In my humble opinion Vranov nad Dyji is one of the most impressive chateau I’ve seen so far. It emerges on the hill making itself visible from the city. Beautiful and spectacular. View that remains in memory for a long time.
ONLY BY CAR
As far as I know getting there by public transport from Brno is quite a challenge. Train goes only to Sumna city remoted 8 kilometres from Vranov nad Dyji . To make it even worse, it takes about 3 hours with 1 or 2 changes to get there. I’m unfortunately not aware of any transportation from Sumna to Vranov, but I’m guessing that a bus runs there. Based on the information posted on the chateau’s official website, there is a shortcut(6 km) through the Switzerland valley. So if you’re fond of strolls, just keep walking. In addition, during July and August transportation between chateau and Vranov reservoir is provided.
UPDATE: There’s a connection between Znojmo and Vranov nad Dyji. So it’s also an option. First go to Znojmo, then Vranov. It’s Bus 108 from Brno UAN Zvonarsk to Znojmo aut. nadr. (bus station), the final stop in Vranov nad Dyji is called Vranov n.Dyjí,,nám. Bus number: 816.
WHICH WAY THEN?
Definitely, the fastest and easiest means of transport is your own car, just fuel the tank, grab some friends and fasten your seat belts. You should pass Rajhrad, Pohorelice and Znojmo on your way. It’s only about 20 km from Znojmo and around 100 km’s from Brno, depending where you live.
LOVE IS IN THE AIR
Before we went to the chateau, we dropped by an observation view point located on the road about 1,5 km from the chateau, there’s so-called love bridge, where people put locks in order to show the infinity of their love. Romantic as the view itself. It’s a good point to start your trip, gaze on the chateau for a while from afar and imagine how it looked like in XVII century. You can also climb a bit higher to the nearby hill, I bet the view is even more breathtaking.
Parking directly at the chateau is prohibited, therefore we parked in the city centre and follow yellow path for 1 km. It goes next to the river then turns right and goes straight to the forest. If you feel like walking and sightseeing a bit more, you can choose the yellow trail in the opposite direction for 4,5 km. It goes around the city, through forest and then at the main entrance of the chateau.
UPDATE: You can also choose the blue path from the Komenskeho stezka, this way is faster. It takes around 20 minutes to go on top.
Once you reach your destination, there’re three tours to choose from: interiors, garden and chapel. We went on interior tour that last about 70 minutes. During that time we heard essential information about chateau’s history and families that occupied this place through the ages. We moved swiftly from chamber to chamber, from one dining room to another and from the eastern wing to the western or southern corridor.
Our tour started at the Hall of Ancestors, which overwhelms by its magnitude. Vivid fresco painted by J.M. Rottmayr decorates the ceiling, allegorical theme so popular for baroque style, also got its place there. Huge statues of key representatives of the chateau looked down on us. I can imagine that this void and cold space today, was full with eminent people in XVII or XVIII century.
Through Entrance Hall we moved to Pignatelli’s bedroom and great dining room. Walls were covered with linen wallpaper, each embellished with different patterns-predominant motive here was flowers and nature. In the southern wing rooms like formal salon, blue salon, oriental salon, embroidery room or bathroom were placed. All were covered with wallpaper, but each was kept in a slightly different style, depending on the owner of the room The most interesting for me were the bathroom and respirium.
MORE ROOMS TO GO
The bathroom was situated between rooms with a spherical bath in the middle of the room, and respirium- a place where people rest after a bath. There was nothing else than a fireplace, small bench and painting of Edward Adam Stadnicki wearing the traditional costume of the Polish aristocracy. The last part of the tour took us to the west wing showing the gentleman’s salon, Swiss rooms, a picture gallery, Stanisław Mniszek’s study and library. I especially liked the décor of the Swiss rooms, which originally served as a guest room. There’re paintings of the mountains and beautiful natural landscapes. The place in the central part of the room was designated for a vase presenting a Dionysian feast.
The merit content of the tour is so immense that it’s quite impossible to remember everything, but if you want to check out any information you missed from the tour then Chateau’s official website is prepared perfectly for such situations. It’s loaded with information, beginning with history to elaborate descriptions from the tour. I think it’s a bit strange, because tourists, who are interested in history can gather all the necessary information on the website, they don’t even have to visit Vranov Nad Dyji. What’s more Chateau’s website contains panoramic photos of the interiors as well as other illustrations. The truth is that photos don’t bring out the beauty of the place and you must see it with your own eyes if you want to feel the atmosphere of this baroque chateau.
Tours are mainly organized in the Czech language, however, description in a foreign language is provided if necessary. As a matter of fact, you may not have the time to read it all and observe at the same time, as everything is happening so fast. 70 minutes seem really long, but it’s not much if you really want to look closely at every detail. Maybe an individual tour is an option?
Besides the chateau, there is Vranov reservoir several kilometres by the city. I think the season starts in mid-May or June because during our visit it was still empty. But definitely in the summer people from neighbouring cities can benefit from it, as there’re many restaurants, points of fast food, cafes or ice cream shops. It’s a good place to relax, sunbathe or swim. There’s “beach”, indeed without sand, but the still a perfect place to spend a sunny Sunday on. Similarly to Prehrada reservoir in Brno, ferry boat is offered here.
I think it’s a good idea to stay a night and spend a weekend in the region, visiting Znojmo as well. You can stay in Vranov directly or find something in Znojmo. Don’t forget to grab an amazing local South Moravian wine.