Vranov nad Dyji, Chateau+Reservoir
In my humble opinion one of the most impressive chateau I’ve seen so far. It emerges on the hill making itself visible from the city. Beautiful and spectacular. View that remains in memory for a long time.
As far as I know getting there by public transport from Brno is quite a challenge. Train goes only to Sumna city remotes 8 kilometres from Vranov nad Dyji . To make it even worse, it takes about 3 hours with 1 or 2 changes to get there. I’m unfortunately not aware of any transportation from Sumna to Vranov, but I’m guessing that a bus runs there. Based on the information posted on the chateau’s official website, there is a shortcut(6 km) through the Switzerland valley. So if you’re fond of strolls, just keep walking. In addition, during July and August transportation between castle and Vranov reservoir is provided.
Definitely the fastest and easiest means of transport is your own car, just fuel the tank, grab some friends and fasten your seat belts. You should pass Rajhrad, Pohorelice and Znojmo on your way. It’s only about 20 km’s from Znojmo and around 100 km’s from Brno, depending where you live.
Before we went to the chateau, we dropped by observation view point located on the road about 1,5 km from the chateau, there’s so called love bridge, where people put locks in order to show the infinity of their love. Romantic as the view itself. It’s a good point to start your trip, gaze on the chateau for a while from afar and imagine how it looked like in seventeenth century. You can also climb a bit higher to the nearby hill, I bet view is even more breathtaking.
Parking directly at the castle is prohibited, therefore we parked at the chateau’s restaurant in the city centre and follow yellow trail for 1 km. There’s also the second possibility: follow the yellow trail in the opposite direction for 4,5 km. This route is longer and goes through the city. The 1 kilometre route goes next to the river then turns right and goes straight to the forest. Once you reach your destination, there're three tours to choose from: interiors, garden and chapel. I went on interior tour that last about 70 minutes. During that time I heard essential information about chateau's history and families that occupied this place thorough ages. We moved swiftly from chamber to chamber, from one dining room to another and from eastern wing to western or southern corridor.
The merit content of the tour is so immense that it's quite impossible to remember everything, but if you want to check out any information you missed from the tour then Chateau's official website is prepared perfectly for such situations. It's loaded with information, beginning with history to elaborate description from the tour. I think it's a bit strange, because tourists, who are interested in history can gather all necessary information on the website, they don't even have to visit Vranov Nad Dyji. What's more Chateau's website contains panoramical photos of the interiors as well as other illustrations. The truth is that photos don’t bring out the beauty of the place and you must see it with your own eyes if you want to feel the atmosphere of this baroque chateau.
Tours are mainly organized in Czech language, however description in foreign language is provided if necessary. As a matter of fact is that you might not have the time to read it all and look at what you're reading about at the same time, as everything is happening so fast. 70 minutes seem really long, but it's not much if you really want to look closely at every detail. Maybe individual tour is an option?
Our tour started at the Hall of Ancestors, which overwhelms by its magnitude. Vivid fresco painted by J.M. Rottmayr decorates the ceiling, allegorical theme so popular for baroque style, also got its place there. Huge statues of key representatives of the chateau looked down on us. I can imagine that this void and cold space today, was full with eminent people in seventeenth or eighteenth century.
Through Entrance Hall we moved to Pignatelli bedroom and great dining room. Walls were covered with linen wallpaper, each embellished with different patterns-predominant motive here was flowers and nature. In the southern wing rooms like formal salon, blue salon, oriental salon, embroidery room or bathroom were placed. All covered with wallpaper, but each kept in slightly different style, depending on the owner of the room The most interesting for me was bathroom and respirium.
Bathroom was situated between rooms with spherical bath in the middle of the room, and respirium- a place where people rest after a bath. There was nothing else than fireplace, small bench and painting of Edward Adam Stadnicki wearing the traditional costume of the Polish aristocracy. The last part of the tour took us to the west wing showing gentleman’s salon, Swiss rooms, picture gallery , Stanisław Mniszek’s study and library. I especially liked decor of the Swiss rooms, which originally served as a guest rooms. There’re painting of the mountains and beautiful natural landscapes. The place in central part of the room was designated for vase presenting a Dionysian feast.
Besides the chateau, there is Vranov reservoir several kilometres by the city. I think season starts in mid May or June, because during our visit it was still empty. But definitely in the summer people from neighbouring cities can benefit from it, as there’re many restaurants, points of fast food, cafes or ice cream shops. It’s a good place to relax, sunbath or swim. There’s “beach”, indeed without sand, but still perfect place to spend a sunny Sunday on. Similarly to Prehrada reservoir in Brno, ferry-boat is offered here.