In the years 1548-1552 the Berkas family from Duba built a grandiose Reanassance chateau on the place of a Gothic fortress. In the 17th century the Prince Franz Saxon-Lauernburk started its Baroque reconstruction which converted Zakupy chateau into a magnificent residence. The chateau survived in the architectural shape till now. After the death of Julius Franz of Saxon-Lauenburg in 1689 the estate was divided between his two daughters. The older Anna Marie Frances asquired Zakupy, she was widowed at an early age and then, on advice of the Emperor and Empress, married Jean Gaston III, the Grand-Duke of Toscana, the last member of the famous family of the Medicis. But the Grand Duke couldnīt get used to the northern climate or the different way of life in a country residence and returned to italy in discontent. Anna Marie Frances herself with a large court settled at Zakupy. After her death , her only daughter Marie Anna Carolina, became the sole heir to the entire estate. She was maried to the Count Ferdinand of Bavaria, but became widowed soon. Since her marriage she was related to the Elector of Bavaria, Karl Albert, who did not ackonwledge the Pragmatic Sanctions and laid claim to the throne of Austria, she was exiled from the Austrian Lands by Maria Theresa. In 1803 the Bavarian Count gave up all his estates in Bohemia and they became the proeprty of Archduke Ferdinand, later the Emperor.
In the 18th century the chateau became a property of the dukes from Bavaria and from 1802 it is possessed by the Tuscany branch of the Habsburg.
In 1818 the Emperor raised Zakupy to be a duchy and Napoleonīs son Orlik became the duke of Zakupy.
After the fall of Napoleon in 1814 a suitable title was required for his son Orlik, the grandson of the Emperor of Austria Franz I, so that the origen of Orlik might be forgotten. On the advice of Metternich the title of Count of Zakupy was chosen for him. In a special decree the Emperor therefore raised the Zakupy estate to dukedom. Napoleonīs young son, educated at the court of Vienna, never visited Zakupy during his short life, and today he is recalled only in the name of a hotel on the square.The estate remained in the property of the Toscana family, a sideline of the Habsburgs , until 1848 when, following the Congress of Vienna, it became the property of the Austrian Emperor together with all other estates. Thus the Landrolls Zakupy were inscribed to the former Austrian Emperor, the last crowned King of Bohemia, Ferdinand, in 1849. He lived in the Prague castle and Zakupy chateau became his summer residence.
on Sep 01, 2008
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Last updated on Sep 01, 2008