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GPS: 49°41'48.4"N 15°16'50.2"E

Mapa Hrad Ledeč

HISTORY

The Ledeč castle is located in one of the most beautiful parts of Posázaví (i.e. the region along the river Sázava), nearby the nature reserve Stvořidla, the Melechov hill (713m) with its deep forests and the romantic ruin of Melechov (Nelechov) Fort, not far from the granite rock Čertův kámen („the Devil's Stone“) or the ruin of castle Chřenovice. Among other unique features, it has an interesting moat:  there is no bear to spot nor other animal, but the passing passenger train „Posázavský Pacific“.

The Early Gothic castle from mid 13th century is poised atop a rocky outcrop, enclosed by the banks of river Sázava and the stream Olešenský potok. A wooden fort  is assumed to have stood here to protect the Sázava merchant routes leading on to the Haberská route. As centuries went by, new edifices were added to the original castle with a tower, eastern palace and baileys in Late Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque styles. The eastern side of the castle is protected by a deep man-made mote with a bridge, originally wooden but later replaced by a stone one built in 1838.

Parts of the steep rock cliff forming the right bank of Sázava river had to be hewed off to construct the road up. The norther side and its steep slope called “Stoupačka” (“The Ascend”) was used to get goods up to the castle with the help of ox hauling. Access to the first courtyard was protected by barbicans. In 1642, the baron Adrian of Enkenfurt had a monumental Late Baroque stone portal built here, with engraved family coats-of-arms and the latin inscription “Vivit post funer virtus” (Bravery lives even after death). The lower courtyard is lined with two-floor buildings and its northern end forms a semi-circular tower, formerly a prison. The passage through an outhouse connecting the tower with the southern annex leads to the upper courtyard, dominated by a 32-metre Early Gothic cylinder tower. The whole courtyard is paved with cobblestones. The northern and eastern side is defined by the two wings of the palace with a Renaissance recessed balcony in the corner above the arcades, flaunted with balustrades and a slate roof. Since 1938,  the ground floor of the northern wing of the so called “Little Palace” has housed the Town Museum. A former horse stable stands at the western side of the courtyard. The remaining part of the upper courtyard is closed from the south by a two-storey building. Both the upper and lower courtyards have 17th-century stone fountains. From the south-west side, the road to the upper courtyard leads via a 1838 stone bridge, through the gate and the passage in the main palace. The bridge offers a splendid view of the castle baileys; where now stands the right bailey used to stand a drawbridge. In the left bailey there is a sgraffito decorated Baroque gazebo.

The history of the town is closely connected to the castle. First written record about Ledeč dates back to 1186. It is a deed of donation of princess Eliška, who gave the village Ledeč to the Hospitallers order. Since the beginnings of the 13th century, there were several noblemen bearing the predicate „of Ledeč“. Since the mid 15th century, the demesne was held by the Ledeč Masters of Říčany, whose coats-of-arms was adopted with minor changes as the town's coats-of-arms. After a tragical even in 1509, when a falling ceiling of the eastern pallace killed Žofka of Sovinec, the wife of Burian Ledečský of Říčany, and their two sons – the last heirs of the family, the demesne was for some time taken over by the family Meziříčští of Lomnice. In 1592, Zdeněk Meziříčský persuaded the Emperor Ferdinand 1st Hapsburg to grant Ledeč the privilages of a town, including the right to use the red wax seal, which was only used by royal towns.  In 1753, the yeoman Ignác of Koch sold the demesne to the empress Maria Theresa, who later donated it – along with other property – to the newly established Theresian Institute for Noblewomen in Hradčany, Prague. This institute owned the demesne till the end of WWI, when it was taken over by the state. In 1945 the castle became state property and from 1950 it was used by the Czechoslovak State Forests company. At present, it belongs to the town of Ledeč and the owner of Kovofiniš s.r.o. Company.



Created 5.5.2015 13:35:45 | read 7573x | ludek.sima2
 
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