Vranov nad Dyjí

Státní zámek Vranov nad Dyjí, 671 03 Vranov nad Dyjí
Tel. 515 296 215, e-mail: vranov@brno.npu.cz

   High on a rocky spur overshadowing the vast expanse of the Vranov reservoir, stands the picturesque castle of the same name. Its foundation goes back to the 11th century when it served as one of the elements of the defensive system associated with the frontier river Dyje. In 1323 it was given in pledge to Jindřich of Lipá, a prominent supporter of Eliška, the last of the Přemysl clan. From 1421 it was in the ownership of the Lichtenburg clan, which carried out only minor adjustments to the building.
   In 1618, at the start of the revolt of the Estates, it fell to the Althan family who soon sold it but obtained it again after 1680, holding onto it for a longer period. To them is due the extensive rebuilding which turned a medieval abode into an elegant Baroque castle. The architectural and decorative work was carried out by the foremost of Austria's Baroque artists. The overall project was probably designed by Johann B. Fischer of Erlach; Domenico Martinelli, and after 1723, also by Antonio E. Martinelli as a collaborator.
   The so-called Hall of Ancestors, oval in plan, is the finest part and spitizual centre of the castle. The painting in the vault, which celebrates the Althan clan, was executed in 1695 by Johann M. Rottmayr. Tobiáš Kracker was the artist of the sculptures at the lower level.

   The church of the Most Holy Trinity, built in 1698 - 1700, was decorated with murals by Ignaz Ceinitz. Late in the 18th century the entire castle was furnished in the classical style. The Althan estates prospered considerably from the manufacture of ceramics during the years 1799 - 1882