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10. Náměšť nad Oslavou Chateau

This Renaissance chateau was originally a medieval castle.  It was rebuilt to its present look in the 16th century by its owners, the Lords of Žerotín.  In the castle, are unique exhibition of tapestries, valuable paintings and furniture.  Around the chateau chapel and the library are beautiful fresco decorations.  Adjacent to the chateau is an English-style park and a French-style garden.

Of the original Gothic castle built in the second half of the 13th century, only a cylindrical defense tower of stone remains.  The Gothic style of the building, still seen in places on the stonework, was replaced with Baroque, apparent in the chateau chapel, and interior decorations.  The legacy of the Renaissance can be seen above all in the courtyard.

The present form of the chateau was influenced mainly by Jan Starsi of Zerotin, who had the original castle from 1578 adapted in the style of Italian Renaissance buildings, probably according to a plan by architect Gialdi.  The reconstruction of the chateau began with the chapel, evident in its pointed windows with tracery in the Gothic-Renaissance style.  In the second half of the 18th century, in the Haugwitz period, the remaining bastions and walls were destroyed, and the moat was filled in and the original drawbridge was replaced with a stone bridge of three spans.

The entrance to the chateau is decorated by a portal with the emblem of the Zerotins, a Latin date of the reconstruction placed above it.  Visitors can enjoy the second courtyard with porticos and a fountain complete with a statue of Neptune.  The Renaissance portico, open on all floors, is formed by three lines of columns with Tuscan, Ionic and Corinthian heads, emblems with garlands, rosettes, musical instruments, dragons, nymphs and other decorations.  The St.Wenceslas chapel with a Baroque altarpiece, is decorated with paintings and statues stemming from the abolished Capuchin monastery.  Other notable features include the library with barrel vaulting and frescos featuring motives from the Cupid and Psyche tale and an allegory of human qualities.  This decoration has been ascribed to Italian painter Carpoforo Tencalla.

Until 1945, the chateau belonged to the Haugwitzs.  Afterwards, it served as a summer seat of President Edvard Benes.  Now it hosts a permanent exhibition of tapestries dating from the period between the late 16th century and the middle of the 19th century.

Concerts of classical and popular music, depicting music from the beginning of the 19th century, are still being held in the chateau´s library and courtyard.