The National Heritage Institute

The National Centre of Garden Culture in Kroměříž

Methodical, scholarly and educational centre for the maintenance and restoration of historic gardens and parks in the Czech Republic

Carrier:  The National Heritage Institute, regional department Kroměříž

Partner: The Olomouc Art Museum – The Kroměříž Archdiocesan Museum

Cooperating subjects: The Unesco Club Kroměříž, The Mendl Agriculture and Forestry University in Brno, the town of Kroměříž, The Lednice Chateau multifunctional centre, Terra didactica, The Zlín Region

The place of realization: The Archiepiscopal Chateau and Gardens in Kroměříž


The National Heritage Institute

The National Heritage Institute (NHI) is a scholarly and research organization of the state monument care with a countrywide sphere of authority. It is a contributory organization administered by the Culture Ministry. NHI carries out scientific research and other scholarly, methodical, pedagogic, educational, publishing and popularising activities aiming at cultural monument care and heritage site reserves care, and it also controls a group of publicly available cultural monuments, especially state castles and chateaus.

The National Heritage Institute, regional department Kroměříž

A new scholarly department of NHI for the Zlín Region was established in 2006. It also administers state castles and chateaus of the Zlín Region – the Archiepiscopal Chateau and Gardens in Kroměříž, the Vizovice Chateau, the Buchlovice Chateau and the Buchlov Castle.

The seat of the department was built in the premises of the Archiepiscopal Chateau in Kroměříž.

The Archiepiscopal Chateau and Gardens in Kroměříž

The chateau and gardens belong to the Town heritage reserve, they are National cultural sites and also belong to the World cultural and natural heritage UNESCO.

The Archiepiscopal Chateau underwent some major changes in the past – from a medieval castle, through a renaissance chateau to a baroque residence. For most of the time it also served as a summerhouse of the Olomouc bishops and archbishops. Another function was to seat an archiepiscopal building and economic administration. Since the nationalization in 1950 there have been a lot of administrators of both the gardens and the art collections. After 1989 the collections and all the mobiliary returned to the Archbishopric of Olomouc. The chateau premises and the gardens remained in the state possession.

The Flower Garden, whose main part was built between 1665 and 1675, became the climax building achievement of the Olomouc bishop Charles II Lichtenstein–Castelcorn. Beside his own ideas bearing on the rich art collections, he invited two emperor architects – Filibert Luchese and Giovanni Pietro Tencalla, to accomplish his grand-scale plans. Besides them there were a lot of other artists participating in garden decoration.

The Flower Garden (originally called Libosad) represents a turning point in the European garden art development. On the one hand it still evokes the late renaissance Italian and transalpine garden (vila d´Este in Tivoli, vila Doria Pamphili in Rome, a residence garden in Munich, Hortus Palatinus in Heidelberg, Neugebäude near Wien and vila Angiana in Belgium), on the other hand it opens the way to a French baroque-classicism type (Versailles). Nevertheless, the uniqueness of the garden does not only lie in this inner duality or high artistic and historic value, but also in the fact that today it is practically the only representation of a similarly constructed complex in Europe.

The central part of the Flower Garden, which is conceived on an long rectangle plan with a lot of geometrically cut greenery and accompanying architectonic and artistic stands (ornamental parterres, Lion and Triton fountains, Rotunda, labyrinths, water areas, skittle ground and Strawberry hills), consists of two parts – a flower garden and a garden nursery.

This basic formal layout was organically complemented from the eastern side – from the town – by no longer existing adjoining ornamental areas or farming facilities (Orange conservatory, Dutch garden, greenhouses, farm yard, Pheasantry, Rabbit hill and Volary).

A major transformation of the garden came in the 1840s. An architect Anton Arche designed, an object on the site of the former gardener´s house, characterized by fine application of palladian and romanticizing motives. He closed the yard on the sides with a pair of generously conceived greenhouses in a gently romanticizing style – Warm and Cold.  A set of three objects was constructed purposely to create a motive of honourable courtyard – cour d´honneur. Arche built a new representative entrance to the garden from originally utilitarian ground.

The revitalization of the disrupted parts of the Flower Garden was supervised by the architect Pavel Janák in the 1950s. Two other architects – Dušan Riedl and Jan Němec – continued in his work and in 1964 prepared a general rehabilitation project, which has, however, never been carried out.