Dietrichstein Gallery

The gallery is dedicated to this important Moravian noble family, members of which helped shape European history. Through the stories of its individual members it presents the history of the region. Pictures from the 17th-20th centuries are displayed, along with a portrait gallery of the major heads of the family and their children. The Dietrichsteins held court in Mikulov from 1575 until the end of the Second World War. The fortunes of the town of Mikulov were closely linked with their social, political, and economic power. The gallery includes exhibits on the history of the chateau, the town, and the Mikulov estate.



Burial garment belonging
to Margareta Francesca Lobkowicz, née Dietrichstein

The collection of historic costume from Bohemia and Moravia includes the very rare and extraordinarily well-preserved burial shroud from the coffin of Margareta Francesca Lobkowicz (? 1597-1617), laid to rest along with her husband Václav Vilém Lobkowicz (1592-1621) in the crypt of the parish church of St. Václav in Mikulov. The burial clothes of both were acquired in 2003 by the Regional Museum in Mikulov in relation to anthropological research on the remains of the pair, which was carried out by RNDr. Eva Drozdová. The shroud of Margareta Francesca was restored in 2005 by painter and professor Vendulka Otavská.
Margareta Francesca, daughter of Moravian Vice-Chamberlain Zikmund II, Count Dietrichstein and Joanna of the noble Verona family Scaliger, belonged to the third generation of Mikulov Dietrichsteins. Up to 1616 she is referred to as a courtier of Empress Anna, wife of Emperor Matyas. In February 1616 she was married, and a year later she died after giving birth to her first son.
The shroud of Margareta Francesca is an excellent example of female apparel from the early 17th century, and as such is a rarity in Europe as little has survived. Because of the short life of Margareta Francesca we can assume that the garment was made sometime around 1616. The ensemble consists of an ornate bodice and magnificent gown with hanging sleeves, made from hand-cut velvet. Both parts of the garment have a stiff collar supporting a refined lace collar. The sleeves of the bodice are decorated by delicate silk cuffs. Very few such ensembles have survived to this day. The ensemble is accompanied by a broad velvet skirt. Other parts of the burial costume include woven silk stockings, garters made of a strip of velvet material decorated with bobbin lace with tassels, ribbon shoelaces, and a pillow stuffed with long human hair. The clothes of Margareta Francesca represent the Spanish fashion of society's upper classes. These fashions can be found on many portraits from that era. They were prevalent at the court in Vienna, and as we can see with Margareta Francesca, Spanish fashions were worn by the Moravian nobility as well.



Romans and Germans in the Land Below the Pálava


This fine exposition won Museum Exhibit of the Year 2007
in the prestigious national museum competition Musaealis in 2008.

This fine exposition won Museum Exhibit of the Year 2007 in the prestigious national museum competition Musaealis in 2008.
The exposition Romans and Germans in the Land Below the Pálava, located in the chateau cellar, relates what archaeologists have discovered about life in Moravia during the first centuries AD. The first part shows the culture of the Romans, displaying objects from provincial Roman workshops, and items related to the presence of Roman legions in this area. Another part of the exhibit shows beneath-the-floor heating, or the hypocaustum. The second part of the exhibit shows findings that document the culture of the local inhabitants, the Germanic tribe of the Svebs at the time of the Roman presence here. An idealized reconstruction of a Germanic cottage includes everyday objects: pottery, bone combs, needles, clasps, etc. The manner in which the Germans buried their dead is related through the reconstruction of two graves, equipped with artifacts from the Mikulov burial grounds. Display cases contain typical items placed into the cremation graves, such as pottery, weapons, knives, clasps, and glass beads.
The highlight of the exposition is the unique set of finds from the grave of a 2nd-century Germanic chieftain that was uncovered in the 1980's near the village of Mušov. It is one of the richest gravesites ever found in this country, and contained numerous gilded belt buckles, weapons, and Roman bronze, glass, and ceramic vessels. The find is extraordinary for the presence of a great number of items of Roman origin, and at the same time documents the high level of Germanic craftsmanship.



From Gothic to Empire

This exhibit of applied arts displays objects of the highest quality: furniture, glass, porcelain, clocks, ceramics, silver - prepared in 1997 by the Moravian Gallery in Brno from its collections for the exhibit at the Regional Museum in the Mikulov chateau. The intention of the exhibit's creators was to use some of its most valuable and interesting museum pieces to present the history of lifestyle from Gothic through the beginning of the 19th century. Unlike the classic chateau exhibits, the aim of which is to create the illusion of a complete chateau interior, this museum exhibit endeavors to use individual objects d'art to characterize the stylistic vernacular of a given period. The progression of styles corresponds to the history of the chateau - from the Gothic castle to the Renaissance era of Cardinal Franz Dietrichstein, the age of Baroque and frequent visitor Empress Marie Theresa, to the Empire style popular during the age of Napoleon Bonaparte. The exhibit gives a representative picture of artistic craftsmanship and the development of fine living; it is enjoyed by the chateau's visitors, and is praised by schools for its educational quality.


