ABOUT THE VENUE
Kostelec nad Černými lesy
Although the area of today's town was colonized already in the first half of the 13th century, the first written report on the village, the castle and the estate of Kostelec is only in the document from 1344, in which Jan Jindřich confirms the agreement concluded in 1325 about the exchange of the castle for the castle in Náchod. According to the legend, however, there was already a pre-Romanesque church founded by st. Vojtěch.
On the site of today's castle, a Gothic castle was built at the beginning of the 14th century at the latest, from which the cellars under the northwestern castle wing, barbecue masonry, and the portal walled in one of the pre-castle buildings were preserved. Until 1325, there was no written mention of the existence of the castle, most likely a royal castle. In 1547, Kostelec was confiscated from Košumberk nobility for their participation in the anti-Habsburg uprising, and Archduke Ferdinand Habsburg became the castle owner. He used it as a favorite hunting lodge.
In 1549 the castle burnt down and its renovation in the Renaissance style was commissioned by the Italian builder Hans Tyrol. During the rebuilding, the old Gothic buildings of the palace were demolished and the former defensive barbican was adapted for new economic purposes. In 1558, Archduke Ferdinand Habsburg sold Kostelec to Jaroslav Smiřický from Smiřice, who chose the chateau as the new main headquarters. The Italian builder Ulrico Aostalli completed the rebuilding of the chateau in the style of the Italian castelles, and thus incorporated the characteristic circular towers into its corner. According to the heraldic plate of Jaroslav Smiřický and his wife Kateřina of Hazmburg, preserved at the barbican, the reconstruction of the pre-castle area (entry, offices, stables, warehouses) was completed in 1561. At the turn of the 1960s and 70s, the Renaissance church of St. George was built on the site of the old Gothic (Romanesque?) Chapel of st. Vojtěch, connected with the castle covered by a bridge with three arcs. After the death of the last male descendant of the family, Albrecht Jan Smiřický, in 1618, the estate was transferred to the female lineage of the family, Markéta Salomén. After the Battle of the White Mountain, Markéta, as Queen Anne Falck's court lady, flees the country, and Albrecht of Valdštejn gains a church estate. He quickly sold it to Charles Eusebius from Liechtenstein in 1623.
During the Thirty Years' War, the chateau and the entire estate suffered from frequent passages, campaigns and long-term accommodation of imperial, Saxon and Swedish troops, associated with looting, devastation, and violence. After the end of the war, the estate was totally or mostly devastated, and two thirds of the fields were uncultivated. There were also considerable damage to the chateau buildings. After the death of Maria Theresa of Savoy in 1772, the estate of Franz Josef Josef Jan of Lichtenstein was acquired, and in 1775 the estate was rebuilt. In 1935, the last owner František Josef of Liechtenstein rented the castle to the School Forestry Faculty of the Faculty of Forestry of the Czechoslovak Technical University in Prague until it was nationalized in 1945. Since then, it has been used as a school facility and, in connection with that, the castle was modified culminated in 1956.