The castle was established at the beginning of the 14th century as a sentry castle. The castle changed ownership a number of times; 14th century owners included the Lords of Bouzov, Jan von Vildenberg, Margrave Jošt, the Lords of Kunštát (here it is necessary to point out that Bouzov Castle is often indicated as the birthplace of George of Poděbrady); in the 15th century the castle was owned by the Lords of Kunštát, Zdeněk Kostka of Postupice, and Jan of Šelmberk; 16th century owners included the Podstatský family, Nakser of Chotějovice, and Jan Berger of Berg.
In the 17th century owners of the castle included Friedrich von Oppersdorf, Eusebie Podstatská, Leopold of Hodice, and František Josef of Hodice. In 1696 František Josef sold the castle with the entire domain to František Ludvík, the Rhine palsgrave and Bishop of Worms and Wratislav, who also served as the Grandmaster of the Order of German Knights; the castle subsequently passed into the ownership of the Order.
This status lasted until October, 1939, when the Nazi government confiscated the castle.
SS units were stationed at the castle during World War II. In 1945 the castle became the property of Czechoslovakia, and later the Czech Republic. Currently the Czech government and the Order of Knights are embroiled in a restitution dispute over Bouzov Castle.
Over the course of centuries the castle has undergone changes in both appearance and function. Until roughly the middle of the 16th century the castle served exclusively as a defensive structure. In the middle of the 16th century the castle burned and following renovations at the beginning of the 17th century it became mainly a residential structure. However, during the 18th century only the buildings below the castle were used and the castle itself was quickly falling into decay.
At the end of the 19th century the Order Grandmaster, Archduke Eugene Habsburg (1863-1954) decided to renovate the castle with the intention of making it the representational headquarters and museum of the Order. He paid for the construction himself and it is said that expenses reached 20 million guilders.
Castle reconstruction was conducted in the years 1895-1910. Several parts, for example the ruins of the north wing and the palace on the south side (known as the Oppersdorf wing) were taken down and built anew, while other parts that were in better condition such as the Elizabeth wing (name after the mother of Archduke Eugene Habsburg) were reconstructed. The reconstruction was conducted on the basis of plans by noted Munich architect George von Hauberisser (1841-1922), who, among others, designed the new town hall in Munich and Munich's Church of St. Paul. Today’s appearance of Bouzov Castle dates to this reconstruction work, which also served to modernize the castle with internal plumbing and central heating. The renovations at the turn of the 20th century also included the installation of both historical and contemporary furnishings in the castle interiors.
The extensive castle grounds (original Gothic castle mentioned as early as 1317 – today’s appearance dates to reconstruction conducted in 1895-1910) are composed of the actual castle building, an entrance gate, castle walls, the castle moat, buildings below the castle, and two bridges, one of which (the bridge leading to the castle itself) includes a statue of St. John Nepomuk (likely from 1714). The grounds also include a 6.38 hectare park (created at the turn of the 20th century) and the neo-Baroque Chapel of the Virgin Mary (1910) situated at the entrance gate to the park.
Additional points of interest
Neo-Gothic Chapel of St. Elizabeth.
Includes a Gothic altar from the 15th century and six tombstones of Order lords from the period 1305-1515, relocated from the castle in Horneck nad Necktarem.
The tiled stoves located in individual rooms were specially manufactured for the interiors of the reconstructed castle and each has a unique design.
The castle kitchen. Equipped with copper pots and a hand-operated dumbwaiter.
Armoury. A collection of authentic weapons from various historical periods, located in the original Gothic hall.
Winding sandstone staircase leading from the 2nd courtyard to the northern palace, installed during castle reconstruction and designed after the Order’s Mergentheim Chateau.
The castle well. A 40 metre well bored into the rock below the castle.
Text: Jindřich Garčic
List of Cultural Monument Structures in the Olomouc District. Olomouc 1997
Váňa, R.: Bouzov Castle. Olomouc 1996
|Sight-seeing tour||The castle is||Bouzov (+ wedding)||How to build a medieval castle||Castle from the air|
|April and October, weekends and holidays||9,00 – 16,00||9,00 – 16,00||9,00 – 16,00||9,00 – 16,00|
|start last sight-seeing||15,00||14,30||13,00||15,00|
|May and September, daily except Monday||9,00 – 17,00||9,00 – 17,00||9,00 – 17,00||9,00 – 17,00|
|start last sight-seeing||16,00||15,30||15,00||16,00|
|June, daily except Monday||9,00 – 18,00||9,00 – 18,00||9,00 – 18,00||9,00 – 18,00|
|start last sight-seeing||17,00||16,30||16,00||17,00|
|July – August, daily except Monday||10,00 – 19,00||10,00 – 19,00||10,00 – 19,00||10,00 – 19,00|
|start last sight-seeing||18,00||17,30||17,00||18,00|
* Route accessible only in SO, NO and holidays