Written by Richard Krejsa
Hruby Rohozec used to be an early gothic castle. It is not clear who started the building process but historians credit the Markvartici clan. The castle has changed hands throughout history many times; in the 15th and 16th century the castle served as a haven to the members of the Hussite clerical order, the Unity of the Brethren, or Jednota Bratrska. During this time the castle’s appearance changed so drastically that today nothing is left of the old castle.
In the year 1534, the castle was bought by Jan of Vartemberka, the highest nobleman in the Kingdom of Bohemia. Only a few years later the castle was confiscated because of Jan’s son’s participation in the Stavovsky rebellion against Holy Roman Emperor Ferdinand I. In the second half of the 16th century, Adam of Vartemberka (son of Jan) managed to get the castle back into his possession and it stayed that way until the year 1623. For the next 100 years or so, the castle had never been rebuilt to suit the Renaissance style of living until it was sold to Albrecht Waldstein, the brilliant Czech generalissimo and field marshal who fought in the Thirty Year’s War and led the Roman Catholic army. Waldstein then handed Rohozec as a fief to the hands of Mikulas Desfours.
In the 17th century, Desfours built a small baroque chateau near his bigger one. A hundred years later Ferdinand Unger bought the smaller chateau and rebuilt it into a neo-renaissance chateau and turned it into a brewery: as everyone knows, the Czechs, common folk and nobles alike, love beer. Hruby Rohozec stayed with the Desfours family until the year 1945, when it was confiscated by the Czech government. The brewery is open to the public and the beer is actually quite good!