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The Castle Garden

The Castle Garden was established after 1509 and over the centuries it was modified several times, reflecting the changing styles and fashions. From a 16th century orchard it was rebuilded to a grand-scale English landscape garden in the 17th century, before being enlarged to the impressive size of 64 hectares in 1850. It holds over 200 different species of trees and shrubs from all over the Europe, America, and Asia.

The early days of the Garden reach back to the late Medieval Period and Early Renaissance – when a small orchard was laid down together with a decorative garden with several water features and a number of artfully arranged ornamental flowerbeds.

The period of glorious flourishing and the expansion of the Castle Garden came with the episcopate of the Bishop Karl von Lichtenstein-Castelcorno in the second half of the 17th century. – © Stanislav Domanský
The period of glorious flourishing and the expansion of the Castle Garden came with the episcopate of the Bishop Karl von Lichtenstein-Castelcorno in the second half of the 17th century. – © Stanislav Domanský

The main design and construction boom came with the highly educated Bishop Karl von Liechtenstein-Castelcorno in the second half of the 17th century. The town of Kroměříž was recovering after Thirty Years’ War during which almost the whole town was destroyed by the Swedish troops. Therefore, the Bishop started to restore Kroměříž beside other things constructing two ornamental gardens – the Pleasure (Flower) Garden, and the Castle Garden.

After the year 1777 - the promotion of the Bishopric to Archbishopric – the Castle Garden was transformed into more natural way. The redesigning of the garden took about 10 years (1790–1800). – © Stanislav Domanský
After the year 1777 - the promotion of the Bishopric to Archbishopric – the Castle Garden was transformed into more natural way. The redesigning of the garden took about 10 years (1790–1800). – © Stanislav Domanský

The year 1777 was very important for the Olomouc Diocese. The Bishopric was promoted to Archbishopric and Bishop Anton Theodor Colloredo-Waldsee became the first Archbishop of Olomouc. It was him who redesigned the Garden into a new form, which featured both the formal rococo parterre and the designed landscape park with a number of unusual structures reflecting Greek, Chinese, Turkish, and other styles.

1Colloredo Colonnade and giardino secreto is now a remembrance of the episcopate of Anton Theodor Colloredo-Waldsee, the first Archbishop of Olomouc, and the redesigning of the Castle Garden during his episcopacy. – © Dana Klimešová
1Colloredo Colonnade and giardino secreto is now a remembrance of the episcopate of Anton Theodor Colloredo-Waldsee, the first Archbishop of Olomouc, and the redesigning of the Castle Garden during his episcopacy. – © Dana Klimešová

The most fundamental change of the Garden, however, came in the first third of the 19th century, following the arrival of new Archbishop of Olomouc, Ferdinand Maria Chotek. The sentimental garden was transformed into a Romantic park in the English style. Archbishop Chotek, however, did not live to see the materialisation of his conception. His successor, Archbishop Maximillian Joseph Sommerau-Beckh, therefore, carried on the work.

The Long Pond with the Fishermen's Pavilion are two Romantic adaptations of the Castle Garden from the time of Archbishop Maxmilian Sommerau-Beckh. – © Stanislav Domanský
The Long Pond with the Fishermen's Pavilion are two Romantic adaptations of the Castle Garden from the time of Archbishop Maxmilian Sommerau-Beckh. – © Stanislav Domanský

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