The Archbishop’s Château with two surrounding gardens is located in Kromeriz, one of the most attractive towns in Moravia. The historic complex as a whole was added to the UNESCO World Cultural and Natural Heritage List in 1998.
The Archbishop’s Château in the town of Kromeriz ranks among the most valued historic monuments in Moravia. It used to serve as a representative residence of its owners, Olomouc Archbishops. In 1110, a market settlement called Kromeriz was bought by the Olomouc Bishop Jan II. (1104 – 1126) and it became the property of Olomouc Bishopric (Archbishopric). In the middle of 13th century Bishop Bruno of Schauenburg (1245 - 1281) promoted Kromerz to a town (1261) and built a Gothic castle at the place where nowadays the palace is located. He introduced a Manx administration system and concentrated all the administration of the Bishopric in Kromeriz. The castle was rebuilt into a Renaissance palace during the episcopate of Stanislaus Thurzo (1496 – 1554). The Thirty Years War became an affliction to the palace – in 1643 Kromeriz was conquered and destroyed by the Swedish troops of general Torstenson. Bishop Karl von Lichtenstein- Castelkorno (1665 – 1694) - based on the designs by the imperial court architects F. Luchese and G.P. Tencalla- rebuilt the site more or less into today´s form. In 1752, large fire in town destroyed tens of buildings in Kromeriz and damaged 2nd floor and the interiors of the palace. In 1848-1849 the Archbishop’s Château housed the Constituent Imperial Assembly of the Austrian nations. The most significant building revision in the 20th century was the reconstruction of the Château Tower (the tower was set on fire by the retreating German troops in the last days of the Second World War). In 1998 the complex of the the Archbishop’s Château and gardens as a whole was registered in the UNESCO list of the World Cultural Heritage.
The individual parts of the palace were in the past organized hierarchically – the ground flood was dedicated to the economic and operational purposes, on the second floor were rather representative halls and the third floor emphasized bishop´s worldly and administrative authority.
Today´s Château is not only a unique historic site but as well a lively research centre offering rich collections of paintings, books and music, that originate in the diligent work of enlightened scholars and researchers throughout the centuries.
The hall dominated by the Russian billiard table with the walls decorated by the collection of hunting trophies was used as a smoking room and games room. Its today look is an adaptation for the visit of Czar Alexander III. and the Austrian Emperor Franz Joseph I. The most interesting weapon in the collection weights 24 kilograms.
It used to be an anteroom for the private and special guests and is remarkable for its interior: white furnishings inspired by the Second Rococo, white tile stove with gilded Neo-Rococo ornamental decoration, five-part Venetian mirror, pelmet and a magnificent chandelier with motifs of flowers.
This room was used by the Russian Czar Alexander III for audiences while his stay in the Château in 1885 and it had been adapted for this purpose. The Czar contributed to the salon furnishings by two gifts to his host: a life size portrait and a commemorative vase.
A noteworthy part of the interior is a three-part altar –a valuable piece of work by an Italian master from the last third of 14th century.
This hall with the Neo-Baroque seating furniture and the portraits of Olomouc Bishops and Archbishops on the walls commemorates the historic events of the revolutionary year 1848, when the Château housed the Constituent Imperial Assembly of the Austrian nations. The room was used as a council chamber of the Slavonic representatives.
Olomouc Archbishops received more important guests in this representative hall with stucco decoration on the ceiling and a painting gallery on the walls. Also, until the 1960ies it used to be a place of display of one of the most valued paintings of these days in the Czech Lands and the most significant painting to be found in the Kromeriz Château - “Apollo and Marsyas" by an Italian Renaissance master Titian – currently displayed at the Château Picture Gallery
It was used for dining in a smaller group, usually for feasts with distinguished visitors to the Château. The tables, cupboards and seating furniture were made in the second half of 18th century. The walls are covered with paneling of 111 pictures with animal, biblical and mythological motifs
Assembly Hall is the largest and most magnificent Château corner decorated with ceiling paintings and 22 chandeliers originally served as a main festive hall and a dining hall. In 1848 it housed the Constituent Imperial Assembly of the Austrian nations. Therefore there was built a wooden platform for the meeting of the delegates. The interior of the Assembly Hall is one of the most beautiful Rococo interiors in Europe and is often used for filming
rokokovým interiérům ve střední Evropě a často je využíván při filmovém natáčení.
Liege Hall represented the worldly power of the Olomouc Bishops. It was a place where the liege assemblies and the trials at the feudal court were held – as commemorate three liege coffers in the interior. The decorations of this hall are the most valuable ones from the artistic point of view; the walls with marble panelling have gilded Rococo carving.
The New Library comprises about15 000 volumes in Latin, German and Czech, for the most part from the end of 19th and the beginning of 20th century. It was established by Archbishop Fridrich von Fürstenberg in the premises of the former liege registry in late 19th century. Nowadays it is a part of the Château Historic Library
The Château library with its appr. 21 500 volumes of books ranks among the largest and the most treasured libraries in The Czech Republic. Its present peak Baroque appearance is a result of the reconstruction after the big fire in 1752. There are two pairs of historic globes displayed in the interior. Part of the library is also a large music archive and a collection of old drawings and graphics.
The Château Tower dominates both the Château and the entire town of Kromeriz. It is 84 meters high three-floor building including a four-storey tower, the most important relic of the original episcopal castle. Since the fire in 1643 and then in 1752 damaged the tower, in 1768 it was reconstructed and covered with copper. In the last days of the Second World War it was set on fire by the retreating German troops, but thank to the dedicated salvage of the Kromeriz citizens the fire was extinguished and the tower reconstructed during 1947 – 1948 in today´s shape.
The sala terrena is situated on the ground floor of the northeast wing of the Château. It used to serve as a connecting space when passing from the Château to the Château Garden. Often there were organized art performances and concerts. As oppose to the upper parts of the Château, that has occurred several adaptations throughout the history, this space preserved in its original shape from the end of 17th century.
It consists of three large halls with statues and stucco decorations, fresco ceilings and two artificial caves (co called Grotta´s), that were adapted based on the designs by the remarkable architect Giovanni Pietro Tencalla. There is also a large amount of stylish decorations such as imitation stalactites and stalagmites, seashell ornaments and a fountain in the middle