One of the most sought-after castles of our country, the Hluboká Chateau, towers on the northern edge of the Budejovice pond basin, on a steep promontory over the Vltava River.
Originally a royal castle, after many changes, it became property of the Schwarzenberg family in 1661. The present form of the castle complex, including the park and the surrounding landscape, was inspired by the ways of Prince Adolf II. Schwarzenberg to Great Britain, who, as a representative of an important and wealthy family, attended the coronation of the British Queen Victoria in 1838. As an honest diplomat of the Habsburg monarchy, he traveled to the coronation with his wife Princess Eleonora, who greatly influenced his ideas with the appearance of the castle. Deep soon became the Schwarzenberg manor house. The wide hillside of the Ostrogna allowed the chateau to be expanded and the surrounding courtyards and fields of play to be built in its surroundings. In the first third of the 18th century, the chateau was rebuilt in Baroque style and retained its appearance until the Romantic rebuilding around the middle of the 19th century. The example of the reconstruction of the Baroque castle was the royal castle Windsdor. After 1947, the Czechoslovak state continued in this direction.
The walls and ceilings of the interior are richly decorated with wood carvings and noble wood. Some rooms are decorated with paintings by European masters from the 16th to 18th centuries, chandeliers, stained glass and ceramics from Delft. Portraits on the walls show the most important members of the Schwarzenberg family. Private rooms of the late owners of Hluboká, Prince Adolf and his wife Hilda are also accessible. In the basement of the chateau is accessible the chateau kitchen with a confectionery and a personal and dining lift from the beginning of the 20th century.
Route A “Representation rooms” shows the piano of Hluboká Chateau: morning room, reading room, smoking room, small and large dining room, library together with the personal rooms of Princess Eleonore and an exhibition of weapons – entrance hall to the armoury and chateau armoury. The walls and ceilings of the interiors are richly decorated with wood carvings and covered in fine wood. The most valuable furniture is found in the morning room. Some rooms are decorated with paintings by 16th to 18th century European masters, chandeliers, stained glass windows and Delft pottery. The portraits on the walls depict the most important members of the Schwarzenberg family. Interesting is the example of the valuable mobiliary collected by the princely family of the Schwarzenbergs. This is the luxury furnished 19th century interiors including 10,723 books stored on the shelves of the chateau library. The rich collection of weapons is among the most valuable collections found in Czech chateau collections.
The private rooms have a more chamber like character than the piano nobile of Hluboká Chateau and depict the life of the last owners after the Romantic conversion in the mid 19th century. These are the princely couples, Jan Adolf II Schwarzenberg with wife Eleonore, née princess of Liechtenstein, Adolf Joseph with wife Ida, née princess of Liechtenstein, Jan Nepomuk II with wife Tereza, née countess Trauttsmandorf, and Adolf with wife Hilda, née princess of Luxembourg and Nassau. The rooms were furnished according to the inventories of the last period of the Schwarzenbergs. There is a hunting dining room, preparation room, study, marble room, bedroom, servant room and original sanitary facilities with a WC and bathroom on the route. Of technical interest is the personal and goods lift. A highlighted motif on the tour circuit is the hunt as a distinctive feature of the life of the aristocratic residents of the chateau, their families and friends. The route goes through the rooms of the chateau’s ground floor and first floor.
A unique example of a kitchen of a large noble house. Just as the Romantic conversion of the chateau in the 19th century so the orientation of the kitchen and its position is inspired by English seats. The kitchen is in the basement in the part facing the north so the running of the large kitchen stoves would not disturb life in the chateau. The visitor will be surprised not just by its size – it takes up the basement throughout the entire main chateau facade –, but also the individual parts depending on the preparation and character of the individual dishes (cold cuisine, hot cuisine, confectionery). The authentic facilities and equipment was still used shortly after 1945.
Chateau tower – lookout
A highly interesting view of the surrounding countryside, on condition that there is favourable weather, is offered by a visit to the chateau tower. It was newly built after 1847 on the sight of the original collapsed tower of the Baroque chateau. It had never had deep foundations and in the course of the radical rebuilding of the first courtyard in the 19th century, the front building, which made up the supporting wall of the Baroque tower, was pulled down. The newly built neo-Gothic tower with battlements measures 52 metres from the courtyard, 58 metres from the lower parterre of the chateau park, and it is a little lower than the Black Tower in the nearby České Budějovice, which measures 71.9 metres. It is interesting that the number of stairs leading to the gallery of the chateau tower is higher by about 20, altogether 245.
Sightseeing tour Guest rooms will take you to three apartments and several rooms of second floor of chateau, which has been used since the mid-19th century for the accommodation of relatives, friends and honorable guests of the Schwarzenberg family. Also part of the tour route is the treasury, which will present a unique collection of Schwarzenberg silver.
Winter Visitor's Route
Autumn has arrived, and Hluboká Castle is still accepting visitors. Tradition has typically held that the castle gates would close to visitors on October 31 and remained closed until April 1 of the following year, when tourism revived. The newly accessible tempered rooms have now enabled the staff at Hluboká Castle to welcome those interested in a tour, even during the cold season. And there's certainly plenty to see. Rooms with a chamber-like atmosphere have been gradually re-installed for viewing. In the larger part of the ground floor, available for viewing during the winter months, the private suites of the last four generations of the Hluboká dominion's owners have been prepared. Entering through the corridor on the right side of the courtyard, we begin in the Hamilton Parlour of Princess Theresa. The corridor itself, aside from hunting trophies and graphic prints from the 18th century, also boasts framed photos of the Schwarzenberg family. The hunting motifs bring us into another room – Theresa's Smoking Room and the Small Dining Room. Next we see the magnificent Hunting Dining Hall, Preparatory Room, Dr. Adolf's Small Dining Room, his Study, the Living Room, and Bedroom.