History of Hradek Castle
First mention of Hradek dates back to the year 1298, when Pribyslav from Hradek donated three acres of forests and a stream for fish breeding to the brothers of St. Peter and Paul church in Horazdovice as a deed of gift. This deed is the oldest preserved formal and legal document in Hradek.
As of 1588, Hradek belonged to the estate of the Lords of Racin, whom are probably responsible for rebuilding the medieval fortress into a Renaissance castle after 1590. The Racin family owned the castle until 1686, and after the death of Vojtech Arnost Racin, the castle had numerous owners.
Jan Ferdinand, Earl Desfours of Mont and Athienville, became the owner of the castle in 1731. This was a very important year for the castle, as the old Renaissance castle started being reconstructed and had three new additions added - a new Baroque castle in the form of the main frontage, the south wing in the park, and the Chapel of St. Valburga. Most of the castle from this time period has been preserved to the present day. The outdoor frontage of the new Baroque castle was later rebuilt in the late Baroque or Rococo style. A tower with three floors and mansard roof, the pride and dominant feature of Hradek, was also built during this time, though it fell on July 26th, 1976, 245 years after the addition and reconstruction of the new castle.
Unfortunately, in the second half of the 20th century the castle was in ruins, and became one of the most heavily damaged monuments in the Pilsen Region. In 2000, the architectural and design studio Sumavaplan, represented by Ing. Arch. Pavel Lejsek, bought the castle, and brought with them new hope for restoring and subsequently saving this architecturally rare building.
The sensitive and difficult reconstruction and restoration of the castle continued for over 10 years, and the final outcome was awarded Building of the Year in 2010 by the Pilsen Region, in the category of Renovation of Historical Buildings. On June 24th, 2010 the castle came back to life and was open to the public.
Castle rooms were tastefully transformed into beautiful and unique hotel rooms, it’s great halls now welcome lovers of food, and it’s various meeting rooms offer wonderful spaces for family celebrations, weddings, as well as various cultural events.