The Lednice- Valtice area offers fantastic opportunities for walking and cycling sight-seeing trips. We have selected a few sites for your inspiration.
The Minaret was built between 1797 – 1802 under the reign of Alois Josef I of Liechtenstein. Its construction presented significant problems due to the swampy local terrain leading to the foundations having to be reinforced with 500 oaken piles. The structure is 59.39 metres high and there are 300 steps leading to the upper walkway. The walkway offers beautiful views of the region and it’s floodplain forests along the river Dyje.
This one-storied castle ruin with four corner towers, was built between 1807–1810 according to a design by Josef Hardtmuth. Named Janohrad after the Prince John I, this romantic imitation of a medieval castle had ground-floor kennels and stables used during the princely hunts of that period. Today the site hosts an interesting ornithological and hunting exhibition and is a popular destination for hiking visitors as well as cycling tourists.
Between 1824–1825, not far from the south bank of the Millpond, Jan Karel Engel built The Three Graces Classicist folly, so called after it’s central sculpture by Martin Fisher. The niches of the arc shaped building hold statues of the arts and sciences taken from the now no-longer-existing Temple of Muses by Josef Kleiber. The folly provides a visual counterbalance to the Pond Château located on the opposite bank of the Millpond.
The Colonnade, sometimes called Reisten after the hill Reistna on which it sits, was built by Valtice architect Josef Popollack between 1810–1817 to emulate Vienna’s Schonbrunn colonnade. From its roof there are beautiful panoramic views of Mikulov through to the nearby Palava Hills, the Floodplain forests of Lednice, and the Moravian Field in Austria. The structure was commissioned by Jan I in memory of his father Josef I and his brothers Alois Josef I and Filip and as a celebration of ancestral virtues. Hence the inscriptions ‘From Son to Father, Brother to Brothers’ and ‘The Only Remaining Son to the Unforgettable Ancestors’ upon it’s façade. During the Cold War, when the Colonnade found itself in the border zone between the East and West, it served as a border patrol point and the entire building was closed to the public. Only the fall of the regime in 1989 re-enabled public access and restoration of this heavily devastated monument.
Between 1810-1812 architect Josef Kornhausel built an Empire style structure called the Diana’s Temple (known locally as the Rendezvous) based on plans developed by Josef Hardtumth. The monument appears as an enormous triumphal arch standing among large, venerable old trees. It served Jan I and his guests as breakfast spot during their many hunting expeditions. Breakfasts were served in an enormous hall occupying an entire upper floor. The relief and sculptural decorations, with antique hunting motifs, were made by sculptor Josef Klieber.
Not only are the castles and follies evidence of the aesthetic sensibilities of the aristocrats, but also a number of more functional outbuildings as represented, for example, by the Empire style structure Nový dvůr.
The Empire style Apollo’s Temple was built between 1817–1819 by Josef Kornhausel on the top of a sandy dune above the south end of the Millpond. The central relief below the cupola depicts a procession of Muses accompanying Apollo on his sun-chariot, drawn by four horses. At the sides of the upper level there are four antique figures which have been heavily damaged. The relief and sculptures are the work of Tyrolean sculptor Josef Klieber.
This Empire style structure built between 1802 -1806 by architect Josef Hardtmuth was intended as a summer villa and as a picnic spot for the family and guests of prince Jan Josef I. Originally, it also served a more functional purpose when there were aviaries for the breeding of pheasants and peacocks in the yards of the mansion.
On the slope leading down the right side of Bezrucova Alej, in the direction away from Valtice towards the Middle Pond, stands The Pond Château (Rybnicni zamecek). A Classicist building from 1814 to 1816 by Josef Kornhausel, it was home to a biological research station located here from the 1920s to the 1970s.