Jaroměřice Chateau – High Baroque in the Highlands

Big and Baroque

The chateau complex as seen from the French gardens
The chateau complex as seen from the French gardens

The massive chateau in the town of Jaroměřice nad Rokytnou ,in the Vysočina highlands, towers above the town that shares its name and is one of the most visited attractions in the Vysočina region.

To get an idea of the size of this particular chateau, there are three separate tour routes available to see it all; if one chose to take all three tours, the combined time would be approximately 100 minutes. Two of those tours are for the chateau itself and an additional one for the St. Margaret church which is attached to the chateau. This is definitely an attraction that will take the bulk of a day to see most fully.

Beyond the buildings themselves, the chateau grounds are equally large. To one side of the Rokytná river, which runs through the grounds, is a beautiful French garden; crossing the river via footbridge will put you in the chateau’s equally well tended English style garden.

While one must of course pay for tours of the chateau, entry into the gardens is free of charge.

A Monument to Music

General view of the chateau complex and French gardens
General view of the chateau complex and French gardens

All chateaus at one point or another serve as homes for noble families; in the case of Jaroměřice, that family was the Questenburgs. The Questenburgs took ownership of the then renaissance style chateau in 1624 and had it rebuilt in baroque style during their tenure there.

Most critical to the chateau’s present form and atmosphere was Jan Adam Questenburg who took over it’s administration in 1699. Jan Adam was a passionate patron of the arts, particularly music; as a result, the chateau is home to an extensive collection of period musical instruments.

The chateau’s musical connection continues to today in the form of the annual Petr Dvorský International Music Festival which is held on the Chateau grounds in the summer.

Visiting the Chateau and Town

St. Margaret Church
St. Margaret Church

As it is located in the Vysočina highlands, which make up the border region between South Bohemia and South Moravia, Jaroměřice’s central location makes it reachable without much trouble if you’re in the south central part of the country.

Both the chateau and the town itself have protected status, so the town is also worth checking out.

While the chateau’s website is set up to be multilingual, only the Czech part was working at the time of this writing. However, the site is usable and generally comprehensible in English through internet translation functions:

http://translate.google.com/translate?hl=en&sl=cs&u=http://www.zamek-jaromerice.cz/&prev=/search%3Fq%3Djaromerice%2Bcastle%26hl%3Den%26tbo%3Dd%26biw%3D1152%26bih%3D751&sa=X&ei=AKr6UIC1BMir0AXN8IDoDA&ved=0CEEQ7gEwAg

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