Photo provided by Eva Kisgyorgy
|1996||Inscribed||Reasons for inscription|Hubert Scharnagl (Austria):
The Lednice-Valtice cultural landscape is a large, man-made landscape designed by the Liechtenstein family according to the principles of the English landscape architecture. To call it just a park would be an understatement. The main sites are the two castles in Lednice and Valtice, about 10 km apart, but the core zone also includes about 15 small buildings: small castles, temple, colonnades, a minaret, etc. Some of them are open to the public.
We arrived at Lednice on a Monday morning, thus the question if we should take a guided tour to the castle didn't arise (like almost everywhere in Europe guided tours are not available on Mondays). Furthermore, it was a sunny, warm day, so we decided to rent bikes (in Lednice) and to explore the landscape. We cycled the whole day through forests and around ponds and we visited almost all of the small buildings in the area, only Pohanska and Lany were too far away. We have enjoyed our bike tour very much. The routes between the buildings are partially bumpy dirt roads, thus the best is to rent a mountain bike. The terrain is flat almost everywhere, only the route to the Colonnades south-west of Valtice goes uphill through the vineyards. But the effort is worthwhile, it is one of the most beautiful buildings of the WHS. We also liked the Minaret, the Three Graces and the Apollo Temple. Most of the buildings are in good condition, it seems that there have been some restorations since 2006, the review by David Berlanda. At least the Temple of Diana (photo) appears to have been recently renovated, and also the Temple of Apollo. But the New Court is still in very bad condition.
The castles of Lednice and Valtice are very different. Lednice is built in neo-Gothic style, it has recently been renovated. With the bright yellow colour and the extensive decorations it looks like a fairy-tale castle. Valtice Palace is built in Baroque style and is also home of the Czech National Wine Institute. I truly can support the recommendation of Ian Cade to sample the local wine, it's worthwhile.
We had accommodation at the Garni Hotel Plavební, located next to the Lednice park, the back door of the hotel area leads directly in the park. A walk through the park in the morning mist was a perfect end of our visit. All in all, I did not expect too much from Lednice-Valtice, but it turned out to be a pleasant surprise.
Date posted: May 2012 Ian Cade (England):
This site had been a thorn in my side for a few years. 3 previous attempts to visit were abandoned, and it sat there taunting me for not ‘completing’ all the WHS in the Czech Republic. However a trip between Olomouc and Vienna in early 2012 provided me with a great opportunity to finally ‘tick it off’.
My first stop was Valtice, a rather pleasant small town with a monumental palace. Most of the things in the city centre and in the castle grounds were closed this early in the year. This fortunately spared me a tour around the palace interior. I’ve seen enough Central European dancing parlours, tapestries and chandeliers to last several lifetimes, so I was exceptionally happy to find a locked door to the ticket hall (it may just have been a little stiff to open, but I really didn’t want to have a look around).
Instead I headed down into the cellars of the palace that now provide a home to the Czech national wine institute. And I had a lovely time walking around looking at and sampling the massive selection of wines and exploring a different part of the castle’s architecture. The surrounding landscape is actually the centre of the Czech wine industry, and whilst it is not as well developed as many other wine regions in Europe it does produce some great quality affordable wines. My recommendation would be to try some of the locally produced Veltlínské zelené (aka Grüner Veltliner) or if you are there in the late summer early autumn you could try the young wine Burčák.
After sampling the local produce, I hoped on the hourly bus that travels for 20 minutes to Lednice. The surrounding countryside wasn’t at its best in mid-winter, however I think this would be a lovely place to cycle around in warmer months. The palace at Lednice is an impressive neo-gothic pile, which has recently been restored. The intricate exterior is rather impressive and rewards closer inspection.
Again the interior was closed so I decided to head off into the grounds in search of the famous folly in the shape of a minaret. I enjoyed my walk around the grounds, but again a trip in summer would be much nicer, as there are pleasure boats and other activities going on that would make this an excellent place to while away a lazy sunny afternoon.
The palace at Lednice is the nicer of the two though I would say Valtice was the more pleasant town, and it also houses the lovely wine institute. Access is easy from the unassuming industrial town of Břeclav, which is straightforward to reach as it is on the main train route. I was happy to finally tick of this site, though if you want to get the best out of it I would recommend a visit during warmer weather.
[Site 3: Experience 4]
Date posted: January 2012 Christer Sundberg (Sweden):
The Lednice-Valtice Cultural Landscape is sometimes described as ”the pearl of South Moravia” and even if the two castles - once the domains by the Dukes of Lichtenstein - are impressing, its is the parks, the forests and the landscape that strikes you the most.
