History of Březnice Castle

The beginnings of the pictoresque castle of Březnice date back in the past. Its origin is related with one of the oldest Czech families, with the family of the Buzic, who derived their origin from the legendary Bivoj, Budislav, an adviser of the king Wenceslas Ist is recorded before a half of the 13th century. An original gothic fortress consisted of a peripheral wall, a double-storey housing palace and a single storey building, it is preserved till now in rests in the masonry of the Renaissance castle. A round-shaped layout of the building was respected by all architects. Březnice castle with a Renaissance garden, surrounded with bastions on one hand and on the other hand with English park, gives a natural dominant of the city.

One of the first significant holders and architects of Březnice was in 15th century the Supreme mint-master Petr Zmrzlík ze Svojšína, a Hussite captain and Master Jan Hus´s friend. He rebuilt the castle, Březnice was, however, besieged in the times of the Hussite wars by the troops of the Catholic lords and captured. Damaged fortress of Březnice remained uninhabited for some time. In 1506 the family of Malovec z Chýnova and on Vimperk got an already partially repaired building, but substantial adaptations were started by Petr Malovec, who enlarged the fortress by internal fortifications with a water ditch and a rampart with bastions. A significant king´s architect Benedikt Riedt z Pístova might have taken part in this fortification system. In 1547 Petr Malovec got involved into the uprising against king Ferdinand Ist and his property was confiscated.

Thank to Ferdinand´s favour it was Georg of Lokšany who got in 1548 the property of Březnice and who was active in the court´s services as a secretary, vice-chancellor, a courtly advisor and Empire captain. Under administration of a well educated Georg z Lokšan it comes to the most significant changes both of the castle and town. Together with his wife Catherine, born Adler, they called Italian architects to Březnice and the medieval building´s layout changed into a comfortable Renaissance seat. Fronts of palaces were fitted with sgraffiti coating with the motives of folder square papers, which is one of the lodest in our country. Spectacular nature of the Lokšany seat refers to a preserved library equipped with wall paintings and period library boxes from 1558. The Lokšany lords kept close contacts with the Court. Březnice is related to a well-known love story and a secret matrimony of Philippine Welser and archduke Ferdinand II of Tyrol.

After the battle of the White Mount (1621) the property of Lokšany were confiscated and a new holder of the dominion became in 1623 Přibík Jeníšek from Újezd, who took part (1622) in the process against main representatives of the counter-habsbourg uprising as a king´s prosecutor. He started a significant stage in development of the Březnice dominion and the town of Březnice. With regard to recatholization he brought the Jesuits to town, who grounded the Jesuit College and St. Ignatius and St. Francis Xavier church in the years 1642–1650. Both these buildings were projected by Italian architects and builders, brothers Carlo and Martin Lurago.

After the family of Jeníšek from Újezd had dead out in 1728 Březnice came over to the family Krakovsky of Kolowrat. The most significant representatives of this family, Josef Maria Krakovský of Kolowrat and his son Hanuš Krakovsky of Kolowrat, were great patriots in the time of the Czech national revival and well-known patrons, they had until 1872 carried out only partial rebuilding on the seat of Březnice, interiors were renovated and enlarged with valuable collections.

The last private holders of Březnice, the family Palffy of Erdöd, whose property was in 1945 confiscated on the base of the decree of the President of republic no.12/45 dated June 21, 1945, had some buildings pulled down, built a wall with a bastion and Neorenaissance sgraffito imprinting thus a final form of the castle, interiors and collections.

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