Two Parks: One Old, One New

The English inspiration of Karl Vincenz Prince of Auersperg

In 1837, Karl Vincenz of Auersperg (1812–1867) returned from his travels across England; the country had enchanted him by its technological advances, historic castles, comfortable chateaus as well as its countryside, gardens and parks. This inspired him to radically expand the Slatiňany chateau’s 25-acre park and move its end border further out to the Slavická obora game reserve. Right on the fence, he built the Švýcárna Lodge (Swiss cottage) where his family stayed when they decided to spend some time in nature.

There was a network of well-kept paths and places to rest in the game reserve – the lookout points Jelení hlava, Vilemína and Na Chlumu, the shooting range in Strádovské peklo, the Tyrol House etc. The expanded park, which newly covered 64 acres, was given a re-design by the gardener Franz Worel and, at a later date, was split in two parts, an old one and new one, divided by a stone fence made by master stonemason Rudolf Zábranský from Škrovád. Both parts of the park are connected by a nearby gate which has a special design, allowing a problem-free passage of people, but not animals.

The main axis of the new park is constituted by a horse chestnut alley but there are also various kinds of oak trees, sweet chestnuts, plane trees and linden trees. After 1945, this part of the park behind the stone fence gate got under the management of several different institutions and the original park layout including the path network slowly disappears.