Buchlov Castle history

Stručná historie

          Buchlov, this Late Romanesque castle was built originally by the king in the 13th century (mentioned
in written sources in 1277) as the centre of a royal hunting district. The core of the castle was dominated by two rectangular keeps or dwelling towers (to the west and east) between which an intimate courtyard was found.
The north and south side of this courtyard was, already in the 13th century, surrounded by regal palace buildings, connected to another tower, situated on the south side of the castle core. This comprised of an entrance gate on the grand level and a delicate, richly illuminated chapel on the upper floor. A re-installed Romanesque arched frieze has also been preserved from this earliest stage.

          By the beginning of the 15th century the castle core was surrounded by outer ward (parkán) wall fortifications and the northern palace was expanded towards the east. It is likely that even then an outer bailey existed to the southwest side of the core. In 1468 the castle was damaged by Hungarian troops; and a widespread Late Gothic reconstruction followed, which lasted until the early 16th century. This reconstruction touched on the whole northern tract, including the old eastern tower, which was reduced to the level of the adjacent palace.
The interiors of the first floor of this wing were equipped with high-quality ribbed vaults with cross and net patterns. The keys of these vaults have remarkable heraldic decoration. A new chapel, whose presbytery was located in a buttress protruding into the moat (this chapel replaced the older, damaged chapel in the south tower) was also integrated into this. The most important builder on this phase was the lease-holder Ctibor Tovačovský
of Cimburk (1484–94) and the knights of Zahrádka (1499– 1517) apparently continued with the works.
          Under them, or the Zierotins (1518–42), the construction of outer bailey (now the second courtyard) carried on, and was completed around the mid-16th century under Jan Ždánský of Zástřizly (1543–58). Its perimeter was defined by walls, surrounded by outbuildings. The fortifications were strengthened with a polygonal bastion
in the west and the Andělka tower on the east side. Jan Ždánský also carried out a radical reconstruction of the southern part of the core, which dominant feature became a clock tower and an addition to the older southern tower. The building known as the barracks, with a staircase providing access to the core of the castle was also his work. In 1602
a ballroom was added upstairs. Sets of table faience and Zástřizly drinking cups from the beginning of the 17th century have been preserved at the castle.

          The castle was altered again just before 1630 by Jiří of Zástřizly, and after the mid-17th century by the Peterswalds of Peterswald (Petřvald), on whose initiative the Baroque interior of the library was done (the basis of its collection became the library of Calvin’s follower Theodore Beza, which was bought by Jiří Zikmund Ždánský of Zástřizly). On the north side of the castle courtyard an old gallery was replaced by pillared arcades, while on the southeast side of the complex a new eastern outer bailey for the castle (now the first courtyard) was built, with an early Baroque bastion and gate, in which a unique trigger crest is preserved. Both of these buildings were built in 1662, and at the end of the 17th century a massive building called the Burgrave’s Palace, containing a second castle gate. In 1737 Sigismund Karel of Peterswald had several Baroque vaults carried out in the north wing of the castle core, although in this period the family seat was switched to the new house at Buchlovice.

          In the 19th century the ‘Berchtold rooms’ were furnished in Biedermeier style and the natural history collection that Friedrich Berchtold gathered was exhibited here. One interior was designed like an Egyptian temple for the 28th–31st dynasty Nefersobek mummy. Buchlov is one of the best-preserved Moravian castles,
and as early as the first half of the 19th century it was opened to the public as a castle
and family museum.


          At the top of the Modla hill, towering half a kilometer east of the castle, and inhabited in the early Middle Ages, the medieval Chapel of St. Barbara was founded. The current new Baroque building replaced it in the years 1672–3 and some spoil from the earlier sanctuary was used in its construction, the author of which may have been either Giovanni Pietro Tencalla or John the Baptist Erna. The central section, shaped like an isosceles cross, served as a funeral chapel for the Petrswald of Petrswalds and Berchtolds. The furnishings of the chapel date from the last quarter of the 17th century. The Baroque tabernacle on the main altar was reportedly transferred from Velehrad monastery. The classical cenotaph and Berchtold tombs, mostly early 19th century,
are notable. Most valuable of all is the majolica relief of the Madonna with the Christ Child from the 1520s, attributed to
the Florentine Giovanni della Robbia, which is part of the Neo-Renaissance marble epitaph of Sigismund Corsini Berchtold (†1900).