Cyril and Methodius Route – Cultural Route of the Council of Europe

Castle OkrouhliceCastle Okrouhlice

 

The first concrete mention of Okrouhlice is found in the books of the Vilémov monastery in 1388. At that time, Abbot Peter sold Okrouhlice and Chlístov to Bernard, who subsequently wrote after Okrouhlice. He or one of his relatives built a fortress above the Sázava River. At that time it was probably a residential tower with wooden annexes. On the west and north, where the houses of the village stood, walls or at least palisades must have been built adjacent to the fortress building. The access road led from the ford around the mill to the fortress.

In 1454 Tomek of Kněnice, the founder of the Okrouhlick family of Kněnice, is mentioned as the owner. Subsequently, the farm was probably divided, because in 1527 Lidmila of Libodršice is mentioned as the owner and briefly Mikuláš the younger of Dobřenice. In the same year Okrouhlice was probably also owned by Václav Okrouhlický of Kněnice, but he is mentioned only a year later. In 1539 Jan Okrouhlický of Kněnice is mentioned as the owner. These frequent changes of owners apparently led to a failure to pay taxes, so that Adam of Dobřenice was forced to mortgage Okrouhlice in 1542. During the Hussite wars, however, the interest gradually declined.

Around 1590 Okrouhlice together with the nearby Světlá became the property of Mikuláš Trčka of Lípa. The village and the fortress were in a very bad condition at that time. Mikuláš Trčka therefore bought the farm and joined it to the Svetla manor. The fortress was retained and the village itself was brought under the manor that stood there and through this it was added to Světlá. It remained in the possession of the Trčka family until 1634, when Adam Erdman Trčka of Lípa was murdered in Cheb.

In 1680, Count Ferdinand of Waldstein apparently had a two-winged castle with St. Anne's Chapel and a ballroom built on the site of the fortress. He had the surroundings of the castle landscaped into a garden, which was complemented by a gazebo and a pond. It was then separated from the village square by a wall with an outbuilding, the so-called Drábovňa. After his death in 1696, Count Kornel bought the property in Okrouhlice, but in 1708 it was bought by the free lord Michal Asháč Kirchner. In the same year, however, the Imperial Privy Council is also listed as the owner and from 1692 Count Jan Petr Straka of Nedabylice and Libčany, who bought it for 120,000 gold coins. He had the chateau and its surroundings rebuilt - for example, he built a brewery to the north of it on the site of a defunct sheepfold. It is difficult to locate it today, but it probably stood under Hyrš's farm. At the same time, the chateau's granary was probably built and in 1848 a fountain in the courtyard with a water supply from the pond on the northern edge of the village.

On 7 January 1861, the castle was hit by fire, which quickly spread to the surrounding buildings. Although it was no longer inhabited by the nobility, the castle was quickly rebuilt using the Straka Foundation. The reconstruction was led by Martin Urban from Německý Brod, as evidenced by a record found in the tower's poppy. The same record documents the placement of a new metal turret on the repair tower on 6 August 1861. This turret was made by Matěj Skala, also from Německý Brod. The tower was repaired again in 1883. During the repairs, one floor of the tower was taken down, so that the castle no longer reached its original monumentality. Neither the original clock tower nor the stucco was restored. In 1847, the chateau chapel was consecrated, gradually dismantled and for some time served as an office. For a time, the castle housed a shelter for impoverished noblewomen. In the 20th century it was part of the operation of a nearby distillery, it was a branch of the Karlovy Vary Porcelain Company (until 2003)[2] and there were also apartments. Now (2016) the castle is abandoned and its reconstruction is under preparation.