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2022-01-20

Kunětická hora Castle

Kunětická hora is a dominant point in the Polabí Region in eastern Bohemia. The settlement of the Middle and Late Bronze Age and Early Iron Age is there well documented. The large castle was standing on Kunětická hora as early as the 2nd half of the 14th century. The castle area included a palace and a prism-shaped tower, then inhabited, in the western part. A written medievals records of the castle were not found.

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 Since 1421, the castle was one of the important strategic strongholds of the Hussites. After the conquest of the Opatovice Monastery, the castle was taken by the Hussite commander Diviš Bořek of Miletínek, a radical Orebite, who later joined the moderate faction. Until 1423, he rebuilt Kunětická hora into the typical  Hussite castle, with large and well fortified front area, as a winter camp for the troops. After the death of Diviš Bořek in 1437, the vast domain gradually broke up. Kunětická hora was inherited by Soběslav Mrzák of Miletínek. King George Podiebrad, received the castle after 1464. The Hussite King had three sons, and after 1471, Kunětická hora was inherited by one of them, Henry the Elder. In 1491, when Henry sold the castle together with Pardubice and surrounding land to William of Pernstein.

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During the reign of William and his sons Adalbert and John between 1491 and 1548, the major reconstruction of the castle occurred. In several stages of rebuilding, the residential parts of the castle gradually turned into a chateau. The courtyard with the cylindrical tower was fitted with a portal built in 1509, an important proof of the early Pernstein renaissance. During the reign of William and his sons, main halls on the first and second floor of the Southern and Western wing were built, as well as representative halls of the northern wing, with large windows. The palace was separated from the courtyard by a deep trench with a drawbridge. 

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In 1560, Jaroslav of Pernstein sold the domain, deep in debt, to the royal chamber. In 1645, the half-empty castle was conquered by the Swedish troops led by General Linhart Torstenson. The castle, plundered and burned down, decayed quickly, and its downfall was accelerated by the mining of the stones. In 1917, the Museum Club, based in Pardubice, rented the castle, and then bought it in 1919. In 1923, the renovation of the castle started, based on the project by Dušan Jurkovič and architect Pacl. In 1953, the castle was taken over by the state. The public access was restored in 1993.

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