Malaysian Royal Fund buys historic Czech chateau and promises major renovation

The new owners of Protivín Chateau want to create a hotel while opening part of the house and adjacent gardens to the public through major investments.

William Nattrass

Written by William Nattrass Published on 08.09.2021 20:00:00 (updated on 08.09.2021) Reading time: 2 minutes

A historic South Bohemian chateau is set for a major transformation after being acquired by the Malaysian Royal Fund. An investment of around half a billion crowns in anticipated, with renovations set to conclude by 2023.

The new owners of Protivín Chateau aim to open parts of the building and its surrounding parks in the first half of next year, making a building once owned by Charles IV newly accessible to public visitors.

The core of Protivín Chateau is Gothic, but the four-winged, two-storey Chateau was rebuilt during the Renaissance and Baroque eras. The mixture of architectural styles includes two Rococo rooms, a princess’s bedroom, and a great hall with a fireplace. The Chateau gardens cover over seven hectares. The first written mention of a castle on the site was in 1282. In 1334, it became the property of the Luxembourg family of King Charles IV. Over the following centuries it passed through the hands of the Pernštejn family and the Schwarzenbergs.

During the First Republic, a hotel was established at the Chateau for summer guests. This historical usage is reflected in plans put forward by the Malaysian Royal Fund, which hopes to establish a hotel at the site while creating accommodation, educational and representative spaces for the owners. The Fund bought Protivín Chateau for CZK 100 million as part of a global investment program.

“We selected Protivín Chateau from many buildings throughout the Czech Republic. We were primarily seeking a building typical of the Czech lands, with a history of connection to important Czech monarchs and families,” said project architect Věra Nagyová from Atelier Arch.IC.

Extensive renovation works at the Chateau will see the area surrounded by an English-style park, while the building’s historic cellars featuring barrel vaults will be rejuvenated. Works are being undertaken in consultation with local conservationists, and aim to return the Chateau to the style implemented by the original architects. The Chateau and its adjacent buildings are protected as a cultural monument.

It is hoped that the new investment will see public interest in the Chateau spring to life. With the building suffering from a lack of investment and a deteriorating state over the last three decades, the opening of the complex and the creation of a hotel could bring a new economic lease of life to the area.

“The Chateau was closed for many years. Repairs, including the creation of accommodation, has far-reaching plus points for us. We will be able to welcome long-term visitors, who were previously missing. About 110,000 people visit Protivín every year, but until now they left us and took the economic pie elsewhere. Now, tourists will be able to sleep here too,” said Protivín Mayor Jaromír Hlaváč.

The investment from the Malaysian Royal Fund means Czech and foreign visitors can soon plan a visit to Protivín Chateau, taking in its architectural beauty and historical significance, as a key cultural site in the Czech Republic.

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