The City of Prague Museum

Ctěnice Chateau

The Ctěnice settlement came under the Vinoř cadastre after 1950. The earliest record about the village dates from 1235 by mentioning Sulislva of Ctimice (Zulizlaus de Cztimich). Nevertheless, this record is most likely false (according to August Sedláček it may refer to Čimice). The privilege issued by Gregory X in 1273 refers to Ctěnice as the contents of the Strahov Monastery. The first reference to the Ctěnice manor house dates from 1372 when the Prague burgher Jan Zeiselmeister bought it from Gera, the widow of Volflin Galm. The Gothic manor house, founded shortly before that consisted of a pentagonal area surrounded by a simple wall and moat and included a palace and prismatic tower with a gate.

In the 14th century, Ctěnice was included in the farming and trading activities of Prague burghers. Back then, the village was most often referred to as Stěnice (still in the tax roll of 1654), Scinice in 1396, and became known as Ctěnice beginning in the 16th century (although the Müller map from 1720 states Stienetitz and also Čtěnice in the 19th century). In 1421, the Prague municipality annexed the manor house to give it to Martin Zumberger. The testimony about Barbara of Ctěnice and her husband James is dated 1435.

Beginning in 1502, Ctěnice was possessed by Václav Hrzán of Harasov; the Hrzáns kept the village until 1572. First, Václav’s son Adam inherited the homestead and later, in 1544, Adam’s son Nicholas – the second son Václav received Jenštejn nearby. It appears that in 1550 Nicholas rebuilt the old manor house and changed it into a Renaissance chateau by building additional tracts by the rampart wall with arcades facing the courtyard and reconstructing the entrance tower. When he died prior to 1565, his aforementioned brother Wenceslas became the guardian of his young children. It appears though that he administered their property rather carelessly. As a result, Adam’s son Adam had to put the village and chateau up for sale when he reached adulthood.

Before 1572, Petr Myška of Žlunice bought Ctěnice and later sold it to Oldřich Hostakovský of Arklebice in 1578. The latter died in 1585, bequeathing it to his son Trystram. Because he left behind no offspring, his death triggered a dispute between his older cousin (also Trystram) and uncle Jaroslav Kaplíř of Sulevice (his mother’s brother). Eventually, Trystram won the dispute in 1600 and immediately sold the property to Kateřina Smiřická of Házmburk in 1601. She died soon afterwards in 1604 and her heir Jan Zbyněk Zajíc of Házmburk sold the precincts to Václav Boryňa of Lhota. Ctěnice remained in the possession of his family until 1626 when his son Jan exchanged his portion, which included Ctěnice, for Buděničky with Adam of Waldstein. Waldstein’s son Maximilian sold Ctěnice to Jan Antonín Losy of Losintal in 1652 who also bought nearby Sluhy in 1656. Ctěnice remained in the family until 1781.

Until 1803, Ctěnice was owned by the Windischgrätz family who changed the Renaissance chateau into a classicising Baroque structure which survived. They removed the octagonal part from the entrance tower to lower it and crowned it with a triangular gable with an onion dome and lantern. The chateau was covered by a hip roof and had two floors facing the pentagonal courtyard and three floors facing the surrounding terrain. Lesenes divided the outside façade; blind pillar arcades are on the ground floor of the courtyard. The tower is accessed by an arched bridge (over the moat) which partially survived. Beginning in 1803, Ctěnice often changed hands. Antonín of Hochberg bought it from Mr and Mrs Donat. In 1804, he enlarged the homestead by including Goldberg, formerly possessed by St Adalbert Church in Prague. The following owners were: Jan Antonín Hartman of Klarštejn (1808), František Antonín Desfours (1820) whose daughter bequeathed Ctěnice to Josephine of Schwarzenberg and Gabriele of Dittrichstein in 1831.

In 1849, a new owner acquired Ctěnice – the business magnate and tradesman Alexander Schöller who bought it from the estate of the deceased Countess Aloisie Desfoursová. The Schöllers were a significant business family in Austria-Hungary. In the mid-19th century, Baron Alexander Schöller bought the large country estate Čakovice to build a sugar-mill there which he connected in 1872 to the Bohemian Northern Railway by a system of side tracks. In 1889, the sugar-mill burned down and it was remodelled to its current form. It operated until 1990; today businesses occupy the space. The company of Alexander Schöller split into the Viennese and Prague joint-stock companies after 1918, i.e. in the first years of the Czechoslovak Republic.

