The Lednice-Valtice Area
The Lednice-Valtice Area ranks among the largest artificially shaped landscape complexes in the world. Thanks to its exceptional natural, cultural and historical values this area was entered on the UNESCO List of World Heritage in 1996. The Lednice-Valtice Area stretching on almost 300 hectares is lined by the state border with Austria in the South, and flanked by the Protected Landscape Area and biospheric reserve Pálava in the West. The natural border of the area is outlined by the Dyje River in the North and in the East.
The rich Liechtenstein family originating in Austria, who gained their first properties in the South of Moravia in the 13 th century, started reshaping the local landscape into a remarkable urban complex. The family was seated there for centuries and gradually took ownership of the whole present-day area. The Liechtensteins succeeded in harmonizing the aesthetics of the artificially shaped landscape with the adjoining bottomland forests and the agricultural landscape. They situated their grand residences and a number of smaller structures with elegance into this harmonic natural setting. Shaping the area was based on traditions followed in English parks. Structures in Baroque style are connected here with the Lednice Chateau adapted in neo-Gothic style and with small structures built in Classicism and the Romantic style of the 19 th century. These are: the Little Hunting Castle, the Minaret, Apollo ́s Temple, the Pond Castle, the New Courtyard, the Border Castle, the Three Graces ́ Temple, John ́s Castle, the Obelisk, and the Rendes-vous.
Built on the site of the original medieval stronghold, a later Renaissance castle was reconstructed in Baroque style in the 17 th century. The contemporary appearance of the chateau originated in the neo-Gothic reconstruction in Tudor-Gothic style in the period of 1846–1858. The original Baroque appearance is preserved only in the nearby standing riding-hall and stables. The Romantic neo-Gothic style was also given to the interiors richly decorated by outstanding examples of woodcarving mastery. The visitor ́s attention also deserve the spindle-shaped self-supporting staircase in the library, the coffered lime wood ceiling in the Blue Hall, the relief of the family tree made in ivory or the marble fireplaces.
Originally a castle founded probably as early as in the 12 th century, from 1387 to 1945 it was the Liechtensteins ́family property. Rebuilt several times, adapted in Renaissance style in the second half of the 16 th century, it went through a long-term Baroque reconstruction after the Thirty Years ́ War. Three chateau wings were built and a garden founded. At the same time the space between the chateau and the town was set into a court of honour with farm houses, a theatre and a riding hall. During the 18 th century the chateau garden and park were adapted and in the mid-19 th century John I. of Liechtenstein had the landscape of the whole Valtice area reshaped.