The Mikulov Chateau
From Gothic to Empire
The exposition was created in 1997 by the Moravian Gallery in Brno from the material that they collected for the exhibition halls at the Regional Museum in Mikulov. The creators of the exhibition wanted to illustrate the changes in life style in the time between the Gothic and Empire. The exhibition consists of the most valuable and interesting items, from the Gothic period to the beginning of the 19th century. Unlike classical palace installations that are designed to create an illusion of a complete interior of the chateau, this exhibition is a museum concept, highlighting various art objects that characterize the artistic style of the given period. The stylistic span of the exposition is connected to the history of the Mikulov castle and shows the most interesting periods in its history, such as the Renaissance period of Cardinal Franz Dietrichstein, the Baroque period with frequent visits of Maria Teresia, and the Napoleon Bonaparte's stay in Mikulov. The exhibition is a representative image of various crafts and housing development. It is well acknowledged by the public and often visited by schools for its educational qualities.
The Dietrichstein Gallery
The gallery shows the members of this important Moravian aristocratic family. Some of them had a remarkable influence on the society and the region. The Dietrichsteins lived in Mikulov from 1570 until the end of World War II. The development as well as the decline of the town was always closely connected with their social, political and economic achievements. The exhibition shows various paintings from the period between the 17th and the 20th centurty, that represent a complete portrait collection of the aristocrats and their children. It also contains items that are related to the history of the chateau, the town and the estate of Mikulov. A unique female renaissance gawn, that belonged to Margaretha Francisca Lobkowicz, born Dietrichstein, is a valuable part of the exhibition.
A unique female renaissance gawn, that belonged to Margaretha Francisca Lobkowicz, born Dietrichstein, is a valuable part of the exhibition.
The collection of historical clothing in Bohemia and Moravia was enriched by a very unique and exceptionally well-preserved relic, the burial dress of Margaretha Francisca Lobkowicz (?1597-1617), who was buried in the crypt of the parish church of St. Wenceslas in Mikulov. Her husband, Václav Vilém Popel Lobkowicz (1592-1621), was buried at her side four years later.
The burial dresses of both spouses were acquired in 2003 by the Regional Museum in Mikulov during the anthropological research of the skeletal remains of both spouses carried out by RNDr. Eva Drozdová. The dress of Margaretha Francisca was restored by Vendulka Otavská, an academic painter, in 2005.
Margaretha Francisca, whose father was Sigismund II., the Count Dietrichstein and the Moravian Sub-chamberlain, and whose mother was Johanna Scaligeri of Verona, belonged to the third generation of the Dietrichsteins in Mikulov. Until 1616, she was mentioned as a court lady of Empress Anna, the wife of Matthias, the Holy Roman Emperor. In February 1616, she got married and died a year later, after giving birth to her first son. The dress of Margaretha Francisca is an excellent example of women's clothing of the early 17th century. Similar dresses are very rare in Europe. Because of Margaretha Francisca's short life, we can assume, that the dress was made around 1616. The set consists of a well-sewn bodice and a spectacular representative gawn with hanging sleeves, called "ropa". It is made of hand-cut velvet. Both parts of the garment have solid collars that support a refined lace collar. The sleeves of the bodice are decorated with fine silk cuffs. All these items are well-preserved, which is rather an exception. The set also includes a wide velvet skirt. Further funeral equipment consists of knitted silk stockings, a suspender made of silk fabric stripes and decorated with bobbin lace with crimsons, shoes with bound laces, and a pillow filled with long human hair. Margaretha Francisca's dress represents the fashion of the Spanish upper-class. Such fashion is depicted in various portraits originating from this period. It mainly prevailed in the Court of Vienna, and as we can see with Margaretha Francisca, Spanish fashion also influence the dressing style of the Moravian nobility.
In 2009, the some newly restored items were added to the exposition. A late Gothic cross, a woodcutting from the turn of the 16th and 17th century, belonged to the equippment of the Chateau Chapel. Now, it is placed in a hall, which is dedicated to Cardinal Franz of Dietrichstein. We believe, that the cross was bought by him and donated to the chapel.
The rococo female dress, in which Maria Anna Josepha of Dietrichstein was buried, is stored in a small room made in strong renaissance chateau walls, because constant temperature, humidity and minimum illumination must be maintained to protect and preserve the dress. The dress is made of silk in the French style of the 1860s: a narrow bodice with a deep neckline and narrow three-quarter sleeves, and a wide skirt. The preserver, Vendulka Otavská, was very surprised that the dress had remained in a very good condition. Maria's little shoes with textile upper are displayed together with the dress.
