History of the chateau

The chateau and the brewery have always belonged together…

 

In 1345 the Cistercian monks from the Hradiště monastery founded a farmyard, where beer was brewed in the 16th century. The year 1564 is associated with the first mention of beer brewing in Svijany. Beer brewing and pubs increased the income of the manor. In 1567 the property was divided among the sons of Vartemberk and the property was first mentioned as a Svijan mansion. In the same year, the construction of the chateau in Svijany began. 11 years later, in 1578 the chateau was competed. After the death of the owner of the property, Jaroslav of Vartemberk, Ondřej Šlik acquired Svijany mansion along with the brewery. In the 1620s the Knight's Hall in the west wing was decorated with beautiful Renaissance paintings. Later, however, they were covered with simple paint and were only rediscovered during the recent renovation. The original Šlik paintings as well as the painted coat of arms have been restored. The symbol of Jáchym Ondřej Šlik's mother, Anna of Suneck, has been discovered in the eastern part. Towards the west there are symbols of his wives, Anna of Kolowraty, Anna of Smiřice and Voršila of Oppersdorf. In the first field, there was originally the symbol of Jáchym Ondřej Šlik, however, it was removed when the Knight's Hall was rebuilt into the chapel of st. John and Paul in 1768.

Jáchym Ondřej Šlik was the first of 27 Protestant noblemen executed in 1621 during the mass execution on the Old Town Square. He was beheaded and his hand was cut off. One year after the execution, his remains were finally buried.

After his death in 1623, the manor was acquired by Albrecht of Waldstein. The Waldsteins were proficient traders and also the brewery was successful and profitable during their ownership. The chateau was rebuilt and the brewery was extended. In 1820 Lord Karel Alain of the noble family of Rohan bought the Svijany manor, the chateau and also the brewery. The chateau became a part of the Sychrov manor and served as the seat of the nobility office and for the accommodation of officials.

 

For the first time, the paths of the brewery and the chateau diverged

 

In 1892 the brewer Antonín Kratochvíle rented the brewery from the Rohan family and in 1909 he even bought it from Alain Rohan. The Kratochvíl family dynasty was active in the Svijany brewery until 1939, when demanding investments and the fatal consequences of the economic crisis led Antonín Kratochvíl jr. to auction the brewery, and it was again acquired by Alain Rohan.

After the year 1945, the chateau and brewery were confiscated and later nationalized. The chateau premises were soon insensitively rebuilt into employee flats of the local brewery. The chateau was gradually dilapidating. In 1990, the state enterprise Pivovary Vratislavice nad Nisou was founded, which also included the entire complex. In 1997 it became a part of Pražské pivovary, a joint-stock company. Svijany Brewery got into a sales crisis and was in danger of closure.

A miraculous change came in 1998.  Pivovar Svijany, s.r.o. was established and became the new owner of the brewery. Thanks to the hard work and belief in the traditional way of brewing beer, the brewery business began to take off. Much of the credit for bringing back the fame and success of the brewery goes to the former brewmaster and later the director - František Horák. In Svijany, the beer is still brewed in two mashes. It is fermented in open vats in fermentation tanks, and it matures slowly in lager cellars at low temperatures. The brewery is one of the major employers in the region - as we believe that the best brewing work is done by people.                                                                                          

The brewery saved the chateau at the right time and brought it back to life

 

In 2013, the Svijany Brewery decided to buy the dilapidated chateau and repair it. Thanks to the contribution of an EEA grant and Norwegian Funds, the idea succeeded and the chateau finally underwent a modern renovation. During the renovation and the related archaeological survey, valuable discoveries were made such as a 3,000-year-old bronze pin and a secret passage in the underground area of the chateau. Chateau Svijany is now open to the public. All visitors of the chateau can see the exhibitions dedicated to archaeology, the history of the chateau and its surroundings, brewing and balneology or visit the underground and both the old and new chateau chapels.

 

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