EU funds help: A chateau came to life thanks to a European subsidy
8. 1. 2021
The charming English park from the 19th century, spreading around the Doksy Chateau, carries visitors into the period atmosphere of the Wallenstein family who completed it at the beginning of the 18th century.
What is today a protected cultural monument of the Czech Republic began to be built in 1553 by Jan of Vartemberk. At present, the chateau complex with an area of more than half a hectare is owned by the town of Doksy, to which the Liberec Region transferred it five years ago.
Interesting things began to happen at the chateau, which had never been regularly open to the public except for a few open days, thanks to huge investments by the town, the Liberec Region, and especially the generous European subsidy. Tourists and residents of Doksy will soon have a new attraction.
But the story could have been completely different. At one point, a Russian investor showed interest in the neglected chateau, offering the then owner, the Liberec Region, about 42 million Czech crowns. However, according to Regional President Martin Půta, the Region feared an ill-considered sale. Moreover, this variant roused the Mayor of Doksy, Eva Burešová, who convinced the Council and representatives of the Region that the chateau should be transferred to the town free of charge. This was finally achieved under acceptable conditions which also stipulated that the monument had to be revived and equipped in the interiors within ten years. In fact, the team of the municipal organization KulturaDoksy.cz around Mayor Eva Burešová managed it in approximately half of that period, i.e. five years.
The preserved Renaissance gem survived the rule of the Russian, German and Czech armies, but also played the role of a utility building of an agricultural apprenticeship school.
AN EU SUBSIDY WILL ENHANCE TOURISM IN THE REGION
Through the project “From Wallenstein to Pückler - princely quality of services for our guests”, supported with 41 million Czech crowns from EU funds, the Doksy Chateau has been pursuing a very interesting intent since 2017. "The main idea of the project is to create new tourist offers in Doksy and the partner German town of Bad Muskau, which will draw visitors' attention to the similarity of the historical development of both localities and introduce important personalities who influenced the historical development and landscape character of both border regions - the Wallenstein family and Prince Pückler," says Director Petr Hozák.
The most prominent owner of the estate was Albrecht of Wallenstein, whose family held it until 1945, even though they had to buy it again in 1680. It was obtained by one of Albrecht's assassins, Colonel Walter Butler. The princely family later acquired it directly from him. It is the Wallenstein family that the whole project of restoring the Doksy monument is dedicated to.
The relatively well-preserved Renaissance gem survived even the rule of the Russian, German and later Czech armies, but was also used as a utility building, for example, by an agricultural apprentice school. Unfortunately, most of the furniture of the four-hundred-year-old monument was irretrievably stolen. But with the help of collected photographs of the original expositions, the town wants to try and return some of the furniture back, according to Mayor Eva Burešová, so that the rooms regain their original appearance.
THE CHATEAU CHANGES BEFORE YOUR EYES
The project of one of the most important mansions in the Česká Lípa region is in the phase of completed building modifications of the interior.
"They concerned about a third of the chateau, where a tour, a new municipal gallery and a tourist information centre will be created on the basis of the project. The changes were made on three floors," Petr Hozák explains. The plan also includes a multifunctional hall, which will be put into operation first. It is called the Knights’ Hall and is truly unique. All cultural events of the town are held in it, such as chamber concerts, or the Doksy Basic Art School organizes its events here, including Christmas concerts.
The multifunctional hall is the entering gate to the entire chateau tour, which was originally supposed to be historical.
"Gradually, however, we came to the conclusion that we would modify it by changing the project, thanks to an inspiration from the partner Bad Muskau. Their chateau does not offer a purely historical tour but a more modern programme supplemented by IT technologies and other modern technology. So the Doksy Chateau will not offer a tour that only means "Do not touch, just look, read and go", but visitors can look forward to a three-screen widescreen cinema representing the Wallenstein family in an interactive loop and various touch screens in which it will be possible to browse.