The Garden of Europe
Encompassing nearly 300 square kilometers, incorporating two chateaus, several smaller monuments and buildings and very carefully planned and maintained gardens inside its borders; the Lednice-Valtice area rightly deserves its nickname: “The Garden of Europe”.
This UNESCO listed area will not only give you lots of room to roam, it will also give you an insight into the level of wealth and power that some of the old noble houses of Europe could attain. The Lednice-Valtice area started as a grand status symbol of the Lichtenstein family; one of the wealthiest and most powerful families of their day.
The Lichtenstein family began to consolidate their land holdings in the area in the 17th century by making a connecting road between the Valtice and Lednice chateaus. Through the 17th and 18th centuries, they increased the number of roads and paths in the area. By the 19th century, the construction of an English style garden was underway and exhaustive landscaping continued through into the early 20th century. Today, it is one of Europe’s most extensively landscaped areas.
Here, There and Everywhere
While the baroque Valtice chateau and Neo-Gothic Lednice chateau are the two architectural showpieces of the areas, the numerous bicycle and trekking paths in the area will allow you to see many of the smaller structures that dot the area.
Near Lednice, you will find a unique minaret which is a quite famous landmark of the area. You can climb the 60 meters to the top of it and get a breathtaking view of the entire area.
From near the minaret it is possible to take a boat ride along the river to visit Janův Hrad (John’s Castle), a hunting lodge designed to look like a castle ruin.
Though I am not an avid cyclist, the best way to make the most of a visit to the area is by bicycle. The numerous paths will take you to all of the smaller structures in the area so feel free to bring your own bicycle; there are also places to rent them in the area.
Lednice and Valtice Townsites and Beyond
Lednice itself is a fairly small and quiet village which, beyond the chateau, has a spa included in its amenities.
Valtice is a larger town with several places to sample and purchase Moravian wine.
Directly beside the Lednice-Valtice Area is the UNESCO protected Pálava Landscape Protected Area, a biosphere reserve incorporating a variety of natural landscapes such as steppe and floodplain.
Within Pálava, you will find the town of Mikulov. Mikulov is the traditional heart of the Moravian wine region so there are plenty of opportunities to sample the locally produced vintages.
the Lednice-Valtice Area is the best known tourist destination in South Moravia. If you like architecture, being out in the country, wine and seeing how the nobility of previous eras lived; then this really is a must for you to visit if you are in the area.
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