About the castle

The history of the castle

The castle and the brewery have always belonged together…

In 1345 Cistercian monks from the monastery Hradiště based a farmyard where beer was produced in 16th century. The year 1564 is linked with the first mention of brewing beer in the brewery in Svijany. Brewing and pubs establishment increased financial income of a manor. In 1567 there was a division of property between Vartenberk sons and the place was named Svijany for the first time. In the same year building of Castle Svijany started and was finished after 11 years in 1578. 

After the death of the estate owner Jaroslav Vartenberk Jáchym Ondřej Šlik gained Svijany Castle and brewery. He let decorated the knights' hall in the west wing with the magnificent Renaissance paintings in the 20s of 17th century. They were then covered by a simple coating and were completely forgotten.

They were rediscovered during the reconstruction. The genuine paintings including painted coats of arms are now restored. In the eastern field was discovered a sign of a mother of Jáchym Ondřej Šlik Anne from Suneck. Towards the west follow signs of his wives, Anne of Kolowrat, Anne of Smiřice and Ursula from Oppersdorf. Jáchym Ondřej Šlik was the first of the 27 lords executed in 1621 on the Old Town Square and his remains were buried after a year.

After his death, in 1623 Albrecht of Valdštejn acquired the manor. Valdštejns were prolific businessmen and even the brewery prospered. The castle was rebuilt and structurally modified and the brewery was extended also. In 1820 the Svijany manor was bought by a Prince Karel Alain from Rohan family. During their reign the Castle became part of Sychrov manor and served as an administrative building and as accommodation of officials. 

For the first time the fate of the brewery and Castle diverge…

In 1892 a brewer Antonin Kratochvíle leased the brewery from Rohan family and in 1909 he bought it. Family dynasty Kratochvíle worked in the brewery until 1939, when intensive investments and the economic crisis led Antonin Kratochvíle younger to sell the brewery in an auction where it regained Prince Alain Rohan.

After 1945 the castle and brewery were confiscated and later nationalized. Castle premises were soon insensitively converted into flats of employees of the brewery. Since then, the castle gradually dilapidated. In 1990 state enterprise Pivovary Vratislavice nad Nisou was founded and Svijany became part of it. In 1997 Svijany became part of Pražské pivovary a.s. and Svijany brewery got into the sales crisis.

A change for the brewery came in 1998 when a company Pivovar Svijany, s.r.o. was established and became an owner of the brewery. Thanks to the hard work and faith in the traditional way of brewing beer better times followed. The credit for this success belongs to former brewer and director František Horák. The beer in Svijany is still brewed by mashing twice, the golden drink ferments in open vats and slowly matures in lagering cellars at low temperatures. That’s why the brewery belongs among the major employers in the region because there is still true that the best brewing is done by people. 

The brewery saves the castle at the right time and returns it to life

In 2013, Svijany Brewery acquired a decaying castle and decided to save it. With the help of a grant from the EEA and Norwegian funds the brewery was successful. Rare findings such as 3000 years old bronze pin or a secret passageway in the castle underground were discovered during the reconstruction and archaeological research. The Castle Svijany will open the doors to the public for the first time on Saturday, June 25, 2016. The visitors will see an archaeological exhibition, an exhibition about history of the castle, about history of brewing and spa, the underground, an old school and the old and the new chapel and more.  


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