44 Castles and chateaux
45
Kuks
Reason to visit
A fascinating set of Baroque sculpture
decorates the stone terrace in front
of the monumental church and adjacent
monastery on a hill above the river Elbe.
The Allegory of Virtues and Vices
and other groups of sandstone sculptures
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them in an incredibly short amount
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Sporck. A sharp contrast to the humble
work of the Brothers of Charity in the
monastery hospital for the poor was his
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hunting and other pastimes at the
sumptuous spa residence on the opposite
slope. The direct view from the count’s
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on his ancestral tomb was a reminder
that all worldly pleasures come to an end.
Of historical interest
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other excellent buildings, libraries
and art galleries, Count Sporck was
a large and contradictory personality
of the Czech Baroque era who suffered
all his life from a complex about
the humble origins of his father.
All the more, he tried to turn both
slopes of the Elbe into a grand centre
of elite aristocratic society, providing
his guests with all kinds of amusements
and comforts. His fame lasted a mere
40 years. Many of the buildings,
including a chateau, are irretrievably
gone, but the remarkable energy
of the place remains.
Tip: The brilliant master of Baroque
sculpture M. B. Braun is also the
creator of an unusual set of statues
and reliefs in the forest 3 kilometres
to the west of Kuks. He sculpted
biblical scenes directly into blocks
of stone so that they would appear
to be the work of nature. The forest
gallery is freely accessible along
marked hiking trails.
In addition to an unguided tour
of the complex with the outdoor
sculpture gallery, you can visit
the abbey church and its crypt
with the tomb of Count Sporck,
the interiors of the Baroque hospital
with a pharmacy, and the unique
exhibition of the Czech Pharmaceutical
Museum.
VII–VIII daily,
V, VI and IX Tuesday–Sunday,
IV, X weekends and public holidays.
Kuks Musical Summer – a festival
of classical music in the Church of the
Holy Trinity (VI–VIII).
Hospital Kuks, 544 43 Kuks
Kun!tická hora
Reason to visit
In the fertile plain of the Elbe valley
in East Bohemia, the ruin of a hilltop
Gothic castle majestically rises above
the horizon. It was once higher, but
stone was excavated from the hill over
the centuries to be used, for example,
in building the nearby city of Pardubice.
Finally the quarry collapsed and took
part of the castle complex with it.
An extensive reconstruction
in the 20th century was organized
by the Museum Association in Pardubice
according to plans by the outstanding
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Of historical interest
The castle became very famous during
the religious wars of the 15th century.
It was seized by the acclaimed Hussite
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help of local people, built an ingenious
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time.
Among the most interesting
objects in an exhibition
of archaeological finds are dice
that are more than 500 years old.
And what would any self-respecting
castle be without an exhibition
of medieval torture devices? But one
thing you will not find anywhere else
is the executioner’s price list,
fromwhich it is evident that
the executioner earned a decent
sum for practising his profession.
V–VIII Tuesday–Sunday,
IV, IX, X weekends and public holidays.
Children can try their hand
at a bow or crossbow at the castle
archery range.
533 52 Staré Hradi%t!
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