2017: Year of the Renaissance Aristocracy

Journeys into the Renaissance: Castles, Chateaux and Collections under the Administration of the National Heritage Institute.

The Renaissance Age left a lasting trace in the appearance of a number of seats of nobility that are now under the administration of the National Heritage Institute. It is not only the outstanding architecture and rich art collections that attest to its extraordinary legacy, but also a considerable interest paid to them by the visitors. Apart from the famous aristocratic residences that still bear distinct marks of the Renaissance, stamped into them by the great aristocratic houses of the age, such as Český Krumlov and Litomyšl, sites that have been inscribed on UNESCO’s List of World Heritage, a key part in the cultural heritage of our country is also played by a number of Renaissance monuments, many of which are yet to be discovered. In this context I would like to mention the noteworthy castle complex in Uherčice, the remarkable chateaux in Velké Losiny and Horšovský Týn, as well as the castle in Vimperk, which only passed under the administration of the National Heritage Institute in 2015.

This modest volume, released at the occasion of the Year of the Renaissance Aristocracy, an event arranged by the National Heritage Institute for the 2017 season within the popular, long-standing cycle In the Footsteps of Aristocratic Houses, intends to introduce the most significant architectural monuments of the Renaissance, and great works of Renaissance art from former aristocratic collections which are today, for the most part, included in the collections of castles and chateaux under the administration of the National Heritage Institute. At the same time it aims to remind its readers of the historical, cultural and also social and economic legacy of the age which has left a lasting trace in the history and architecture of our country. In the 2017 season the monuments that are open to public will offer you a number of exhibitions and other cultural events which will culminate in late June in the opening of a new exhibition bearing the title A Moravian Renaissance Aristocrat in the Labyrinth of the World at the chateau in Bučovice, and the autumn exhibition Portraits and Stories held in collaboration with the National Gallery on the premises of the Sternberg Palace in Hradčanské náměstí in Prague.

Dear visitors, I hope you will come and see at least some of our Renaissance monuments, so that we can experience The Year of Renaissance Aristocracy together.

Naděžda Goryczková, M.Arch.
General Director of the National Heritage Institute