Written by Ondrej Meduna
In the westernmost part of the Czech Republic, the region of Karlovy Vary, lies Kynzvart Chateau. The first mention of this chateau dates back to somewhere between the years 1585-1597 and it originally was built in the Renaissance style. Unfortunately, the look of the original structure has been lost and is not known today. The chateau was confiscated from its original owners after the Battle of White Mountain in 1415 because one of the owners, Krystof Jindrich the Younger of Cedvic, actively fought against Emperor Ferdinand II.
The chateau as well as the nearby castle with the same name, Kynzvart, was sold to the Metternich brothers to manage, and the clan owned it until the year 1945. Between the years 1681 – 1691, Imperial Count Philipp Emmernich ordered the now run-down chateau to be completely rebuilt in Baroque style, with the intention of it being a rural residence with agricultural facilities, stables, and a big representative hall. While the owners visited their property sparingly in the 18th century, during the Franco-Prussian War, it was at one point the only residence for the whole Metternich clan because their other properties were destroyed.
Only after the war were the Metternichs compensated by receiving a former monastery in Ochsenhausen. The most famous owner of the chateau, Clemens Wenzel Lothar Johann Nepomuk, prince von Metternich-Winneburg, Austria’s envoy to Dresden, Berlin, and Paris, decided that the Kynzvart Chateau was not grand enough for his needs, so in between the years 1820-1839, he rebuilt it for the third time in the style of Viennese Classicism. After his resignation in 1848 and a 3-year exile in London, he spent most of his time living at the chateau. Today, there are many things to see on display inside and outside the chateau. The most interesting would be: the study depository, with access to over 24, 000 books, the earliest dating from the 8th century, the interiors with original furniture and art collections, including statues and the chapel. The whole chateau is surrounded by a huge park with an area of over 667 acres, one of the largest parks in the Czech Republic, where visitors can find the forest chapel, garden pond, old mill, castle brewery, and many other things.