Horšovský Týn Chateau
From the 13th century, the dominant feature of the town was the Bishop’s Castle, which was later rebuilt into a true Renaissance jewel of West Bohemia.
In nearby Horšov, a fortified bishop’s manor stood as early as the 12th century, which ceased to meet the needs of its time for fortification reasons around the middle of the 13th century. Therefore, a fortified early Gothic castel-type castle was built on a rocky promontory in the nearby merchant settlement called Týn – later Horšovský – by one of the Prague bishops. This is visible today in the interiors, the most valuable of which is the early Gothic chapel. After the Hussite wars, the castle passed from the hands of the Church into the hands of secular feudal lords. One of the first noble families to come here were the Ronšperk family, lords from nearby Poběžovice. Around 1535, a prominent Bohemian family, the Lords of Lobkovicz, took possession of the estate from them.
The first was Jan the Younger Popel of Lobkovicz, who held important offices in the country and enjoyed the favour of King Ferdinand I. In 1547, a large fire broke out in the town, which spread to the castle and seriously damaged it. Three years later, Jan had the half-destroyed mansion rebuilt into a chateau in the new, then modern Renaissance style. The chateau has been preserved in this form until today. The heir of Jan Popel, his son Vilém, was sentenced to death and confiscation of his property for his participation in the Estate Uprising. In 1623, the estate was bought for a small sum as a cheap confiscation by the Styrian Count Maximilian Trauttmansdorff – an Imperial diplomat. The Trauttmansdorff family owned the chateau for more than 300 years until 1945, when the state took over the administration of the chateau on the basis of the decrees issued by President Beneš. The Horšovský Týn Castle and Chateau is valuable because after the Renaissance reconstruction in the 16th century it was not rebuilt later, except for minor changes in the rear courtyard during the last reconstruction at the end of the 19th century.
In 1996, the whole area was declared a National Cultural Monument for its immense historical value. This includes not only the main chateau building, but also the building of the burgrave palace and the almost forty-hectare natural landscape park with the Gloriette, the Loreto Chapel and the Widows’ House. Today, the chateau is one of the best accessible monuments in the country: in the high season, it offers five tours with a total tour time of over 5 hours.