South Bohemia: Stay in a 500-Year Old Chateau

Text by Patti Morrow

For Americans, it’s difficult to imagine staying in a 500-year old castle. After all, the country is officially only 242 years old, and the oldest hotel is arguably The Colonial Inn in Concord, Massachusetts, dating back to 1716, and while charming, is hardly a castle.

Formerly known as Chateau Koloděje nad Lužnicí, the romantic Chateau Mitrowicz, on the bank of the Lužnice River, dates back to 1565. Over time, it had a rich and troubled history, changing ownership often. After being auctioned to Count František Wratislav of Mitrowicz in 1704, it remained in his family for many years. From 1737-1741, František Karel Wratislav and his wife Maria Anna Rosa renovated what was at that time a Renaissance-style manor house, and added the extension of the Chapel of St. Anne, creating the present Baroque style of the castle.

St. Anne’s Chapel was built with Baroque elegance by Jan Hybner, who was influenced by Master Architecture Kilian Ignacio Dienzenhofer. Stunning frescoes adorn the interior walls of the chapel, but look up and you’ll see the finest example on the ceiling, displaying Virgin Mary and the Holy Trinity.

In the 1940’s, the property, then owned by the family of free lord Dercsényi, was nationalized and managed by a local agriculture company. In 2002, the whole area was flooded with almost ten feet of water for fourteen days, resulting in extensive damage to the buildings.

The property has been owned by the Mitrowicz family since 2008 and since then has undergone a very demanding reconstruction. In 2016, for the first time in almost five hundred years of history, it opened to the public.

Unique frescoes helped the chateau become a national heritage site, listed among monumentally protected buildings. The entire first floor

is decorated with eye-catching murals, created at the end of the 18th century, including scenes from the life of one of the ancestors, Wratislav called “Tureček” (1576-1635), who as a fifteen-year-old traveled with Emperor Rudolf II on his journey to Constantinople.

Chateau Mitrowicz provides a unique experience to its guests. The second floor offers six luxurious castle rooms in what was the former private chamber of the Wratislav family of Mitrowicz, who built and owned this castle for generations. While the rooms maintain the charm, appeal, and furnishings of the Baroque period, they have been thoroughly modernized to meet today’s luxury standards, particularly the spacious en suite bathrooms and the comfortable beds.

The wedding suite is the most unique apartment in the castle. Behind the large bed is a woperson bathtub encompassed in a semi-circle of windows which overlook the illuminated chapel.

And yes, the castle is heated!

Chateau Mitrowicz is a true rental property; in order to stay, visitors must reserve all the rooms in the castle, not as individual room accommodations. However, the chateau holds seasonal events on the grounds that are shared with the public.

Live events include holiday programs, comedy theater, and traditional fencing fights. There’s a picnic area in the herb garden with views of the countryside as well as the chateau park with 8,500 new plants and a soaking pond.

The price for booking the entire floor (sleeps up to 18) is $1,100 USD.

To book Chateau Mitrowicz:

Patti Morrow

Patti Morrow is a freelance travel writer and founder of Luggage and Lipstick – an award-winning travel blog for Baby Boomer adventurers. She was named by TripAdvisor as one of “20 Baby Boomer Travel Bloggers Having More Fun Than Millennials.” Patti is the Author of the book “Girls Go Solo: Tips for Woman Travelling Alone,” and has over 150 bylines in 40 publications, including The Huffington Post, The Washington Post, International Living Magazine, Travel Girl, and Ladies Home Journal. She has traveled to six continents, more than 65 countries, islands, and territories abroad, and most of the U.S., frequently in search of the World’s Best Beach and the World’s Best Margarita!

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