Written by Marcela Joskova
Buchlov is one of the oldest castles in southern Moravia. The castle was founded by either Czech King Premysl Otakar I or his son Vaclav I in the first half of the 13th century. The late Romanesque castle was built near the eastern border of the Czech kingdom on an dangerous pass through the Chriby mountain range in order to defend the land against invasions of enemies (coming mostly from Hungary) and to shield numerous trading pathways in the area (such as the so-called Amber Path). Buchlov also served as a center of administration of forest, field, and water economy of the land.
The castle belonged to the Czech king until the early 16th century. However, it was often pledged to creditors of the king. Those were members of rich Moravian aristocratic families. In the 15th century, its pledged owners, the lords of Cimburk, built a new late Gothic palace to the castle.
In 1511, a Moravian nobleman, Arkleb Trnavsky of Boskovice, obtained from the Czech king, Vladislav Jagellonian, a right to pay the castle out of the pledge as a reward for his help in the struggle against the Turks. However, Arkleb didn’t manage to assert this document, and he never settled at the castle. In 1520, the Zerotin family became the owner. The next holders were the lords of Zastrizly from 1542. They adapted the castle in the Renaissance style. They also built the 2nd courtyard. From 1644, the Petrvald family owned the castle. They performed only minor building adaptations in the baroque style. As a defence against the Turks, they added the 1st courtyard with a tower gate and a bastion.
At the break of the 17th and the 18th century, the medieval castle’s condition deteriorated below the living standards of the time. That is why the Petrvalds built a new baroque chateau in Buchlovice. The castle hasn’t been permanently occupied since 1751.
The last owners were members of the Count Kin Berchtolds of Uhercice, inheriting the estate in 1800. Two members of the Kin, doctors Leopold I and Bedrich Berchtold, left large quantities of valuable and extraordinary collections here, parts of which they obtained on their research journeys. You will be able to see these collections in the museum at the end of our tour.
In 1945, Buchlov was confiscated by the state pursuant to the decrees issued by President Benes. In the years 1956 and 1957, the first extensive reconstruction was performed. As of 1989, the whole castle has been reconstructed.