Zámek Hrádek

About the Castle

History of Hrádek Castle

The first mention of Hrádek dates back to 1298. It is a deed of gift. For the village of Hrádek, this is the oldest preserved document mentioning Přibyslav of Hrádek. From 1588, the Hrádek estate belonged to the knightly family of the Lords of Račín from Račín, who probably rebuilt the medieval fortress into a Renaissance castle after 1590. The Račín family owned Hrádek until 1686. After the death of Vojtěch Arnošt Račín, the owners of the castle changed rapidly.

The significant year for the castle was 1731 when it became the property of the noble family Des Fours de Montu et Athienville. The Hrádek estate belonged to them for almost 100 years. The first owner was Jan Ferdinand. His nephew Bedřich Des Fours rebuilt the Renaissance castle, adding a new Baroque castle to the old Renaissance one. In 1775, a Baroque chapel dedicated to St. Walburga was added. The appearance of the castle has been preserved to this day. The Des Fours (Desfours) family owned the estate for almost a hundred years and contributed to its prosperity.

The next heir was Baron Karl Theodor Sturmfeder, under whose administration, in 1847, the castle became home to the educator and priest Vojtěch Hlinka (1817 – 1904). Literary activity provided him relief from his demanding work as the tutor of his mentally challenged son Otakar (from his second marriage). Vojtěch Hlinka was an enthusiastic supporter of the national revival movement and was a successful writer of folk stories, novellas, and plays, which he signed under the pseudonym František Pravda. He published over 150 books. Although he did not originally intend to, he remained in Hrádek until his death. He lived a content life filled with social and spiritual activities. He is buried in the cemetery by the Church of St. Lawrence in Zdouni. In 1867, the estate passed to the family of Karel Theodor Sturmfeder’s daughter Ottilie, married to Baron Karel Henneberg-Spiegel. From 1898, the Hrádek estate was managed by their only son, Baron Bohumil Henneberg-Spiegel (1861 – 1934), and his wife Anna Marie, née Countess of Harrach. After the death of Mrs. Countess (1938), their property was divided among relatives from the Hertling and Windischgrätz families and the bishop’s consistory in České Budějovice, as the couple had no children. After the end of World War II, the castle and the large estate were confiscated. The Prague Burgrave took over the castle as a recreational facility. After the noble owners, the castle was fully furnished and in good condition, but after six months of management by the Prague Burgrave, only bare walls remained. The castle was transformed into apartments for about 20 families. No one took care of the castle’s maintenance, and it deteriorated, becoming increasingly uninhabitable. In 1976, the castle tower collapsed due to its emergency condition. Tenants gradually moved out. The only miracle is that the interior of the castle chapel has survived. The year 2000 became the turning point for the castle when it was purchased by Ing. Arch. Pavel Lejsek. After many years, work began to rescue the building. On June 24, 2010, after a demanding ten-year reconstruction, the castle was opened to the public as a hotel and restaurant. In the following years, agricultural buildings and courtyards were gradually repaired. In 2012, the castle park was revitalized. In 2014, a wellness center was established in the former agricultural building. In 2015, the chapel of St. Walburga and the baroque granary building were completely reconstructed, with the latter housing the Gallery Hrádek “Space of Games and Inspiration,” where children are introduced to the history of Hrádek Castle in the 19th century in a playful way. Next to the granary is an adventure mini-golf course for families with children. Since 2016, the utility garden with an Empire orangery has again become part of the castle complex. Projects are currently underway to repair the brewery buildings and the demolished tower. Weddings and receptions, cultural, social, and corporate events, guided tours with a guide or with the owner himself, are also part of life at the castle.

Castle Chapel of St. Walburga

The Chapel of St. Walburga, dedicated to the patron saint of expectant mothers and farmers, is an important landmark in the castle. St. Walburga, originally from a noble family, entered the monastery and became famous for her deeds of love and faith. Legend has it that she miraculously intervened when the daughter of the castle lord fell ill, causing the dogs to retreat and the girl to recover.

Today, the chapel is a regular venue for Holy Masses and musical concerts.
Church weddings are also held here.

Castle Park and Kitchen Garden

The Castle Park and Kitchen Garden have undergone significant changes and renovations to provide relaxation and aesthetic enjoyment to visitors of Hrádek. The baroque park, with views of the surrounding countryside, offers a place to rest under the shade of centuries-old trees. In 2012, the park was renovated, adding benches, playgrounds for children, and space for social events. This included the construction of the Educational Trail of František Pravda, which presents the history of the castle and the village. Photography in the park requires permission from the owner.

The garden has been revitalized since 2016, including the restoration of the Empire Orangery.
The Orangery serves as a facility for growing fruits, vegetables, and herbs used in the restaurant and wellness procedures. Designed by garden architect Jan Nussbauer, the garden hosts old varieties of fruit trees and flowers, complemented by new species from expert Ing. Zdeněk Buzek. Plans for the future of the garden include further modifications and possible restoration of the lost part of the orangery.

Guided Tours

If you’re interested in touring the castle grounds, prepare for a fascinating dive into the history and fates of the owners of this captivating place. Our guides will acquaint you with the historical development of the property, its intriguing stories, and the current use of its interiors and exteriors. Although the castle doesn’t have traditional castle chambers, the main goal of the tours is to show you how historical building value can be preserved while adapting to modern needs.

Tours are available from September to June by prior reservation only. Contact us at 727 918 011 or via email at michaela.fremundova@zamekhradek.cz. We operate only from Monday to Friday until 5 p.m. The duration of the tour is approximately 60 minutes.
Please note that the castle building is not wheelchair accessible and may be challenging for those who require barrier-free access. Thank you for your understanding.

Garden - Opening hours 2024

From March 29th to mid-October (depending on the weather)
8:00 – 18:00
During summer until 20:00

Admission to the tours

Adults 140 CZK
Students under 26 years 110 CZK
Seniors over 65 years 110 CZK
Children (6 – 18 years)* 80 CZK
Children (under 6 years)* Free