Lány Chateau

V4 Presidents Summit | 2 – 3 October 2019 | Lány Chateau

This Barque Chateau in Lány amidst Křivoklát woods near Prague has been an official summer seat of Presidents of the Czech Republic since 1921.

The Chateau is surrounded by an extensive park and a palm greenhouse dating back to 1879 that are accessible to the public.

History of the Chateau

The oldest written mention about Lány dates back to 1392. A wooden fortress stood there at the time. Towards the end of the 16th century the municipality was bought by Rudolph II who built a simple Renaissance hunting castle in the place where the original fortress had stood. The castle was made Baroque in the 17th century.

At the end of the 17th century the Chateau was bought by the Wallensteins. Count Jan Josef of Wallenstein built one more storey in 1730. Later, the Fürstenberks owned the Chateau from the beginning of the 18th century up to 1921 when the Lány Chateau was bought by the Czechoslovak Republic for the head of state for representative purposes. The Chateau has been rebuilt a number of times and its present appearance is the result of a refurbishment dating back to 1902 – 1903.

Chateau park

The Chateau park was established around 1770. Its present look has been influenced by modifications made by Jože Plečnik whose most significant mark is a wall in the Eastern side near a pond dam that includes an impressive fountain. The fountain is made of five Doric columns decorated with bronze lion heads from which water flows to the fountain and subsequently to the pond in one mighty stream. The lion heads symbolically represent the original Czechoslovak lands: Bohemia, Moravia, Silesia, Slovakia and Carpathian Ruthenia. This is how the architect expressed the unity of the newly established state.

Lány Chateau and T. G. Masaryk

The first President of Czechoslovakia Tomáš Garrigue Masaryk took a great liking to the Lány Chateau. After he abdicated in 1935, he was allowed to move to Lány for life. Eventually, he chose Lány as a resting place for himself and his family. During the totalitarian era the Masaryk family grave at the Lány cemetery became a symbol of Czechoslovak democracy.