9A Fairytale History

A Fairytale History

We will visit the usually inaccessible castle and park complex. A guide will tell us stories about the 19th Century period in Gorzanów, its Herberstein residents and the creator of the courtyard theater, Karl von Holtei. Subsequently we will be able to create our own version of the history of the castle and paint related illustrations that will be presented at an exhibition in the castle interiors. Besides that, we will have an opportunity to prepare – based on information regarding Karl von Holtei and his theater – our own theatrical scenes and play them on stage.

Pałac Gorzanów (The Gorzanów Palace)
  • ul. Podzamcze 8
  • 57-521 Gorzanów
How to get there?
How to get there (map)?

Where do you look?

The origins of Gorzanów are dated back to the 12th Century when the castle, that was later in the 15th Century during the Silesian War with the Czech King Jiří from Poděbrady destroyed, was still at that time located there. It is considered to be one of the most precious and largest complexes of historical sights preserved in the area of the Kladsko basin. The renaissance layout of the palace at that time was still in the Bohemian Period and was ordered by Count Johann Friedrich von Herberstein to be reconstructed into the Baroque style during 1653–1657. The Herbersteins lived there until the end of 1930. The castle and park complex were owned by the municipality until 1997. Since then, after it had been sold to private owners, until the year 2012, it had only been actively falling apart, until it finally became the property of the Gorzanów Palace Foundation. Since then, building, reconstruction and restoration projects have been underway. The part of the palace with its beautifully reconstructed wooden courtyard theater will be handed over for usage in 2018.

The House of Herberstein belongs among the old aristocratic families originating in eastern Styria. Members of the House were not only civil servants in state administration, but also in the army and the church for centuries. The Silesian line of the House initiated around the year 1600 by Baron Johann Bernhard, the holder von Herberstein. Karl von Holtei was a German writer, author of theatrical plays, reciter and theatrical director. He was the director of the castle theater for twelve seasons.

The castle experienced a cultural flourish in the first half of the 19th Century. Under the government of Johann Hieronym Herberstein, a courtyard theater was built in the northern wing of the castle and attracted viewers from near and far. At first, the manager of the theater was the Kladsko native actor Karl Seydelmann, and from 1843 Karl von Holtei, a script editor and poet, took over the management. The cultural tradition declined after Johann’s death, and it was restored only at the beginning of the 20th Century, when then it was once again interrupted by war.

Did you know that?

… among the identifiable busts that fill the individual arches of the vaults of the Gorzanów castle is the bust of Jiří from Poděbrady?