Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Czech Republic 2016
Beauties of Our Country: Buchlov Castle

COUNTRY: Czech Republic
ISSUE DATE: 6 April 2016
STAMP SIZE: 40 x 26 mm
 STAMP DESIGN: Adolf Absolon
 ENGRAVER: Martin Srb

The stamp depicts a view from the first courtyard of the second gate in the Burgrave House dated 1691. Dominating the view is the 13th to 14th-century core of the motte-and-bailey castle, with the 16th century clock tower behind it and the round tower Andělka to the left.

The three hills of Buchlov, Modla (with St. Barbara’s Chapel) and Holý kopec are some of the most prominent in the Slovácko region. It was not for nothing that two of these hills have been inhabited since prehistoric times. Remnants of fortifications from the Lausitz Urnfield and La Tene periods and from the Hallstatt period were preserved on the Modla and the Holý kopec, respectively.

Both the choice of the site and the process of construction of the royal castle on the strategically located hill of Buchlov in the Chřiby mountain range, guarding the eastern border of the Czech royal lands against possible incursions from Hungary, are shrouded in mystery. In the absence of any written records, the preserved stone masonry is the only source of information we have. The beginnings of the castle date back to the first half of the 13th century. It was founded by a Czech king as a strategically defensive stronghold with court jurisdiction and the so-called right to hunt.

The name Buchlov first appeared in reference to a certain Protiva of Buchlov, probably occupying the position of burgrave, alongside Albert of Zdounky working as the manager of the surrounding forests, fields, meadows and ponds. Further references to the castle in the 14th-century written records include clerk Havel and burgrave Hartman of Střítěž.

At the turn of the 15th century, the margrave began to pledge the castle to royal creditors, such as the brothers Hanuš and Jindřich of Liechtenstein from 1406, followed by further members of the same family. In 1422, Buchlov was pledged to a Hungarian nobleman and prominent opponent of the Hussites, Stibor of Stibořice, followed by the families of Vítovice, Mošnov, Vajtmile, Landštejn, Postupice, Jan Boček Kuna of Kunštát, and the families of Cimburk and Zahrádka. In 1511, a royal charter granted the pledge, with all privileges, to the nobleman Arkleb Trnavský of Boskovice for his merits, although at that time the rights still belonged to the family of Zahrádka. The first private owner of the castle was the Žerotín family (1518) followed by the Zástřizly family (1542). Through marriage in the first half of the 17th century, Buchlov became the property of the Petřvalds of Petřvald, who chose the castle as their permanent home in the first half of the 18th century. The last owners of the estate became the Berchtolds of Uherčice (1800-1945). As early as the first half of the 19th century, they turned the castle into a museum open to the public and bought many collections for display in the castle to support its maintenance and prevent its devastation.

The oldest part of the castle consists of defensive towers with a large residential hall, a large service hall, a palace and a chapel. The chapel, modelled after Sainte-Chapelle in Paris, was built in the 1280s by a Prague stonemason workshop. Although the castle was permanently owned by the king until the 16th century, it was often used as a pledge to noble families.

In the late 15th century, it was pledged to the family of Cimburk, who built a representative knight hall in the late Gothic style. In 1520, the castle became a private property owned from the 16th-18th century by the Moravian families of Žerotín, Zástřizly, the Petřvalds of Petřvald and the Berchtolds. The castle also underwent Renaissance and Baroque reconstructions.

Buchlov has been declared a national heritage site. The state-owned castle is administered by the National Heritage Institute Prague, Regional Branch Office in Kroměříž, State-Owned Buchlov Castle Administration Office. 

Stamp image and description thanks to Česká pošta