Antonin Dvorak spent in his country house about
20 years and more than 30 works were composed
here. Our guide will give you the explanation of
the exhibition in the museum situated in the
chateau of the Dvorak´s brother-in-law and will
show you the lake, that was an inspiration of his
most famous opera “Rusalka”.
4 HOUR ROUND TRIP
A combination with the trip to
the Pilgrim Site of the Holy Mountain in Pribram , another source of his inspiration is possible,
Dobris Chateau , or
Vojna Communist Labour Camp as well.
Antonín Dvorak composed his last but one opera, Rusalka, while in an extraordinarily pleasant creative mood. He loved the text by the poet, dramatist, librettist and director Jaroslav Kvapil (1868–1950) that appealed to him by its undisguised admiration for the Czech poet Karel Jaromír Erben to whom both Dvořák and Kvapil were very close. He composed a large part of the opera at his beloved summer retreat at Vysoká near Příbram, with a little forest lake situated nearby under old trees next to a green clearing and with a view of the neo-renaissance manor that belonged to his brother-in-law, Count Václav Kounic, where he found an ideal venue for his work on the fairy-tale opera. No wonder that he completed the opera in a mere seven months. Dvořák’s creative genius found its climax in the musical setting of the story of the water nymph Rusalka. The magic of the fairy-tale air inspired him to compose some very specific and colourful impressionist music filled with melodic fantasies and instrumental mastery. His music most suggestively expresses the play of waves as well as the moonlight reflections on the surface of the little lake, thus the irreproducible charms of a fairy-tale dream.
The Neo-Renaissance stately residence at Vysoka u Pribrami, with its vast park, the nearby Rusalka´s Lake, the Villa Rusalka, and the scenic surrounding countryside, all served as sources of inspiration for the composer Antonín Dvořák (1841 - 1904), during more than two decades in his creative life.
The grounds of the Vysoka Mansion near the town of Pribram, built in 1878 by Dvorak´s brother-in-law, Count Václav Kounic (designed by Architect Cenek Gregor), serves as a museum open to the general public all year round. The site´s current permanent exhibition, dating from 1994, documents the life and times of the estate´s original proprietors, the Kounics; plus, in its more extensive section, informs about the life and work of Antonín Dvořák, and his visits to Vysoká. The premises include a music lounge and a library. Short-term exhibitions are housed in the newly opened Václav Kounic Gallery. The Dvořák Memorial reached the final of the 1997 edition of the European Museum of the Year Award, in Lausanne, Switzerland.
The Antonin Dvorak's Memorial in Vysoka village.
Vysoka, a small community located in the middle of scenic wooded countryside within a stone's throw from the Brdy hills, was for over two decades a home away from home to one of the foremost protagonists of Czech music, the composer Antonin Dvorak (1841 - 1904).
In 1878, Dvorak's brother-in-law, Count Dr. Vaclav Kounic, the proprietor of the estate of Vysoka, had a mansion built at the edge of the wood, set in the middle of a large park adorned by small lakes, today serving as the Antonin Dvorak´s Memorial. The composer would regularly come here to visit the Kounic family, staying at the steward´s lodge adjacent to the deer-park. In 1884, following his triumphant reception in England, the composer purchased from his brother-in-law a plot of land with an old granary which was then promptly converted to a comfortable country home (the Villa Rusalka). There, Dvorak spent a good deal of time indulging in his favourite pastimes of gardening and pigeon breeding, as well as, naturally enough, composing.
The local colour of Vysoka and its environs thus became inseparably linked with the mature period of Dvorak´s career, a stage during which he reached the peak of his compositional mastery. From the Quartet Movement in F major of October 1881, through the opera, Armida, of July 1903, he composed, began or finished over thirty new works here, apart from revising and/or reworking many earlier compositions. His major works whose genesis is associated with this place thus include the operas, Dimitrij; The Jacobin; Kate and the Devil; Rusalka; and Armida; plus the oratorio, Saint Ludmila; the cantata, The Spectred´s Bride; Requiem; Symphonies Nos. 7 in D minor and 8 in G major; the second set of Slavonic Dances; the overtures, My Home; Amid Nature; and Carnival; Humoresque; and the symphonic poems, The Water Sprite; The Noonday Witch; The Golden Spinning Wheel; Heroic Song, and others.
