Perched on an outcrop overlooking the Vltava River, Nelahozeves Castle is one of the Czech Republic’s finest Renaissance-era buildings. This project, based on a masterplan completed in 2017, will restore and redevelop Nelahozeves as a leading centre for Czech cultural heritage, with an emphasis on the study and performance of classical music.
The initiative is given impetus by the historic presence of the birth house of the renowned Czech composer Antonín Dvorák on a nearby site owned by the estate which is being transformed into a museum focused on the life and inspirations of the world-renowned musical icon.
For centuries, Nelahozeves has been the seat of the Lobkowicz family, discerning patrons of the arts, who have amassed a significant archive of cultural treasures, including musical instruments and score manuscripts, paintings, rare books, armour, ceramics and furniture.
Through the creation of a new, purpose-designed study centre, the collection will be protected and preserved for future generations. The study centre forms the intellectual heart of the project, with the aim of attracting scholars and performers from all over the world. In tandem with the restoration of the building fabric, a key aim is to re-establish and strengthen the Castle’s relationship with the surrounding landscape.
The proposals have been developed through extensive research tracing the history of the Castle and its context. Detailed conversations with the client have also helped to consolidate the brief and clarify their ambitions for the Castle and its collection.
Powerfully emblematic of the Lobkowicz family’s historic role as a cultural patrons, Nelahozeves will be an armature for many different kinds of cultural and educational activities. This ambitious new phase of its development will add to a continuum already distinguished by its outstanding contribution to Western culture.
We are excited to draw upon our wide-ranging experience of restoring sensitive heritage buildings and apply it to this internationally significant project. The Dvorák Birth House Museum project and wider masterplan is only the beginning for positioning Nelahozeves as a key cultural and historical destination in Central Europe.
Founding Partner, Wright & Wright
A Musical Legacy
The Lobkowicz family, patrons of the masterplan project which includes a museum on Antonín Dvořák, have an unparalleled history of musical patronage and close ties to the history of composition. For example, the family were patrons of Beethoven, who dedicated his Symphony no. 3 'Heroica' to the Lobkowicz family.
The Lobkowicz Music Archive, begun by Ferdinand August, 3rd Prince Lobkowicz, was assembled over three centuries. It is an unparalleled collection of musical instruments, manuscripts, and printed editions of scores, parts, and libretti dating from the 17th–19th centuries.
The Archive includes scores by over 500 composers; it is crowned by hand-annotated works by many of the world’s greatest musicians, including Mozart and Beethoven, and is most celebrated for its holdings of late 18th and early 19th century works by Handel, Mozart, Haydn and Beethoven.
The Lobkowicz Collections
The Lobkowicz Collections include paintings by Bruegel, Canaletto, Cranach, Rubens, and Velázquez, exceptional arms and armour, and ceramics, such as the largest-surviving 17th-century Delft dinner service in the world.
The Collections also include the oldest, largest, and finest private library in Central Europe, housing rare relics and a 15th-century edition of The Apocalypse illustrated with exquisite Albrecht Dürer woodcuts.
For centuries, Nelahozeves has been the seat of the Lobkowicz family who have been, and remain, major patrons of the arts around the world and especially in the Czech Republic.
The Lobkowicz family have amassed a significant archive of cultural treasures and shared these collections with the world through public museums and programmes. The is significantly comprehensive, reflecting the cultural, social, political, and economic life of Central Europe for centuries.