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News Archive

Book on Historic Czech Manor Houses Nears Completion

The following report on the creation of a series of books on historic Czech manor houses comes from INTBAU member Vratislav Košťál.

A small team of authors in co-operation with the publishers Barrister and Principal has finished the first part of a broader series of books to inform the Czech public about the former chateaus, castles and other manor houses in the heart of the Czech Republic, or Middle Bohemian Region. The first part of this series is likely to be available for purchase by the end of this year, and will focus on the northern part of the Middle Bohemian Region (the districts of Melnik, Mlada Boleslav and Nymburk).

Chateau of Velke Horky, being stepwise repaired. Image courtesy of Vratislav Košťál

Many of the former seats of noble families with Czech, Austrian, German, Italian, Polish or Hungarian origin, as well as those with English or Irish roots (such as the families of Butler of Clonebough, Geraldin, Leslie etc.), are still standing today, some in very good condition, others poorly maintained and constantly threatened by wind and water. However, all of them are to be seen as tangible documents of the past, embodying the nature of typical Czech landscape and history. Sadly, there is a lack of public interest in the hidden efforts required to preserve these buildings for future generations. Some of them are owned by the state, but they are mostly administered by private individuals, cities and villages. While visiting such buildings, anyone can imagine the huge sums spent by the current owners in order to maintain these buildings properly.

Our project should help all of these people and companies, as well as the state and municipalities, to maintain their buildings and to solve a lot of the problems they are currently facing. The books intend to provide space free of charge for the owners of the historic buildings to contribute text, photos and occasional offers of stays when the relevant manor house is operated as a hotel or when other services for conferences are offered. Each building is described in terms of its history and architecture. In addition, the authors use their own photos, illustrations of coats-of-arms, and maps and writings about surrounding landscapes and local legends. In such a manner, a unique publication has been developed.

The initiative to create this series of books also takes into account the concern that visits to the countryside and the appreciation of traditional architecture are becoming increasingly rare. This series of books is therefore also an invitation to rediscover the countryside, its natural landscapes and its beautiful historic buildings.

The authors would be very grateful for any support with this project. For more information, please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

Over the next few years, another five books are planned to be published to cover the entire Middle Bohemian Region.

For the team of authors,
Vratislav Košťál, Prague, Czech Republic