Desire and Dignity / From the Dietrichstein Family Collections
Collector's hobbies of the Dietrichstein Mikulov throughout the centuries
The new exposition will introduce one of the spheres of personal life of the Dietrichstein family through various collector's hobbies or passions, professional interests and desires of individual members. The preserved part of the various collections - the result of the collecting efforts of art lovers, history admiring or naturally based family members - proves that the ancient Dietrichstein family has always been one of the leaders of an educated and cultivated aristocratic society.
The Chateau Library
The Chateau Library is one of the most prestigious and preserved collections in the Mikulov Chateau that were not destroyed by a fire in 1945. The library has kept its 18th century character. It is located in the Baroque building, surrounded by two Gothic towers, in the Entrance Wing of the Chateau. Originally it consisted of a study room and a large library hall. The original Baroque cabinets of the 1st half of the 18th century keep more than 11,000 books of both the Dietrichstein family library and from aristocratic libraries in Jaroslavice, Moravské Budějovice and Plaveč. The foundation of the library was laid by Adam of Dietrichstein (1527–1590), the Emperor's envoy in the Spanish court, and the library was then expanded by Cardinal Franz of Dietrichstein (1570–1636), whose promotion to the Governor of Moravia enabled him to collect many books and make it one of the largest European libraries of his time. This library (about 10,000 volumes) was later enriched with numerous confiscations of various protestant libraries. Unfortunately, it was stolen by the Swedish Army in 1645. The today's collection is made from various family libraries that the Ditrichsteins had gained by purchase or inheritance. The most important from those is the library of the protestant family Hoffman of Grunpichl. After the middle of the 18th century, the Pruskovský of Pruskov family library was incorporated into the fund. In the middle of the 19th century, the book fund of the Piarist Grammar School in Mikulov was added to the chateau library. The most valuable pieces of literature are books on mathematics, geology and astronomy that were written by a Piarist monk and a mathematics professor, Franz Cassian Hallaschka.
Despite the fact that a number of books were sold by the Dietrichsteins to foreign auctions during 1933, the library still belongs to the most valuable collections of the Mikulov Chateau. After decades, the library was opened to the public on the 18 May 2000 as a part of a guided tour. The exhibition in the Library Hall will show you the art of book making in particular historical periods. It will also tell you about the most significant writers represented by their works.
Cellar with giant barrel
The oldest collection item in the viticulture collection of the Regional Museum is undoubtedly a giant wine barrel from 1643. The barrel was built on demand of the Prince Maximilian of Dietrichstein (1596 - 1655) who governed the Mikulov Estate after Cardinal Franz Dietrichstein (1570-1636). The barrel was made to hold the wine, collected from local winemakers as a form of taxation. The tax was imposed on winemakers who were renting their vineyards from Maximilian.
- Length: 6,2 meters
- Largest diameter: 5,2 meters
- Smallest diameter: 4,5 meters
- Weight: 26,1 tons
- Content - meassured previously: 1736 buckets and 9 masses, 1010 hectoliters 81 liters (101,081 liters) in modern units
- Content - after new measurements: 1014 hectoliters (101,400 liters)
- Number of hoops: 22
- Weight of one hoop: 390 kg
Traditions in Moravian viticulture
The first part of the new viticulture exposition "Traditions in Moravian Viticulture" was opened in 2000. The visitors can learn about the history of vine growing, wine making and wine selling in historical periods from the Middle Ages to the 20th century. A colourful chart shows how the vine-growing areas varied in the past. The exhibition explains how people traditionally grew vine and demonstrates the year-round work in the vineyard. It also explains the traditional way of pruning and pays attention to one of the most important tool of a vine grower - the pruning knife. Vine pests are mentioned, too, as well as various ways to eradicate them.
Visitors can see the 19th century tools used to cultivate soil in vineyards and a simple apparatus to chemically fight pests from the beginning of the 20th century. Besides that, visitors have the opportunity to become familiar with the function of various types of wine presses, such as the log press and the spindle press, and learn about the traditional ways of wine production. The exhibition also shows basic types of various constructions and tools used in wine making, for example wine-holding vessels, and explains specific expressions, names and meassurements that have been almost forgotten. One of the exhibiton rooms is equipped as a press shop from the 19th century to provide an idea how wine was made in the past.
