The City of Telc is situated near an ancient provincial route leading from Vienna to Prague - exactly at the midpoint. It is unknown precisely when the town was founded, but the oldest reliable information about Telc is dated back to the period 1333-1335 when the whole region belonged to King John of Luxembourg who bestowed the city on the noble family of Hradec after 1339. The family of Hradec played important role in transforming what was originally a water fortress with a Gothic castle
into the gracefull Renaissance town.
At the beginning of the 17th
century the city of Telc came into the possesion o f the Slavata family, and then the Lichtenstein-Kastelcorn family and finally the Podstatsky- Lichtenstein family who owned Telc till 1945.
The state chateau Telc is one of the best-preserved Renaissance architectural complexes in the Czech Republic. The Renaissance form is still apparent in most of the interior, with furnishing of outstanding artistic value. The burgher houses, the townhall, the Jesuit College and the churches of St. James
, of The Name of Jesus and of the Holy Spirit are interesting building as well.
Telc, with a population of 7,000, is a natural centre of the southern part of the Bohemian-Moravian Highland, and an architectural and artistic gem apparently spared the ravages of time. Once a royal water fort founded in the l3th century at a cross roads of major trade routes it was later owned by several aristocratic families. In the 16th
century, the chateau and the inner town were rebuilt, and their Renaissance appearance has been preserved almost intact up to the present. In the 17th
centuries, the Jesuit order made some significant additions to Telc's a ppearance. The town's landmarks include, apart from the Renaissance chateau with an English park, also a unique complex of Renaissance and Baroque houses
on a medieval ground plan. The fact that the corner pillars are common to some neighbouring houses suggests that the arcade, and actually the houses facades, were added later, based on a unified design.
Art, and especially music, play a major role in the life of present-day Telc. Chamber and classical music lovers can select from a long list of concerts and music festivals. They include the Krajina hudby (Land of Music) festival and the Franco-Czech Music Academy
chateau belongs among the jewels of Moravian Renaissance architecture. Its attraction is spectacular thanks to the owner's sensitive approach to the inheritance of the past. The original interiors have been preserved in very good condition. Many of them are representative examples of the outreach of Italian art into our country, which was influenced often by the environment north of the Alps.
The Gothic castle was built in the second half of the 14th
century. Towards the end of the 15th
century the castle fortifications were strengthened and a new gate-tower built. By the middle of the 16th
century the medieval castle no longer satisfied Renaissance noblemen such as the cultured and well-travelled Zacharias of Hradec. He h ad the castle altered in the Renaissance style. The ground floor was vaulted anew, the facade decorated with graffito, and the state apartments and living quarters received stucco orna mentation together with trompe l'oeil paintings
and chiaroscuro in 1553.
The most splendid rooms, ones with coffered ceilings, for example, the Blue and Golden Halls of 1561, were created in the newly built palace opposite the castle, which was l ined by an arcade to the Renaissance park. A memorial chapel adjoined the castle where the lords of Hradec built themselves a marble mausoleum. This is where the last descendant of the Vitkovec of Jindrichuv Hradec was buried. Telc came into the possession of Vilem Slavata of Chllum and Kosumberg by inheritance.
The counter-reformation brought the Jesuits to the town and they built themselves the church, Name of Jesus, in 1666 - 67, according to the plans of Dominico Orsi. The column of the Virgin and the fountain in the centre of the square date from the 18th
century. This splendid ensemble of Renaissance and Baroque houses, still to be seen with their high gables and arcades, remains largely faithful to the layout devised by medieval town planning. The elegant town hall was more than once rebuilt after fires, as, for example, in the years 1499 and 1530.
The Renaissance castle and mostly Renaissance and Baroque houses make up a complex forming one of the most comprehensive ensembles in the country.