Lonely Planet review
This 16th-century palace houses a private museum known as the Princely Collections, which includes priceless paintings, furniture and musical memoribilia. You tour with an audio guide dictated by owner William Lobkowicz and his family – this personal connection really brings the displays to life, and makes the palace one of the castle’s most interesting attractions.
Built in the 16th century, the palace has been home to the aristocratic Lobkowicz family for around 400 years. Confiscated by the Nazis in WWII, and again by the communists in 1948, the palace was finally returned in 2002 to William Lobkowicz, an American property developer and grandson of Maximilian, the 10th Prince Lobkowicz, who fled to the USA in 1939.
Highlights of the museum include paintings by Cranach, Breughel the Elder, Canaletto and Piranesi, original musical scores annotated by Mozart, Beethoven and Haydn (the 7th prince was a great patron of music – Beethoven dedicated three symphonies to him), and an impressive collection of musical instruments. But it’s the personal touches that make an impression, like the 16th-century portrait of a Lobkowicz ancestor wearing a ring that William’s mother still wears today, and an old photo album with a picture of a favourite family dog smoking a pipe.
The palace has an excellent cafe , and stages concerts of classical music at 1pm each day (390Kč to 490Kč; www.matinee.cz).