Written by Pavel Pek
Velke Brezno Chateau is situated in the Village of Velke Brezno in the Usti region near the Elbe.
It is situated in the Village of Velke Brezno in the Usti region near the Elbe.
It is a somewhat recent contruction. Velke Brezno Chateau was built between the years 1842 and 1845 for former supreme burgrave of the Czech kingdom, Count Karel Chotek, who after his retirement decided to spend the rest of his life here. His previous chateau, which is nearer the Elbe, did not embody Chotek’s vision of comfortable habitation, so in 1842 construction of a new chateau in the Village of Velke Brezno began. Since 1844, when the Chateau was completed, Chotek lived there with his family. The building looked differently than it does now. It was very simple and resembled train stations of that time. Now it can seem a bit funny, but previously it was a very modern and comfortable imperial chateau, which was equipped with the comforts of that time. So, we can believe that Count Karel Chotek had at the chateau a particularly good lifestyle.
Between 1885 and 1910 Velke Brezno Chateau was rebuilt in Neo-Renaissance style. This task was performed by Karl Maria Chotek (an aristocrat who liked traveling, photography, and gardening) who was the penultimate owner of Velke Brezno Chateau. He was a member of a prestigious camera club in Vienna and, incidentally, won some prizes. His negatives and photographs are still at the chateau.
Also coming from the Chotek family was Sophie Chotkova, who was married to Archduke Franz Ferdinand. Sophie and her husband were shot on June 28, 1914; this assassination was the pretense to the First World War.
The old Czech Chotek family had an influence in world history. The family died out with its last member, Karel Chotek, in 1970. Because of the Benes Decrees, in 1945 Karel Chotek lost the chateau, which was subsequently used as a home for poor children, a school of politics, and a warehouse for the Czechoslovak army. Thanks to A. Pifl we can see some things of the Chotek family’s home now. In the 1980s Velke Brezno Chateau opened and today we can view a large collection of pictures, photographs of the family that lived here for a short time.