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10.06.2009 - Eduardo Lichnowsky visits Czech Republic

After my two day stay in Prague I got the Pendolino Train at the main station and went straight to Hradec nad Moravici, in Silesia. That is where the castle of Gratz is located and it's the last place my family was living before moving to Brazil. Since I lost the train I was scheduled to travel with, I got there one our later and didn't meet Mr Karel Hanak , the vice-mayor who was kindly waiting me at the station with Mr Martin Sosna. I was lucky enough and I met local reporter and journalist Mrs Lenka Misicková who, together with her father, showed me the way to my hotel (it was late at night and raining). After a beer and good dinner at the Turistika Ubtovani where I could mingle with the local citizens I went to sleep.


Nice view from the forest at Hradec. The White building is part of the castle complex.

Hradec is a very beautiful city and is surronded by a big forest park (one of the biggest in Czech Republic) which is part of the castle complex. There are two main buildings from the Lichnowsky family in the town, Gratz, which they call White Castle, and next to it Carl Lichnowsky (5th Prince) built a neo-gothic style building that they call Red Castle (photo below) and which is a Hotel and Restaurant nowadays.

Red Castle

There were many activities happening in the city during my stay and I enjoyed a sculpture competition, where students were working hard on big stones for two or three days. I also visited an expositon by Jan Saudek, he is a famous photographer and painter from Prague and I liked his work and was happy to see that modern works of art are still being exposed in Hradec. The exposition was orginized by the Mayor of Hradec, Mr Karel Valusek, and there I met with many of the citizens of the city, including his son.

White Castle - Gratz


I also visited the Museum (White Castle) where I was in contact with all the beautiful things that my ancestors have collected through many years (centuries) during their many trips, as well as antiques, hunting weapons and modern works of art from the collection of Karl and Mechtilde Lichnowsky. I was treated in the most kind way by the guides from the Museum who patiently gave me informations in German and English.


I was also at the Beethoven competition were I luckily met with Pianist Renata Ardasevova who was participating in the event with her students. She showed me the premisses, explanied me how the competition works and introduced me to Professor Eduard Grach from the Tchaikovsky Moscow State Conservatoire, who is also the Soloist of the Moscow Phillarmonic.

I have to mention that I received support from the local people of Hradec, and Mr Hannak not only helped me a lot to organize my stay but also arranged accomodations for me at the Zameca Hotel and invited me for a splendid barbacue in his house. He also took me to vistit Ostrava where we met the Deputy for the Governor of the region and to Radun where I visited a castle (museum) and met Dr Eva Kolárová, the director of the museum and curator of the White Museum (in Hradec) as well. We had coffee and she showed me photos of my grandfather in Oxford, which I had never seen before.


______Barbecue with Mr Hanak__

Mr Martin Sosna and his family were also very helpful, they took me to visit Opava, helped me to get internet connection, and were always available to help and inform me of the best activities happening in the region. Together with Mr Hanák he took me for a sightseeing trip and lunch, and they made my stay in Hradec unforgetablle. Mr Jaroslav Ponca, manager from the Cerveny Zamek Hotel also contributed and received me at the hotel with a warm hart and many gifts.


With Mr Martin Sosna

From Hradec I also visited Chuchelna were I had a toast with the Mayor Mr Josef Kubny and met local authorities, professors and historians. After some interviews for local newspapers and TV we went to visit the Castle of Chuchelna which was bought by my family in the 15th century. I also visited and met the mayors of Hat, Mr Pavel Kotlár (photo below), Lichnov, Mrs Marta Otisková and Silherovice, Mr Martin Cechácek, where I visited the Castle that once belonged to the powerful Rothchild family.

Visiting Chuchelna with  the Mayor of Hat, Mr Pavel Kotlás
______With the Mayor of Lichnov, Mrs Marta Otisiková_________Karl Max Lichnowsky and his father Carl were buried here

Visiting Chuchelna with  the Mayor of Hat, Mr Pavel Kotlás
______Church built by the Lichnowsky's in Hradec ________Red Castle was built in the end of the 19th century by Carl Lichnowsky

My visit to the Czech Republic was long, and I will comment about other cities I visited like Oloumuc and Prague in another article, but before I finish this one, I would like to say that I loved this country and its people.

Eduardo

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