The Flower Garden

The Flower Garden of Kroměříž, known also as the Pleasure Garden or Lustgarten, is an exceptional historic garden unequalled in broader European and global context.

The garden represents a transition between late renaissance Italian gardens and classical baroque gardens of the French type, such as the one in Versailles. The Flower Garden of Kroměříž is nowadays practically the only example of such designed complex in Europe.

The Flower Garden was built in the second half of the 17th century by Bishop of Olomouc Karl II von Liechtenstein-Castelcorno (1664-1695). The first phase of the construction, which represented the main part of the garden, took place between 1665 and 1675. The second phase was implemented in the 1680’s. The initial works were directed by an Italian architect Filiberto Luchese (1607–1666) and after his death his younger colleague and collaborator Giovanni Pietro Tencalla (1629–1702) took over the task.

The bishop had a very clear idea on what the garden should look like. He drew inspiration from secluded gardens of the Renaissance period that accompanied some of the older palace residences in France. Italian, German, and Dutch garden were great sources of inspiration too.

The central part of the Flower Garden, which is composed upon a long rectangle with geometrically shaped topiary, consists of two parts – a floral garden and an orchard. The main axis of the garden, beginning with the entry through sculptural loggia, is accentuated, both centrally and along the sides, by numerous accompanying architectural and art features (ornamental borders, Lion and Triton fountains, Rotunda, labyrinths, fishponds, skittle alley, and so-called Strawberry Hills). This basic formal layout is organically complemented with other adjacent ornamental or production areas (Orange Garden, Dutch Garden, greenhouses, farmyard, Pheasantry, Rabbit Hill and Aviary).

In its original 17th century form the Flower Garden represents a breakthrough phase of European garden art. On one hand it still draws from the tradition of late renaissance gardens in Italy and Germany, on the other hand it strives to encompass new spatial concepts of the budding French baroque Classicism. Taking the best from this double inspiration the Flower Garden stands out as absolutely unequalled within broader European and global context.

During the 18th and in early 19th century several greenhouses were added to the Flower Garden, which became more of a botanical collection and farmyard for the chateau. The garden, including the Rotunda, went through extensive reconstruction in late 19th century during the episcopacy of archbishops Maximilian Joseph Sommerau-Beckh (1837–1853) and Theodor Kohn (1893–1904).

The modern revitalisation of the derelict parts of the Flower Garden took place in the 1950’s following the design of architect Pavel Janák (1882 – 1956). In 1998 the Flower Garden, along with the Palace Garden and the Archiepiscopal Residence, was entered on the UNESCO World Heritage List. The recently completed reconstruction that aims for the restoration of the garden’s authentic look from the times of its origin was carried out by a team of leading Czech architects under the supervision of D.R.N.H. and Transat architectural studios. The Flower Garden was officially reopened on with the first year of the HORTUS MAGICUS baroque culture festival that took place on 6 – 7 September 2014.