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The history of Duchcov commenced in 1207 and is connected with the fair village of Hrabišín on the place of which it is situated nowadays. The first written record of a town in this place dates back to 1240. During the reign of King George of Poděbrady it experienced a period of development, and the House of Valdštejn contributed to its major building and cultural development, too. The rich history of the town is proved by a number of cultural monuments and the town centre has been deservedly declared a historical town preserve. The dominant feature of the town is a Baroque chateau, originally the Renaissance seat of the House of Lobkowicz, which was reconstructed by Jan Bedřich of Valdštejn at the end of the 17th century. However, the chateau is generally popular for the personality of a renowned globetrotter Giacomo Casanova, who spent 13 years of his life here as a librarian for Count Valdštejand who wrote his major works including his famous Memoirs here.
The chateau can boast of a unique Baroque garden, which is distinguished by a wide variety of flowers and climbing roses. The chateau park is in the French style and contains a set of pools and fountains. The sculptures of Minerva, Mars and two depictions of Hercules separate an honest courtyard from an external courtyard. The author of the external sculpture decoration is Matyáš Bernard Braun and his workshop. the chateau hosted European personalities: Johann Wolfgang Goethe, Friedrich Schiller, Fryderyk Chopin, Joseph Haydn, Ludwig van Beethoven, but also politicians and statesmen: Russian Tzar Alexander I, Grand Prince Konstantin, King Frederick William III of Prussia, Austrian Chancellor Metternich, Prince Karel Schwarzenberg, Austrian Marshal Radecký, and others.
The Duchcov Chateau offers three tours. The first of them maps the history of the House of Valdštejn and their activities as collectors and benefactors. The second one describes the life in the chateau in the period of Giacomo Casanova and Count Joseph Charles Emanuel Valdštejn, who brought Casanova to the chateau. The third tour, which consists of free parts, presents various shapes of the chateau garden, the significance and closing of the Baroque hospital, and the destiny of Reiner´s fresco from the hospital Church of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary.
For more information on the town, Casanova, sights and other interesting features visit the Town Information Centre in Duchcov. In summer, besides others, you can enjoy a unique view from the church watchtower. You can see not only the town, but also the Ore Mountains and a part of the Bohemian Central Mountains. Other interesting features include an exposition called the History of Duchcov and a research room with documents related to Casanova, which is placed in the Museum of Duchcov. At the beginning of June every year, the Casanova Fair takes place in the town. This event is a destination of both local and foreign visitors. Giacomo Casanova himself is a guide to this fair.
Garant sections: Michaela Tobiasova