After World War Two, Ctěnice Chateau came under the jurisdiction of the State Farm of the City of Prague. Today’s owner, the City of Prague reconstructed Ctěnice Chateau.

The costly reconstruction of all the buildings on the precincts including the park was completed in 2008. It was designated a cultural heritage site.

About the Precincts

Over time the unique chateau and farming area of medieval origin and heart was reconstructed in the Renaissance and Baroque styles to comply with historical requirements. The original manor house was founded on a site surrounded by a castle moat and protected by a prismatic entrance tower. The fundamental dispositions of the building are grounded in the Late Gothic reconstruction. The chateau wings are built on an irregular floor plan situated around the central courtyard, and the earliest centre is localized in today’s northern wing.

The chateau is partly situated on rock and partly on a rubblework pedestal, which is well visible in the deepest cellars. The scope and quality of the Gothic manor house built on the original sandstone terrain was rather unique. Most of the cellar masonry dates from the early 14th century; the cellars have barrel vaults with chiselled sandstone details. The cellars were a part of the farmhouse facility which was used to store food and drinks and also served as a refrigerator (milk cellar, beer cellar, brick-layered room for salt, cellar for wood and kitchen utensils). Furthermore, cellars provided important protection from undesirable humidity.

The Renaissance reconstruction changed the manor house into a prestigious chateau. New window reveals were fitted, sgraffiti adorned the facades, and prime-quality paintings embellished some rooms on the first floor.

During the Baroque era, arcades were built and the façade was modified in the Baroque style. In the interior, the first floor was changed although the stucco decoration in corridors remained. New vaults were built in the basement and on the first floor. Some classicist adjustments were done in the first half of the 19th century but more significant changes date from the late 19th century, fitting new doors and windows which remarkably changed the original appearance of the chateau. Interiors were repainted and the arcades were probably walled in at that time. The changes in style are quite visible on the structure. Valuable interiors survived featuring painting decoration from Late Gothic fragments to the Renaissance and Baroque mural paintings and many handicraft elements.

The well-preserved complex of farmhouse buildings belonging to the chateau is situated to the southeast of the chateau. There are seven buildings in all. The large two-storeyed granary with a gable roof is the most valuable. The façade is divided by rows of small rectangular windows with stone reveals and bars. Stone reveals from the Baroque period have been uncovered on the southern gable side.

The one-storeyed building adjacent to the granary was recently reconstructed. The modern reconstructions allow the current use of this building. The triangular gable highlights the central axis while the former driveways have been transformed into a multi-piece door. The farmhouse to the right of the entrance gate, originally used as a sheep-pen (or a granary), is a two-storeyed house with a gable roof and façade divided by tall blind arcades with segmented vaulted windows and entrances. The oblong structure – Carriage House – with a projecting portico on the longitudinal axis is situated on the courtyard axis. A separate U-shaped farm court is located behind the carriage house and is the seat of the Ctěnice Horseback Riding Company.

A Baroque structure called drábovna is situated on Bohdanečská Street in front of the chateau precincts. The structure has a rectangular floor plan and hip roof, lesenes dividing the façade and wide flat chambranles framing the windows.

The park encompasses 2.3 hectares and follows the chateau on the north and east sides. A stream runs through the park dividing it into two parts. The original concept of the park was Baroque, dating back to the second half of the 18th century. Along with the chateau, a pentagonal-shaped garden was established which survived until the 19th century. The shape remained although the park was changed into a more landscape character. Today, the park has an orchard along its longitudinal axis. The passing stream with little bridges and footbridges is a part of the composition. A newly built gazebo is situated northeast of the park with a garden centre behind. There is a room carved in the rock mass with groin vaults and ridges vaulted onto the central pillar southeast of the chateau. The fortification moat is partly walled in, partly stone-cladded with pier balustrade and bridge – all valuable remains of the medieval manor house.

The children’s playground was built by the park entrance which is approached from the courtyard.

A massive stone wall surrounds the park and farm court. There are two entrance gates, the first one on the west side between the granaries and the second one on the southeast side next to the farmstead. Both are pillar gates with newly set ledged wooden gate doors.
The park and other precincts are historical preservation landmarks.



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