The style of interior is ranging from Renaissance to Biedermeier. Art museum. English park.
Order Tour Code: C NN3
The chateau was returned back to the original owner after the communism, Diana Phipps Sternberg. The permanent exhibit of the castle has approximately 20 rooms which are furnished in styles ranging from Renaissance to Biedermeier.
The origins of Castolovice date from the 13th century when it was a stronghold in the marshes. It was reputedly settled by Castolov of the Hronovec family and the first written records date from 1342. In the course of the 15th and 16th centuries the Castolovice estate changed hands several times, one of the owners being King George of Podebrad, the only Bohemian monarch elected from the Czech nobility and whose first wife, Kunhuta , was a Sternberg.
In 1495 Castolovice came in to the ownership of the powerful Lords of Pernstejn , who paid scant attention to it. The stronghold deteriorated and lost its defensive capacity . In 1575 it reverted to the crown (now the Holy Roman Empire) and in 1577 the Oppersdorf family bought it from the Emperor, Rudolph II., and transformed the remains of the stronghold in to a stately Renaissance castle.
In 1694 Count Adolph Vratislav Sternberg , the Highest Burgrave in the Kingdom of Bohemia, bought the castle and the estates of Castolovice and together with the castle of Zasmuky made it the seat of the head of the family, which it has remained for 11 generations.
Old records tell of the Sternberg emblem, an eight pointed star on a blue field, as early as 1130. A hundred years later, when Zdeslav built on a stone promontory above the river Sazava a fortified castle he called it 'Sternberk' and he and his descendants began using the name : 'of Sternberg' (star = Stern, mountain = berg).
The Sternbergs played a role in both the cultural and political history of Bohemia. Legend has it that Jaroslav of Sternberg led the defense of the town of Olomouc against the Tartar Khan Batu, Chingiz-Khan's son in 1241 and thus stopped the invasion of all of Europe by the Tartar horde. Twelve years later, in 1253, Zdeslav of Sternberg led the victorious battle against the Hungarian Kumans and the King awarded him with large territories in Moravia . There, near Olomouc, Zdeslav built his second castle, known as Moravian Sternberk.
In the fourteenth century the Sternbergs became related by marriage to the Luxembourgs. Albert of Sternberg was adviser as well as friend to Emperor Charles the IV, who was a Luxembourg. Albert Sternberg, a cleric, established several monasteries in Bohemia and eventually became Archbishop of Magdeburg, the Primate of all of Germany.
In the fifteenth century Zdenek of Sternberg led the Catholics in the religious wars against the Hussite King Jiri of Podebrad, even though his sister, Kunhuta Sternberg, was the first wife of Jiri of Podebrad.
Adam of Sternberg became the Highest Burgrave under Rudolf the II., led many negotiations for the Hapsburg Emperor and signed Rudolf's famous Imperial Charter.
At the turn of the 19th century important Czech cultural figures were connected with the family Sternberg. Franz Josef Sternberg Manderscheid (1763 - 1830) founded the National Gallery as it exists today and the Academy of Friends of the Arts. Together with his cousin, Casper Maria Sternberg (1761 - 1838), the famous geologist and botanist, he took part in founding the National Museum, to which they gave the better part of their collections. They both supported the noted Czech historian and writer Frantisek Palacky and their circle included J.W. Goethe, J.Dobrovsky, J.E.Purkyne, J.Barrande as well as Alexander Humboldt.
Parts of the castle of Castolovice were twice rebuilt: once in the first half of the 19th century in the then fashionable neo - gothic style and again at the start of the 20th century when Leopold Sternberg (1865 - 1937) tried to return it to its original renaissance style.
Except during the German occupation in the second world war , when there was a forced overseer in Castolovice and Leopold Sternberg and his family had to live elsewhere, Sternbergs remained the owners of Castolovice until 1948, when it was taken over by the Communist State. Leopold Sternberg, his wife Cecilia and their daughter Diana emigrated to the United States. Their life in emigration as well as memories of life in pre- war Castolovice has been well described in Cecilia Sternberg 's autobiography 'The Journey'.
For forty years the castle of Castolovice and park were administered by the 'State care for Monuments'. The West wing was opened to the public, the East wing housed a school for refrigerator repairers.
Thanks to the miracle called 'Restitution', Castolovice was returned in 1992 to Diana Phipps Sternberg .
In the preceding 25 years Diana Phipps lived in England and worked as an Interior Decorator both in Europe and the United States. By enlarging and enlivening the exhibition she is hoping to give visitors an insight into the past life of the castle and to pay tribute to her parents, who loved Castolovice, built it up twice in order to have to leave twice. They did not live to see it returned.
The permanent exhibit of the castle has approximately 20 rooms which are furnished in styles ranging from Renaissance to Biedermeier. The paintings, collected by the family over the past centuries, include fine examples of George Flegel, Lucas van Valkenborgh, Skreta, Teniers and Schonfeld. An important part of the collection are the Bohemian Kings which hang in the State Dining room and the portraits of Sternberg Ancestors in the Knight's Hall.
The Knight's Hall is one of the largest halls in the Czech Republic, it - as well as the three adjoining halls -- has a painted Renaissance ceiling depicting scenes from the Bible. The adjoining chapel has a carved alter piece dated 1601. Fresh flowers , varying table settings (and the recently installed central heating) create an atmosphere of a house that is lived in rather than that of a Museum.
The English Park , with its mature trees and multitude of wild flowers, was designed in the 19th century. The flower beds in front of the castle, in the Rose and water gardens and the containers in the courtyard are all planted by the owner with flowers not often seen in the Czech Republic. In season plants can also be purchased off a flower barrow in the courtyard.
NE from Prague, 2 hours to drive
1)Castolovice chateau CNNE3 - 6 hour round trip