A gigantic English park surrounds the Lednice castle, filled with lakes, rivers and fanciful buildings like artificial ruins - temples, walls and sculptures that surprise you as you stroll through the park. The small river Thaya flows gently through the landscape and on a warm summer day there is nothing better than to spend a couple of hours on a small river boats from where you have one the best views over this splendid central European river and forest landscape.
The Lednice-Valtice landscape takes days to visit and though if I’ve read several different figures on the size of it, it is recommendable to rent yourself a bike if you want to see as much as possible. It’s a place that I will remember for long and recommend to fellow travelers.
Klaus Freisinger (Austria):
The cultural landscape around the southern Moravian castles of Lednice (Eisgrub) and Valtice (Feldsberg) is one of Europe´s largest, the product of centuries of care by the Liechtenstein family. Both castles are very nice - at least from the outside, since you had to take a guided tour to see them, and these were evidently only in Czech... Anyway, the gardens and ponds are really very nice for a relaxing stroll and going there makes a great daytrip from Vienna (only about an hour or so by train).
Date posted: September 2006 David Berlanda (Italy / Czech Republic):
I have been many times in this beautiful landscape, which in reality is a huge park in Baroque and English romantic style (200 sq. km) created between the 17th and the 20th century by dukes of Liechtenstein and projected by Bernard Petri and Josef van der Schot. The castle of Valtice was the Liechtensteins’ residence, a masterpiece of Baroque architecture (originally in Renaissance and Mannerist styles), projected by Johann Bernhard Fischer von Erlach, Giovan Giacomo Tencalla, Giovanni Battista Carlone, Domenico Martinelli and Anton Johann Ospel, with rooms containing the original furniture and paintings, the theatre and the chapel. Very interesting is also the town centre with a big square, the church of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary, the church of St. Augustine with the convent, the Column of the Virgin, a fountain, the old hospital, the Franciscan convent, a gate, the town hall and the Chapel of St. Joseph. The castle of Lednice is a neo-classical and neo-Gothic building (originally in Renaissance and Baroque style), projected in the centuries by Tencalla, Carlone, Giovanni Maria Filippi and Joseph Kornhäusel, with rooms in Tudor style, a huge glasshouse and stables projected by Fischer von Erlach. In the Lednice - Valtice park are a lot of ponds created by the river Dyje and native and exotic trees. The greatest variety of them (different for form, height and colours) is around the two main residences and along the banks of the ponds; there are also copses and individual trees around and within the meadows, straight lines of trees and roads lined with groups of them. There are also about 15 small building, projected by Hardmuth, Kornhäusel, Engel and Joseph Popellach in romantic style situated on high points, or in the centre of major routes, or on a border or boundary. There are beatiful views from some of that to the others (the dominant elements are the Minaret and the Colonnade); some of the buildings have a facade and a background of greenery, so they must be viewed only from one direction, but others don't have one front in particular so are interesting the views from many directions. A lot of them are imitations of buildings of various cultures: the Minaret, an Islamic building, the Janohrad, small castle constructed as a medieval ruin, the Temple of Apollo, imitation of a classical temple, the Temple of Diana, built like a Roman arch, a Roman aqueduct, an Egyptian obelisk, a classical colonnade (Rejstna), the Tři Grácie colonnade, the New Courts, the St. Hubertus chapel, the castles Belvedere, Hunting, of Boundaries, of Pond, Lány and Pohansko. At Pohansko there was a great-Moravian hillfort(9th - 10th century), 28 hectares big, with the court of the ruler, houses, tombs and the still visible church and 2km long walls.
I liked very much this cultural landscape and especially the two castles because of the quality and the variety of the architecture and of the landscape design; also the minor buildings are very interesting. The autenticity of the cultural landscape is very high, even if the castles have different building phases and aren't only in Romantic style but also older. The main building are quite well conservated but some of the minor buildings are in very bad conditions (Temple of Apollo, Temple of Diana, New Courts, Belvedere Castle, Hunting Castle, Lány Castle). They need urgent restoration works and fortunately they are in course on some of this buildings. I think it will be better to eliminate some highly inappropriate modern elements (wooden tympanums, modern windows destroying old doors and windows) of some buildings. The cultural landscape justifies the inscription because it is a masterpiece of the park design in English style and it is worth to be visited. Lednice and Valtice castles are easy to reach from the exits of the highway D2 going from Brno to Bratislava and you can park directly in front of them; there are guided tours but only in Czech. You can arrive to some of the minor buildings by car (don't be scared to take some roads where is forbidden to drive, there won't be controls), but you must have a very detailed map of them. If you want to see the other buildings you must walk in woods for a maximum of four km, but you have to know where are the nearest parkings to this buildings. Some of them are open with guided tours in Czech, some without and some are closed.
Photo: Lednice - Castle
Date posted: January 2006
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