Horsovsky Tyn

Aerial view

It was originally an early Gothic bishop's castle which was rebuilt into an exquisite Renaissance chateau. The chateau was adapted in 19th century. The bishop's quadrangle, finished in 1270, was the most remarkable building in the history of Czech medieval architecture for its complexity and intricacy, and it was often compared to the King's Castles of Yvikov or Bezdez. The Bishop of Prague Jan III. of Zdrazic commissioned a local Czech group, who was strongly influenced by the 13th century Burgund Architecture, buildings from the Austrian part of the Danube and by classical French Gothic style, to build it.

The windows of the Gothic chapel are crafted with unusual moulded glass, which is produced by using a very unique technique. Today, you will find bears roaming in the castle moat.

Exhibitions

  • Castle - Gothic vault, chapel, Renaissance interior with contemporary equipment and collections, armoury
  • Chateau - life of the aristocracy from 16th until the beginning of the 20th century
  • Kitchen - historical forms of illumination, personal and ecclesiastical objects, textiles, dishes, porcelain
  • Entrance - historical exhibition

Chapel

Historical and Architectural Developments

It was originally a castle site. Later on it became a watch castle. The details on its origins do however differ. It was probably erected in the year 1252.

More accurate information exists from the time when it was owned by the Bishops of Prague. It was a residence of the bishopric administrative authority. Burgrave and the Bishopric garrison resided at the castle. During this time, the castle consisted of an eastern portal with a high keep, and on the opposite side a two-storied palace surrounded with two prism-shaped keeps. They were connected by a courtyard enclosed with a high stone wall. The castle remained in this style until the end of Hussite wars. At this time, King Zikmund pledged it to Zdenek z Drstky.

In 1535, the castle and the estate was transferred to the Lobkowitz' who began reconstructing it into a comfortable, exquisite Renaissance seat after the fire in 1547. At this time, the original palace was transformed into a Renaissance chateau. A courtyard was built around the new wing and remainders of the original palace were included in it. The principal builder of this reconstruction was Agostino Galli, who also designed the Prague palace at Hradcany. The chateau was in the possession of the Lobkowitz' until the Bílá hora battle.

After that, it was acquired by the Imperial Diplomat, Maximilian Trauttmansdorff. In spite of the reconstruction in the 17th and 18th centuries, the chateau remained Renaissance in character. The most important changes were performed during the restoration at the end of 19th century under Josef Shulz, the architect, who attempted to recreat the castle in its conventional style. Since 1945 it has been under the ownership of the Czechoslovakian State.

The four wings form an almost perfect tetragonal courtyard. The western and southern wings and the circumferencial wall remained in medieval style until the Renaissance buildings were built. The eastern wing has an annex with a portal on the town side. This construction is surrounded by a deep moat, a stone wall and two bastions. The so-called Burgrave court with its own buildings, the Burgravety and the Shooter's Gallery with blind arcades and loopholes, was situated on the other side of the eastern wing. The courtyard facades are partly interrupted with the arcades and are bordered with built-on galleries. All the arcades had outlined ledges, shields, dormer-windows and chimneys. The original style did not, however, remain. Only the new decoration from Josef Schulz' reconstruction in the 19th century remained. The closest to its original state is the arcade with a painted roof, a row of shields and towers.

Ballroom Red Lounge The arched cellars, the ground floors of the tower and a carriage-way, the first floor and chapel built into a tower chamber are the only remainders from the original castle. On the first floor there was a reception parlour and three further Renaissance arched rooms that were reconstructed at the end of 19th and beginning of 20th century. The rarest part of the chateau is an early Gothic chapel, which was partly rescued from the fire in 1547. In the eastern wing, there is a big hall with a lunette vault and wall-paintings. In the connecting north wing, there was a living space with a with a black kitchen, a rolled vault with lunettes and remainders of original Renaissance wall-paintings. On the second floor there is an armoury with a wooden ceiling and facing. The southern part consists of a riding hall above the cellar stables and three large halls. The most important of the three halls is a ballroom with walls in the Empire style. At present, only part of the ground floor of the eastern block (simple historical exhibition) and several rooms on the first floor of the Renaissance-style south wing (exhibition of equipment from 16th - 19th century) are accessible. The rest of the chateau including a unique chapel is closed for reconstruction.

Small Renaissance Hall Great Renaissance Hall with Billiard Gentlemen's Lounge

Pictures by Vaclav Hyncik and Pavel Slacik

Home