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The Archbishop’s Palace is one of the major historic heritage buildings in the Czech Republic. It belonged to Olomouc Bishops and Archbishops, who used it as their representative residence.
© Tomas Vrtal

Gardens and Castle at Kroměříž, Czech Republic

Kroměříž, Czech Republic
The manicured magnificence planted at the Kroměříž Gardens and Castle are among the finest examples of landscape art ever produced in Europe. The grounds became a model across the continent and the globe. The first residence was built here on the castle site in Kroměříž at the end of the 15th century. It wasn’t until almost 200 years later that it was renovated into a Baroque palace with magnificent flower gardens.

This flower garden is the crowning work of European landscape art in the 17th century and represents a groundbreaking stage of development between Italian Renaissance styles and the French Baroque and Classicist artistry such as Versailles. The Chateau garden was founded in 1509 and over the centuries has changed from a fruit and vegetable garden to a beautifully manicured park.

The gardens of the Castle of Kroměříž consist of two parts, different in appearance and purpose. Together they show the most important types of gardens in Europe. The Chateau Garden has been designed as a romantic park, in harmony with nature, following the English model. It covers 64 hectares and has 200 kinds of rare trees from different parts of the world, as well as water features, ponds, and small buildings. The flower beds are fashioned in the early Baroque style and have been exceptionally preserved. The layout is sophisticated, using symmetry and perspective to create the effect of a maze.

The space within the grand Colonnade is an outdoor sculpture gallery with 44 figures of various deities, mythological heroes, and famous personas from Ancient Greece and Rome. – © Tomas Vrtal
The space within the grand Colonnade is an outdoor sculpture gallery with 44 figures of various deities, mythological heroes, and famous personas from Ancient Greece and Rome. – © Tomas Vrtal

From inside the Castle of Kroměříž, windows on the north-eastern side provide views across the Chateau garden with its lakes and pathways through small patches of forest. Although it is carefully landscaped, the park still feels wild and boundless. The flower garden across town draws you in and creates a magical labyrinth. It’s easy to get lost among the green walls, rows of statues, and flower arrangements. Like a Garden of Eden, it’s a perfect mix of colour, light, plants, water, art, and architecture.

The castle and gardens in Kroměříž serve as a fine example of the formation of a Baroque residential complex. It includes the castle residence of the Olomouc Bishops (later Archbishops) with its valuable and influential interior decor and collections. The large gardens were an integral part of the castle's representation and facilities.

The palace gallery is the second major gallery in the Czech Republic. Its collection of Central European paintings from the 15th to 18th centuries features 85 originals, including the famous Titian seen in this picture. – © Thomas Vrtal
The palace gallery is the second major gallery in the Czech Republic. Its collection of Central European paintings from the 15th to 18th centuries features 85 originals, including the famous Titian seen in this picture. – © Thomas Vrtal

The castle building is adjoined to the extensive Podzámecká Garden, which has been preserved in its landscaped form from the mid-19th century. It contains a number of romantic structures and valuable trees, as well as an impressive part of the carefully landscaped large flowerbeds.

The formally designed Libosad Flower Garden was founded outside the city walls in the second half of the 17th century under the design of the imperial architect Giovanni Pietro Tencalla. From an international context, it represents a unique and authentically preserved example of early Baroque garden art. The vegetation components are complemented by numerous architectural and artistic structures. The castle and gardens now serve as the National Centre of Garden Culture in Kroměříž, focusing on information, educational, and presentation activities associated with this particular heritage.

With the coming of spring, the blooming magnolias in the Palace Gardens shine like magnificent jewels. – © Tomas Vrtal
With the coming of spring, the blooming magnolias in the Palace Gardens shine like magnificent jewels. – © Tomas Vrtal


How to Get There

Kroměříž is 50 kilometres from Olomouc. It is easily accessible by train, bus, or car. The train and bus stations are within a five-minute walk from the entrance to the Chateau Garden, just across the Morava River. The Archbishop's Chateau is a 10-minute walk through the historic centre of Kroměříž. Direct public transport to the Flower Garden departs regularly from the train station. Take Line 4 or 6. There is a taxi station between the neighbouring train and bus stations.

When to Visit

There is no bad season to visit the Flower Garden and Chateau Garden, but they are at their best in the spring and summer.

The Chateau Garden is open all year—only closed during unfavourable weather such as strong wind, heavy rain, or melting snow. The Flower Garden is also open all year, except for a few days in February, when a large thematic exhibition of camellias is prepared each year and marks the beginning of the visitor season. Please check online for the exact closure dates.

The Archbishop's Chateau is open from April to October and offers many interesting tours. Visitors should allot the appropriate amount of time. Please go to our website for the specific tour routes.

How to Visit

To properly enjoy the Archbishop's Chateau, Flower Garden, and Chateau Garden, plan to stay in Kroměříž for at least one day, and ideally an entire weekend. Visit the Flower Garden with a guide to learn about its history and buildings. The Chateau Garden is a 64-hectare park, where you can go for a walk and enjoy the fauna and flowers. In addition to the Archbishop's Chateau, you will find many historical and cultural sites. Bishop Manes, from Kroměříž, organizes custom tours of the city during the tourism season.