Zamek Kratochvile, 384 11 Netolice, Tel.: 0338/324 380
Kratochvile is a renaissance summer-house built in once marshy South Bohemian landscape during the reign of the last Lords of Rosenberg at the end of the 16th century. It is not very demanding building, it is important rather as the realization of the renaissance Italian villa in the Czech cultural environment. It was not a witness of revolutionary political, economic or cultural events, it served rather as a place, where the magnates of the chief Czech aristocratic families found amusement and distraction at the goblet of wine or the fox-chase in the deep woods. In spite of this fact, its interiors belong to the most valuable renaissance interiors all over the country. The whole complex is composed of the summer-house itself, adjacent renaissance garden, small church and the elements of fortification. This fortification, which has rather decorative function, is formed by water moats, relatively low bulwark reinforced by several low bastions and the entrance gate. The farming wing is also a part of the fortification.
As said above, the decoration of the inner space of the summer-house is one of the most wonderful in Bohemia. On the groundfloor, there is an entrance hall with the rolled vault, which is painted with hunting scenes. Similar hall on the first floor has the net vault with the stucco decoration. The so called Golden hall is the most pretentiously decorated room of the chateaux. It has the rolled vault with the stucco relievos with the Rosenbergs' motifs and motifs from the Roman history and mythology. The name of the hall comes from the richly gilded wall paintings. On the first floor, the are furthermore so called Small golden hall and rooms for the lord, three rooms called according to the expressive colour wall paintings white, blue and green for his wife in the left arm of the chateaux and the common living-room with the rich stucco.
There is a unique exhibition of the Czech cartoons and puppet-film installed in Kratochvile. Original works of world-famed Czech artists - Jiri Trnka, Karel Zeman, Hermina Tyrlova and others - are collected here. The central room of the chateaux - the Golden hall - is metamorphosed into the fabulous empire of puppets, other rooms of the first floor are dedicated to the puppet-film for adults. There is also an exhibition of the world celebrities of the cartoons in the farming wing of the chateaux. Using the original artistic designs, screenplays, puppets and decorations and collecting works of the most important Czech artists in this sphere, the authors of the exhibition have created a monument which is completely individual, even in European scale.
Historical and architectonic development
Kratochvile is part of the Netolice-shire, which came into the hands of Lords of Rosenberg in 1513, when Petr of Rosenberg acquired it. At the place of today's chateaux, there was a manor called Leptac, from 1569 owned by the Rosenbergs' regent Jakub Krcin of Jelcany, well-known builder of the South Bohemian system of fish-ponds. In 1577, he built here small chateaux for hunting purposes. In 1580, he bartered the entire manor with Vilem of Rosenberg, the interesting individuality of the renaissance Bohemia, for the town Sedlcany. From 1583 to 1589, Vilem built here a summer-house in such conception, which we can see today. The architect was Baltasar Maggi of Ronio, the author of the stucco decoration was Antonio Melani and paintings in the interiors come from the Rosenbergs' court painter Jiri Widmann. Because of the marshy terrain, the building had to be secured by oaken and alder pilots under its basement.
As result of the demanding style of life and consequent tall debts, Petr Vok, the last Lord of Rosenberg, was forced to sell the most of his property to the Czech king and Roman emperor Rudolph II. Before death of Rudolph II., during the invasion of Passauer armies, Kratochvile was heavily damaged. After the Czech war 1619-20, the chateaux was given by the emperor Ferdinand II. to Oldrich Eggenberg. At this time, the chateaux served in fact only as the temporary mansion during the hunts and chases. During the centuries, only small architectonic adaptations were realized. In 1683 and 1696, two new bastions were built, the entrance gate was lowered in 1684. In 1696, the original manor Leptac was broken down. The new baroque roof was constructed in 1762. At this time, the chateaux was already a property of the Schwarzenbe rgs, its last private holders.
At the beginning of the 19th century, the chateaux was adapted to flats for clerks, the valuable paintings were painted over as old-fashioned. From the half of the 19th century, it was used as the museum. Kratochvile was nationalized after the second world war, the extensive reconstructions were carried out here from 1950.
April and October on weekends and holidays 9-16
May and September daily except Monday 9-16
June to August daily except Monday 9-17
November to March closed
Chateaux: Adults 25,- CZK
Children 15,- CZK
Foreigners adults 50,- CZK
Chateaux and church: Adults 30,- CZK
Foreigners adults 60,-CZK
Children 30,- CZK
Garden: 5,- CZK