The reconstruction of the roof of the chateau, restoration of the water management system in the Chateau garden, or the opening of the Mill Gate – these are just some parts of a project that has been launched by the Olomouc Archbishopric together with the National Heritage institute and Olomouc Museum of Art at the Archbishop’s Chateau and gardens in Kroměříž. The overall cost of the project, which will take place until 2022, is estimated to CZK 246.3 million, with a substantial part being covered by a grant from the Integrated Regional Operating Programme (IROP).
The allocation of a CZK 202.2 million grant had been approved by the Czech Ministry of Regional Development, which administrates the IROP programme. The Czech national budget will support the project titled “Heritage of Power, Fame, and Generosity” with CZK 23.8 million, and the rest of the planned cost, CZK 20.3 million, will be covered by the Olomouc Archbishopric, the owner of the chateau and gardens.
“I perceive the heritage of our ancestors as a challenge. If Bishop Karl von Liechtenstein, with incredible courage, could create such a graceful landscape in the land plundered by the Thirty Years’ War, we also have to find the courage, and despite everything that is not good in the current world, we must strive for creating things of beauty, hoping and believing that it will also yield fruits,” said Jan Graubner, Bishop of Olomouc, and added: “I am glad that with the support of the public funds and in collaboration with the National Heritage Institute and the Olomouc Museum of Art we can continue with this project to preserve such an important cultural and art heritage.”
According to Jan Slezák, the director of the Regional Heritage Authority in Kroměříž, the main asset of the project lies in its general impact on the entire society. “The project is a result of broad collaboration and understanding of the essential values, and we are glad that the National Heritage Institute has been at its birth and development,” said Slezák, and pointed out that the concept of the project issues from the already implemented National Centre of Garden Culture in Kroměříž and its activities.
A substantial part of the funds will support the reconstruction of the vitally important infrastructure, such as the water management system in the Chateau garden, the reconstruction of the chateau roofs, development of a depository to hold the unique collections, and the upgrading of the security systems. The restoration will also cover the “social heart of the chateau” – the Assembly Hall.
These are the steps towards ensuring a long-term sustainability of the heritage values of the chateau complex, and also towards the improving the conditions of the professionals working there, as well as increasing the comfort of our visitors,” said director Jan Slezák, and added: “I look forward to enhancing the representative function of the chateau and being ready to offer these premises as a venue for meetings on the highest level of the state. After all, this kind of events had stood behind the current importance of Kroměříž as the venue of political summits in the past.”
The project will also affect the visitors: due to the reconstruction, the guided tours will need to be reorganised. “As a result of the project we will be opening a special new circuit on the second floor, which will present the unique collections, and a brand new tour will take visitors to the Mill Gate, where a new exhibition will be displayed covering the history of the archbishop’s guards; people can look forward to new exhibitions inside the chateau tower,” said Ondřej Zatloukal, deputy director of the Olomouc Museum of Art, which takes care of the chateau gallery as well as other various collection funds. “The visitors will be able to choose from a varied offer of different topics and tour circuits, which will together create the overall image of Kroměříž as one of the world’s most important heritage objects,” said Zatloukal.
Martin Krčma, the site manager for the chateau and the gardens, also expects an increased appeal of the chateau for the visitors: “The chateau will newly offer original exhibitions open all year round, and will join the Flower Garden, which has already been offering attractive winter programmes during the winter months. We expect these steps to have a positive impact on the further development of tourism in the entire region.”
The project will consist of the following main parts:
The Chateau garden – the water management system: excavation of mud and reinforcement of banks of all the lakes and streams, reconstruction of the water system regulating elements, construction of new structures (piers, etc.), reconstruction of facilities for keeping water fowl.
The Chateau garden – reconstruction of the Pompeii Colonnade: elimination of structural failures, reconstruction of wall plasters and ornamental elements, replacement of missing parts, restoration of fountain including the restoration of its water regime, new plantings in teh surroundings.
The Chateau – truss and roof: partial replacement of the roof tiles, general reconstruction of the truss.
The Chateau – gallery and depositories on the 2nd floor: insulation of ceilings above the exhibition halls, new floor tiling, restoration and installation of double windows and doors, new lighting for the gallery, reconstruction of the furniture in the Court Hall and the Old Library, development of a comprehensive tour circuit, new depository for coin collections.
The Chateau – halls on the first floor: reconstruction of the Assembly Hall and the adjacent salon room, restoration of the bathrooms, windows, and doors of the Summer and Winter Residence, restoration of the furniture for the Summer Residence, new arrangement of the tour circuits.
The Chateau – ground floor: extension of the conservation workshop, reconstruction and development of new facilities for the personnel, reconstruction and equipment of rooms for social events, repair of the pavement in the courtyard.
The Chateau Tower: extension and development of the tower tour circuit, making it more attractive, development of exhibition “Treasury of the Late Middle Ages” in the gothic vaulted room, development of exhibition “Royal Visit in Kroměříž” in the upper floors of the tower.
The Mill Gate: removal of all non-original structures, dehumidification of the interiors and walls, reconstruction of the historical structures and facade, restoration of the original mezzanine, restoration of the stucco ornaments, and development of a museum of the archbishop’s guards.