History

Quality of the architectonic complex of the castle Hradec nad Moravicí situated in a 60-hectare natural landscape park, and precious artistic and historical collections rank the castle to sought tourist targets in the region. It is well known as an important musical centre in which numerous extraordinary events are held every year, dominated by the international interpretation competition called The Beethoven`s Hradec. The slope of Hradec was permanently settled as soon as about 2 000 B.C. The construction development of the premise itself started with a Slavonic settlement. In its place-- after the fire of the Premyslides` principal castle – in the middle of the 13th century king Premysl Otakar II. started building a new, extensive and imposing Gothic castle surrounded by sophisticated fortification system. From 1279 to 1281 his widowed wife Kunhuta kept her court. In the 14th century Hradec was the seat of the Premyslides of Opava and administration centre of the Opava principality. In 1481 it was awarded the town statute and symbol and the right of market. Since the beginning of the 16th century it has passed through the hands of several feudal lords, Kaspar Pruskovsky of Pruskov being the last one – in 1585 he obtained the assets here as the hereditary property and simultaneously he commenced the reconstruction of the castle premise into a Renaissance seat with a decorative garden and wood park. The new, more contemporary quality of living certainly influenced the level of the family and social life in Hradec. Among others, numerous domestic musicians performed here; the castle band has been known since the 1730s and even operas were performed in the theatre hall. In 1778 the manor of Hradec passed to the Prussian principal family of Lichnovský of Voštice, who provided for general adaptation of the castle in terms of the contemporary Empire style at the beginning of the 19th century – after the fire in 1796. The extensive alteration of the main residential building was accompanied by extension of the premise with the Neo-Gothic Red Castle with stables, coach rooms and mural wall in the latter half of the 19th century. The castle surroundings were subject to changes, too. The old fortification system was demolished, slopes leveled and a natural landscape park of an excellent composition and dendrological quality was founded. Then the pseudo-Gothic White Tower was added near the garden tract as the last building of the area. The manor of Hradec was held in sequence by eight princes and counts of the Lichnovský family in six generations. Each of them was an individuality of extraordinary education, interests, capabilities and exquisite contacts. All of this could not but sign the social and representative position of the castle of Hradec as well as the spectrum and level of its collections. Besides sovereigns, dignitaries of European courts, political and social celebrities, the castle hosted also numerous celebrities of the cultural world. Hradec was visited among others by L.van Beethoven, F. Liszt, J. Mánes, G. Hauptmann, H. v. Hoffmannstahl, K. Kraus and Listzs daughter Cosima Wagner. The family of Lichnovský maintained friendly relationships with W.A.Mozart, N. Paganini, A. von Humboldt, V. Hugo, R.M.Rilke, M. Twain, P. Picasso or O. Kokoschka. In May 1945 the manor was confiscated in favour of the Czechoslovak state and the castle was opened for the public soon. The object has been under major overhaul since 1979, a part of partly reconstructed and restored interiors was made accessible in 1996 again.