Gallery of Wine Presses
In April 2004, a second part of the new exposition was opened in the next room and a gallery of wooden wine presses was established there. We exhibit nine complete historical presses and three wine press fragments. All basic types of spindle presses, such as single, two or three spindle presses, presses with wooden and steel spindles, small presses (less than 70 cm), as well as giant presses (almost 3m high), can be seen here. The oldest one dates back to 1797, the youngest was made in 1937. They originate from South Moravia and West Slovakia. In total, 15 historic wine presses can be seen in the Regional Museum.h lisů.
The Romans and the Germans in the Region Under Pálava
In 2008, the exhibition received the Gloria Musaelis Award, the highest award in the "Museum Exhibition Of The Year 2007" competition.
The exhibiton "The Romans and Germans in the Region Under Pálava" is located in the cellars of the chateau, that were previously not accessible to the public, and shows the life in Moravia in the first centuries after Christ, based on archaeological findings.
Its first part shows various products of Roman workshops, that illustrate the Roman culture. Various items found in former Roman military camps in this area, are presented, too. This part of the exhibition also shows a reconstructed underfloor heating - the so called "hypocaust".
The second part presents findings that document the culture of the local population, the Germanic tribe Suebis, who lived on this territory during times of the Roman occupation. Various objects of everyday needs, such as ceramic vessels, bone combs, needles, buckles, and more are shown as a part of an idealized reconstruction of a Suebi cottage, or in the numerous showcases. Two reconstructed graves with burial artifacts found in Mikulov burial grounds show how the Germans buried their dead. The showcases hold typical items that were usually placed into urn graves, such as pottery, weapons, knives, buckles, glass beads, and others.
The highlight of the whole exhibition is a display of a unique set of findings from the tomb of the German Prince, who probably lived in the 2nd century after Christ. The tomb was discovered near the Mušov village in the 1980s. The grave is one of the richest grave findings in our country. It contained a variety of gilded belt fittings, weapons, and Roman vessels made of bronze, glass and ceramics. It is exceptional not just for the quantity of Roman objects found inside, but also for the high quality of the German items which prove the high level of the German craftsmen.
The Wine Through the Centuries
The new viticulture exposition "Wine Through the Centuries" in the Regional Museum Mikulov was opened on the 1 June 2012. It was created by Praga Mystica, s.r.o., with the financial support of the South Moravian Region and the Viticultural Fund of the Czech Republic.
The exhibition, unusual with its artistic concept, collects the history and development of viticulture in this area in the context of the European history. A breathtaking atmosphere, with wine and history fragrance, is created with sensitive lighting and contemporary music. In the newly reconstructed and previously inaccessible rooms of the former Baroque Chateau horse stables, the visitors explore views of different times and countries where wine played an important role. The exhibition will take you into a Romanesque cellar, a Gothic chapel, a Renaissance labyrinth or a Baroque theater, and gives you easily comprehensible information rich in graphics. Several film screenings will describe the viticulture and winemaking in various historical periods. You can also enjoy an interactive bicycle ride through a wine route which is started, when they actually start pedalling the installed bicycle. Among the displayed exhibits, there are rare originals from Moravia and Bohemia as well as perfect replicas of various topical collection items. The oldest exhibit is the 18 million years old typolite of the Teutonic vine, which was borrowed from the National Museum in Prague.
The authors of the exhibition did not forget about children and visitors with disabilities, who can use various interactive and tactile elements. The exhibition space is wheelchair-accessible.
The Chateau Chapel
The Chapel of Our Lady and St. John the Evangelist is located in the first floor of the cylindrical Chateau Tower. The tower's diameter is 9 metres and the walls are 1.5 metres wide. The chapel has an octagonal ground plan, its interior space is about 7.5 metres and the vault height is over 9 metres. The chapel is vaulted with an eight-piece ribbed vault. The ribs run out of consoles that are decorated with tiny, richly curled leaves, sometimes even with grapes. The height of the brackets above the existing floor exceeds 5 metres. The ribs of the vault converge in a key-stone on which a relief in the form of Christ's head is placed. The Chateau Chapel is illuminated by a high neogothic window with a tracery, built in the 19th century. The glass is painted with a picture of Madonna with a Child in its left part and St. Joseph in its right part. At the bottom left part, the Dietrichstein Coat-of-Arms is shown. You can enter the chapel through a small portal with an iron-plated door, reinforced with diagonally placed iron belts. Today's appearance of the Mikulov Chateau chapel is the result of a neo-gothic renovation, dating back to 1871 as stated on the stone plate on one of the chapel walls.
Exhibitions at the Mikulov Chateau