Hrádek u Nechanic was built from 1839–1857 in Tudor Romantic style as the ceremonial seat of the prominent counts of Harrach family. The original richly decorated and furnished interiors are an example of how the nobility lived and collected inn the second half of the 19th century. The imposing Knight’s Hall is devoted to the most prominent members of the family and its history. The largest and most beautiful room is the Golden Hall; its name derives from the unique gilt leather 17th century Flemish wallpapers. A unique set of Elector chairs is displayed in the Mühlgrub Salon, while the dining room contains rare collections of Harrach glass, ceramics and pewterware of the 16th and 17th centuries. The painting „Celebration in a Spa“ by the famous 16th century painter Lukas van Valckenborch is displayed in the game room. On the first floor are the private apartments of the count and countess, the family gallery in the summer dining room and guest rooms. An English park surrounds the chateau. Frequent cultural events and educational programmes are held at Hrádek u Nechanic.
More about history
The chateau Hrádek u Nechanic was built as a representative and summer residence of the house of Harrach between 1839 and 1857 by Francis Ernest, Earl of Harrach, an important representative of the Jilemnice line.
The model for the romantic chateau was the project made by English architect Edward Bucton Lamb (1805 – 1869) in Tudor gothic style. Young Austrian architect Karl Fischer (1817 – 1856), the head of the construction, changed the plans a bit, and suggested the indoor decorations. In addition to this equipment, made for the most part by local artisans, numerous antiquities were brought to the castle, especially from Italy and Austria. Often they included the whole portals, ceilings or entire equipment for a room. In 1844, together with the building of the chateau, the garden architect L. Krüger turned a part of the surrounding forest (24 ha) into a park, and in the remaining part, game preserve and pheasantry were established (200 ha). In 1945, the chateau was confiscated based on Beneš Decrees.
The current exhibition shows the aristocratic housing ways in the second half of the 19th century in the original historical setting (representative rooms, apartment of the county couple, a picture gallery, guest rooms, and a chapel).
In 2001, Chateau Hrádek u Nechanic was declared a National Heritage Site.
The chateau is currently managed by the National Heritage Institute, a non-profit organization established by the Ministry of Culture.
History of the chateau park
A natural park was a typical part of a romantic chateau.
Romantic parks emphasized close relations between people and nature.
The first parks of this kind were established in England around 1720. In our country, the first natural park was established by John Rudolph Czernin in Krásný Dvůr around 1779. The second was the park in Veltrusy, founded in 1785 by John Rudolph Chotek. The most famous natural park in the Czech Republic is the Lednice-Valtice Area, built by the Liechtenstein house since 1790. The chateau park at Hrádek u Nechanic was established in 1844 according to the project made by L. Krüger, first at 29 ha (currently, the park size is around 18 ha). The main part consists of vast meadows with large groups of trees, and integrated forest parts. The entrance path is surrounded by a linden alley on both sides. The part adjacent to the main southern face of the castle is divided by two vistas. The southeastern vista enables the look at the church in Libčany; through the southwestern vista, a church in Boharyně can be seen. In this part of the park, a ring road enables picturesque views to the chateau standing on a small hillock. In the southeastern vista, a bust of Jan Nepomuk Earl of Harrach by Bohumil Kafka can be seen under a group of trees. The immediate surroundings of the chateau were styled as a French park. Adjacent to the chateau park was a game preserve in the size of 412 ha (currently owned by Lesy ČR).