Viticulture and Winemaking

The viticulture exhibit of the Regional Museum in Mikulov consists of three parts. First is the chateau cellar with its European rarity - a giant wine barrel dating from 1643. The second is a non-traditional installation entitled "Traditional Viticulture in Moravia", and the third is a gallery of historic wine presses. The exposition is located in the chateau's historic interiors, and connected in terms of theme, concept, and space.

The modern-style exposition entitled "Traditional Viticulture in Moravia"tells about the history of wine cultivation, and the production and sale of wine, from the first mention of the grape vine in Moravia, to the situation in viticulture and winemaking at the beginning of the 20th century. It demonstrates the traditional cultivation of grape vines and year-round work in the vineyard. It shows the pests that afflict the grape vine and the history of how they are fought. Tools for cultivating the land from the 19th century, and primitive early 20th-century equipment for chemical protection against pests, are also on display. The visitor will become acquainted with the mechanisms of various types of historical wine presses, and will learn about the traditional process of making wine. The exposition also presents the basic types of structures and vessels involved in winemaking, and explains some of the specific winemaking vocabulary used in the past, and mostly forgotten today. To give a better understanding of the organization of traditional work in the wine cellar, there is a replica of a press room from the 19th century.

The gallery of wooden wine presses is an archive of beautiful artifacts including nine complete historic wine presses and three other partial ones. All of the basic kinds of screw presses are present: presses with one, two, and three screws, presses with screws of wood and of steel, presses less than 70 cm high alongside enormous monsters of almost three meters. The oldest dates from 1797, the newest was made in 1937; there are specimens from South Moravia and Western Slovakia. Altogether in the Regional Museum there are 15 historic wine presses.


Giant Barrel

By far the oldest item in the viticulture collection of the Regional Museum is the Renaissance wine barrel from 1643. It was commissioned by the owner of the Mikulov estate, Prince Maximilian Dietrichstein (1596-1655), successor of Cardinal Franz Dietrichstein (1570-1636). The barrel was used to store wine collected as taxes from the peasants who rented the lord's vineyards.


Chateau Library

The library at the Mikulov chateau is one of the most important parts of the complex that was not destroyed by the fire in 1945. Aside from minor changes the library looks as it did in the 18th century, when it was converted from a Renaissance-era theater built during the time of Cardinal Franz Dietrichstein [(1527-1590)]. It is located in the Baroque building between two Gothic towers, by the entrance to the castle courtyards. Its historical areas consist of the so-called study hall and the large library hall. Here, on the original Baroque shelves from the early 18th century, stand over 11 thousand volumes comprising the Dietrichstein library and other books from the libraries of the nobility in Jaroslavice, Moravské Budějovice, and Plaveč.
The foundations of the original library were laid by Adam of Dietrichstein, the Emperor's ambassador to the Spanish court; the library was expanded by Cardinal Franz Dietrichstein (1570-1636), whose rise to power in Moravia allowed him to assemble one of the greatest libraries then existing in Europe. This library, containing more than 10,000 volumes, including many books confiscated from the libraries of the Protestant nobility, was looted by the Swedes in 1645.
The core of today's library consists of various libraries assembled by members of the Dietrichstein family through purchase or inheritance. The most important of these was the family library of the Protestant family Hoffman of Grünpichl. After the mid-18th century the library of the Pruskovský of Pruskov family was added, and in the late 19th century the library of Piarist school in Mikulov, including volumes on mathematics, geology, and astronomy belonging to Piarist father and professor of mathematics František Kassián Halaška. Although a number of books were sold by the Dietrichsteins in 1933 at auction abroad, the Mikulov chateau library is still a treasure. The exhibit in the library hall tells about the art of making books over the centuries, and presents some of the important writers whose works are found in the library.

Chateau library administrator:
Mgr. Miroslav Koudela, tel.: 519 309 022, 777 061 296, koudela@rmm.cz


Gallery of fine arts

The first part of the gallery features work by Rudolf Gajdoš (1908-1975) - a painter whose life and work were tied to Mikulov. In the former Hall of Ancestors, destroyed by fire at the end of the war, he painted his ceiling frescoes entitled Apotheosis of South Moravia; Gajdoš played an important part in the restoration of the chateau.

Another part of the gallery is devoted to painter Wenz Gröll (1889-1969), a native of the nearby village of Bavory; Gröll was a professor at the School of Applied Arts in Vienna. The works by Gröll exhibited here are from the peak of his artistic career during the 1920's, and capture the landscape below the Pálava Hills. This ensemble of pictures and drawings was donated to the Mikulov musuem by his granddaughter as a contribution to mutual understanding and friendship between the Czech and Austrian nations living in this region.

A unique feature of this museum is the exposition Dílna (Workshop), consisting of pictures and sculptures from the annual Mikulov art symposium held at Mikulov chateau since 1994. The exposition represents one of the highest-quality collections of contemporary art in the Czech Republic. http://www.artmikulov.cz

© Regionální muzeum v Mikulově 2008