Indeed, Vysoka was a place which immensely boosted Dvorak´s creative potential. The composer himself wrote in his letters to friends: "I feel so happy here..."
The Neo-Renaissance stately residence at Vysoka u Pribrami, with its vast park, the nearby Rusalka´s Lake, the Villa Rusalka, and the scenic surrounding countryside, all served as sources of inspiration for the composer Antonin Dvorak (1841 - 1904), during more than two decades in his creative life.
The grounds of the Vysoka Mansion, built in 1878 by Dvorak´s brother-in-law, Count Vaclav Kounic (designed by Architect Cenek Gregor), serves as a museum open to the general public all year round. The site´s current permanent exhibition, dating from 1994, documents the life and times of the estateďż˝s original proprietors, the Kounics; plus, in its more extensive section, informs about the life and work of Antonin Dvorak, and his visits to Vysoka. The premises include a music lounge and a library. Short-term exhibitions are housed in the newly opened Vaclav Kounic Gallery. The Dvorak Memorial reached the final of the 1997 edition of the European Museum of the Year Award, in Lausanne, Switzerland.
It is possible to organize the private concerts here.
January, February, March, November, December: Tuesday - Friday 10 a.m. - 3 p.m.
April, May, June, September, October: Tuesday - Sunday 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.
July, August: Tuesday - Sunday 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Visiting just the Dvorak´s museum in Vysoka
would be a 5 hour round trip.
You can go to see more places connected with the name of the famous composer Antonin Dvorak.
NELAHOZEVES VILLAGE BIRTHPLACE OF ANTONIN DVORAK
AND SURROUNDINGS THAT INFLUENCED HIM
It is necessary to make a reservation in advance of seeing the house where Antonin Dvorak was born and grew up.His father Frantisek Dvorak was the butcher and run the local pub. You can see the church of St. Ondrej (Andrew) where Antonin Dvorak was baptised. It stands just opposite the family house of Dvorak. It was also this church where Antoni Dvorak played his first violin solo in 1854.Antinin Dvorak was nine years old in 1850 when the railway from Prague to Lovosice was built, the track passed through Nelahozeves, he watched the building of this railway with interest and listened to the tales told by the construction workers in the father´s pub. Besides the road, the Bohemian paddle steamer also provided a transport link with Prague. Nelahozeves was a frequent destination for excursions made by Prague residents.
You can pass the Bohemian villages where was born Dvorak´s mother, villages where Antonin Dvorak played as the child during the pilgrimage under the direction of Dvorak´s first teacher of music. You can see the chateau Veltrusy where young Antonin Dvorak played in a band of his teacher Stepan Benda.
You can also pass the village Zlonice where Dvorak lived in the house of his uncle and where the young Antonin Dvorak continued as apprentice butcher. There is a beautiful baroque church in Nelahozeves where Antoni Dvorak played on the organ. He used to play to Budenice chateau in the chamber orchestra. You can see the local cemetery where survived the graves of Antonin Dvorak´s uncle and teacher.
In the year 1856 Antonin Dvorak became a butcher and in that year his father send him to Ceska Kamenice so as he could perfect his knowledge of German.
He attended the school there and startetd to compose.
In August he returned to Zlonice village where good news awaited him, At the intercession of his teacher Antonin Liehman and his uncle Zdenek and the local noble family of Kinsky, it was decided that he should go to study at the organ school in Prague.
To see just Nelahozeves village and to drive around the places that influenced Antonin Dvorak when he grew up is a 4 hour round trip.
It is possible to combine seeing both of places in one day and to stop also in Prague in the National Cemetery where Antonin Dvorak is buried.
Nelahozeves and Vysoka museums of Antonin Dvorak and visiting the Prague cemetery where Dvorak is buried.
It is an 8-9 hour round trip.