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Nelahozeves Castle transformation plan unveiled

Nelahozeves Castle, home of the Lobkowicz Collections, is to be transformed by architecture firm Wright & Wright.

Architecture firm Wright & Wright has unveiled a masterplan to restore and redevelop Nelahozeves Castle near Prague, home of the Lobkowicz Collections which include paintings by Canaletto, Velázquez and Rubens as well as manuscripts by Beethoven and Mozart.

The project will renovate and transform Nelahozeves Castle with the creation of a 300-person hall for chamber music under the castle courtyard as well as a new archive and international study centre. Public areas in the castle will be refurbished and enhanced including foyers, seminar and study rooms, rehearsal spaces and a restaurant.

The Dvořák Birth House, a museum dedicated to the Czech composer located across the village square from the castle, will be improved and made into a state state-of-the-art museum with added accommodation for visiting scholars and delegates.

New storage facilities will also be constructed for the Lobkowicz Collections, which is considered one of the most important private collections of fine and decorative arts, arms and armour, musical instruments and manuscripts in Europe.

William Lobkowicz said: “We see the Nelahozeves Castle project as a phoenix rising out of the ashes, with enormous potential to become an international centre for the history and culture of Central Europe. We want to build on our family’s role as enlightened patrons of the arts over many centuries and make these unique collections available to students, scholars and enthusiasts from all over the world.

“We are delighted to be working with Wright & Wright Architects who bring a wealth of experience in working with archives and historic buildings. Our ambition is to establish Nelahozeves Castle as one of the key international destinations for study, performance and cultural engagement over the next hundred years.”

The Lobkowicz Collections include approximately 1,500 paintings with notable works by Brueghel the Elder, Canaletto, Velázquez, Rubens and Cranach. It also contains a library of more than 65,000 volumes including a copy of Handel’s ‘Messiah’ annotated by Mozart. Other items it holds include an arms and armour collection, a porcelain collection and archives preserving the details of the Lobkowicz family from the 14th century onwards.

Image: House of Lobkowicz

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