Státní hrad Bítov, 671 10 Bítov
Tel. +420 515 294 622, e-mail: bitov@pambr.cz

   Bítov is one of the oldest castles in our country. The castle was built at the time of the joining of the Moravian and the Czech lands. The first written references to the castle date back from 1061 - 1067. Until the turn of the 13th century, the castle belonged to the Lords and the castle was the centre of the administration of castles. In the region it also played an important part in the line of defence of the South Moravian borders.
   The original castle was built of wood and covered the whole area of the promontory surrounded on three sides by the Želetavka river. The oldest well-preserved stone building is the residential tower, probably originating from the 3rd decade of the 13th century. The castle and its original buildings were, at the turn of the 14th century, rebuilt into a massive castle palace during the reconstruction which marked the passage of the Renaissance to Baroque. The first half of the 19th century became the last remarkable phase of the reconstruction, when the whole grounds, then under the ownership of the Earls of Daun, took on a new Gothic appearance.


   Georg Haas, Baron of Hasenfeld, was the last owner until 1945. He was also the co-owner of the first Czech factory for the manufacture of china at Horní Slavkov near Karlovy Vary. It was he who changed the castle into a private zoo featuring a famous collection of stuffed animals including a collection of stuffed dods. In 1979 a complete reconstruction of the castle had begun. The endangered castle buildings have been secured and stabilized. New services built include an ecological and a biological sewage treatment plant. Alongside the reconstructions, the restoration of the famous illusion paintings has been carried out. Old furniture and facilities are being renewed and the zoological collection preserved.