Written by Jana Mochurova
The existence of an aristocratic residence and a valley in Ratiborice is dated back to 1388. Vanek Knight of Zambach (former Vanek Knight of Ratiborice) is registered as an owner. Since 1464, Ratiborice has belonged to Ryzmburk manor. A stronghold in Ratiborice didn´t inhabit, it started to decay and at the end of the 16th century, it ceased to exist. In 1582, a Smiricky House of Smirice bought Ratiborice and Ryzmburk and both of them were connected to a large Nachod manor. After the Battle of the White Mountain, Trckove of Lime have gained this Nachod manor. The last Czech owner – Adam Erdman Trcka of Lime – was murdered together with his brother-in-law Albrecht of Valdstejn in 1634 in Cheb.
Emperor Ferdinand II. has ceded the Nachod manor to Ottavia – the prince of Piccolomini – in the same year. In the years 1702-1708, prince Lorenzo of Piccolomini let built a baroque chateau in Ratiborice, which was to serve as summer and hunting residence. The building was built according to the look of Italian summer residences, “casino” as it is called.
In 1792, Petr Biron, the duke of Curonia and Zahan, bought the Nachod manor. After the duke´s death (in 1800), the duke´s oldest daughter Katerina Frederika Vilemína Benigna, the duchess of Zahan and the princess of Curonia inherited the Nachod a Ratiborice manor from him. This beauty, rich and witty duchess chose Ratiborice as her permanent summer residence. She let to rebuild the chateau in the style of Classicism and Empire in the years 1825-1826. Around the Chateau , there was founded naturally landscape park, which was gradually expanded to the whole Úpa river valley. A hunting hall and palm greenhouse were likewise built. The duchess hosted a lot of significant personalities such as Austrian chancellor – prince Klemens Metternich or Russian tsar Alexander I. and in 1813, she lent Ratiborice Chateau to Prussian, Russian and Austrian diplomats to deal secret dealings about an anti-Napoleonic coalition. For the public, the duchess is known as “Ms Duchess” from the book “Grandmother” of Czech national writer Bozena Nemcova.
After the Duchess of Zahan´s death (in 1839), the manor was bought to Octavian, the Reichs Count of Lippe-Biesterfeld, in 1839. In 1842, Jiri Vilem, Reichs Count of Schaumburg-Lippe, bought the manor with 114 villages and small towns and chateaus in Nachod, Chvalkovice and Ratiborice. He was the sovereign ruler of one of a small principality in the North of Germany. The Schaumburgs let repair the Chateau to its current form in the years 1860-1864. Members of the Schaumburg-Lippe´s House were connected with a lot of sovereign houses in the Europa throw their marriages. The closest marriages made contact with the Danish royal family. The Chateau remained in possession of the House of Schaumburg-Lippe until nationalization in 1945.
The Ratiborice Chateau and the Grandmother´s valley is known thank to the above-mentioned famous writer Bozena Nemcova. The Chateau and other buildings in the Grandmother´s valley are in the administration of a National monumental institution .