original Renaissance building built in 1600 - offers a brief history of production old Oriental and European porcelain. The halls are decorated with rich stucco ornaments and furniture of English and Dutch origin from the 17th and 18th centuries.
In two halls, there are examples of Japanese porcelain produced between the beginning of the 17th century and the second half of the 19th century. One hall is dedicated to the oldest European porcelain, namely from Meissen and Vienna, where factories were built in 1710 and 1718, respectively. The visitors can see all phases of the oldest periods of porcelain production in Meissen. The exposition also features Dominik Aulicka's figural statues from the porcelain factory in Nymfenburg produced in the second half of the 18th century.
The great Renaissance hall offers a coherent exposition of old Chinese porcelain from the period between the 16th and 19th centuries. The samples are richly decorated with cobalt blue, enamel paint and crackles. You can also see celadon porcelain, flute vases, large porcelain aquariums and figural statues.
Twenty-one rooms on the 1st floor of the chateau are dedicated to an exposition of Czech porcelain production from its very beginnings to the present. The exposition shows the output of individual factories produced in various periods, including Empire, Biedermeier, Second Rococo, Neo-Renaissance, Art Nouveau, etc. The first rooms of the exposition are dedicated to the beginning of Czech porcelain production. The following rooms contain products from the Empire and Biedermeier periods (1815 - 1835) characterised by better technical and artistic quality. At that time, painting was the main decorative element. The exhibits include products from Slavkov, Klasterec, Brezova, Loket, Dalovice and Chodov.
Eight rooms contain goods from 1835 - 1860, the period of the Second Rococo. This period is characterised by embossed decorating and full development of figural statue production. Here, the visitors can see the main part of the Czech Porcelain Museum collection containing production from factories in Klasterec nad Ohri, Slavkov, Brezová, Loket, Stara Role, Chodov, Dalovice and Praha.
April - October: Tuesday - Sunday 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
November - March: Monday - Friday 9 a.m. – 3 p.m.
W from Prague – 2 hours to drive
1)Klasterec town and chateau porcelain museum trip number CWW14 – 8 hour round trip