Leisure Time and Games

Entertainment and Sports

The chateau gardens were created not only to please the eye, but also to provide space for rest and relaxation. Through the course of the 19th century, they acquired elements for active leisure time activities, i.e. sports and games. During the gardens’ expansion after 1844, the family also added a nearby scenic gazebo and, at a later date, another one next to the tennis court. The tennis court, one of the first ones on the Czech territory, could still be found after the Second World War on the even patch of grass in front of you.

The popular sport activities of the princely children included tennis, cricket, croquet, cycling as well as, in winter months, sledging and skating on the frozen garden pond. The family of Franz Joseph of Auersperg (1856–1938) typically chose St Moritz, Switzerland, for their skiing trips.

Apart from sports, the gardens were used to host social events such as picnics and various festivities for local guests. Based on historical documents, the princely children were taught how to hitch up a donkey or a billy goat into a small carriage and drive it in the gardens and they trained horseback riding in the nearby round riding hall. They also familiarized themselves with cow and sheep breeding and with all the different uses of farm animals at the Švýcarna Lodge on the outskirts of the ‘new’ park by the entrance to the Slavická obora game reserve.