This chapter deals with the status of rural ornamental gardens in the Czech Republic throughout history. In this chapter, the individual styles and typical elements of garden architecture from the oldest medieval gardens around the castles and monasteries, through the Renaissance and Baroque ornamental gardens around thy typical Renaissance villas and chateaus to the landscape parks of classicism and romanticism and modern gardening, will be described. For each of the key periods, a few typical representatives of ornamental gardens from the countryside of the South Bohemian region will be described, including their original and contemporary composition, composition of wood and plants and the buildings and furniture in the garden locality.
- ornamental gardens
- rural landscape
- landscape architecture
Gardens and parks are the most important components of landscape architecture . They had a long development that reflects the maturity of the company’s visions of garden architects and designers, the work of gardeners, and the ideas of those who have found places of escape from the outside world in gardens and parks . The garden expresses the close relationship between civilization and nature, it is an idealized image of the world, and it often shows a miniaturized form of landscape , becomes a paradise, and testifies to the culture and originality of the creator . Parks and gardens are to serve the inner and outer well-being of a person , represent a redevelopment of paradise, and have a great recreational and educational significance.
Historic gardens and parks are an important part of human culture. They present the natural conditions, architectural, and religious-philosophical differences of the individual regions. Over the last decades, gardens and parks have become increasingly popular. Today, we often encounter the activities of citizens and civic associations to protect natural elements and trees in historic gardens and parks . The historic gardens are monuments of garden art, which are associated with an artistic style of the era in which they were created . The historic garden is a cultural monument as well as historic building. Many historic gardens and parks have disappeared or changed into public greenery; others are neglected, deserted, and only some of them receive adequate care and attention to their meaning . They document the interesting development of garden art, and they are essential part of the cultural landscape .
The designation “historic garden” includes both thin, small and very large formal or landscaped parks. It is mostly attached to the building and is an integral part of it as it cannot be separated from its environment, whether it is artificially created or natural . Historic garden is an architectural and vegetation composition that is important in terms of history or art . These gardens are then integrated within the cultural heritage, and these are protected by heritage conservation .
The historical gardens are divided not only according to the developmental periods but also by different species. The basic species of the ornamental gardens are the medieval castle  and monastery gardens , the most widespread chateau gardens and parks , deer parks , villa gardens , landscape parks , urban or city parks , and cemetery gardens .
2. Materials and methods
For this work, the South Bohemian Region was used as area of interest, where garden objects were selected as representatives of individual types of gardens in rural areas.
Individual objects were selected based on a literary research. For each identified type of rural ornamental gardens, several representatives were elected. In the case of such objects, a thorough literary review was carried out first, covering the whole period of development of the individual buildings of these ornamental gardens, including visual documentation.
3. Analysis of the historical development of ornamental gardens in the South Bohemian region
The first part of the chapter results is devoted to the description of the shaping of the gardens in the individual stages of the historical development of the countryside of the Czech Republic and their role in the rural landscape. The second part of this chapter is devoted to the description of ornamental gardens that have been chosen as typical representatives of the development of garden art and architecture in rural environment. The territory of the Czech Republic has undergone various styles of garden art.
3.1. Medieval gardens
The first mentioned gardens in our country began to form around the twelfth century. From the twelfth to the sixteenth century, gardens retained their arrangement in the form of castle and monastery gardens and gardens within fenced cities, where smaller gardens also had parishes and palatial burgher houses. Compared with the Middle East gardens, our medieval gardens were more moderate, resulting from different climatic conditions and other exploitation claims. Closeness and division into parts designed for livelihood, learning and meditation was the basic characteristic for all sorts of medieval gardens in our country.
During the foundation and development of medieval gardens, monasteries played an important role. After the devotees, the main occupation of the monks was gardening. The monasteries had their complete garden space in the form of a paradise courtyard that adjoined the church and was surrounded by a four-sided passageway. It was an analogy to Roman peristyle. There was a fountain or well in the center of the area, which was often divided into four squares. Healing herbs or flowers for the decoration of the monastery church—lilies, roses, peonies, aquilegias, irises, daffodils, and violas—were grown on beds. Medicinal plants and spices were grown on the area in which only the monastery head had access to. The cultivated plants served for healing purposes, for the kitchen, and for the preparation of wines and liqueurs. Unfortunately, due to the interference of the monasteries, these gardens have not been preserved in many cases.
Castle gardens were built inside the walls on a limited area. Because of their small size, they mostly contained medicinal plants, vegetables, and herbs for castle kitchens. The castle gardens were always fenced, and they were completed by pavilions, glories, or towers that were part of the perimeter of the castle walls. The areas of the beds were separated by metal or wooden fences, which delimited the raised beds. The sloping walls and the maze had grown in the late Middle Ages. In the middle, there was usually a water element, and around it, there were pewter benches that were covered with bower with climbing plants. The castle garden was later extended to the castle ditches, where the training areas and the playgrounds were created. The meadows beneath the castle were reserved for knights’ tournaments, games, and behind the town walls, then festivities and gigs. Part of the castle gardens was forests and meadows which were reserved mainly for hunting. Medieval gardens or parts of them have specific names. The first part was called Viridarium on which predominantly ornamental plants were around the fountain or well. Vegetables and herbs planted on so-called Giardinum were separated by fences from fruit trees grown in pomerium and herbarium.
Medieval gardens were also built on narrow plots around burgher houses. This type of gardens had a simple layout, and the areas initially served to grow vegetables, spices, and medicinal herbs. Later, flowers and fruit trees appeared. The beds were elevated, and these were watered from well or water tanks inside the garden. Simple greensward benches were created for rest.
Complexes of gardens of several preserved monasteries, such as Zlatá Koruna, Český Krumlov, Vyšší Brod, or Milevsko, as well as a very rare preserved garden in the preserved castle complex Zvikov are the best example of the medieval type of gardens in the South Bohemian region. Also, gardens in most of the castle complexes, including Český Krumlov, have the medieval origin.
3.1.1. The monastery gardens in Zlata Koruna
The monastery in Zlata Koruna was founded in 1263 by King Premysl Otakar II. The monastery was destroyed and burned several times, especially during the Hussite wars. Now, the garden included fruit orchards with apples, pears and plums, water elements, and at least 34 beds. In the garden under the abbey of the monastery, where the kitchen used to be, there was pergola, and at its farthest end, there was a refreshment house. In the records from 1720, the mention is made of two linden trees (
The current appearance of gardens is only a small reflection of the state of their flowering. At present, the entire former monastery gardens are restored to its original form. The entrance to the monastery is now allowed by the gate from the village. On the sides of the statue of St. Jan of Nepomuk dominate the above-mentioned two large-leaved linden trees (
3.1.2. Gardens of Zvikov Castle
The unique preserved garden in the Zvikov Castle complex is divided into five sub-parts, according to the original purpose. The total area of the garden of 0.72 ha includes ornamental gardens around the Hlizova Tower, both courtyards and parks, as well as part of the utility garden. The royal castle was founded during the reign of Premysl Otakar I in the form of the Hlizova Tower and was extended to its present form after his death. After the death of the Premyslid rulers, the castle came to the hands of the Rosenbergs, who were together with Svamberks, the last users to use the castle as a fortress complex. The Eggenbergs and subsequently, the Schwarzenbergs began to use the castle as an economic element and castle, and until then the only functional utility garden began to deteriorate. The restoration of the building was due to Charles III of Schwarzenberg, who, under the influence of Romanticism, let the dilapidated castle repaired, expanded to romantic courtyard arcades. Now, for the first time, the castle was also given a romantic ornamental garden.
At present, the entire garden area is situated on the south and southwest part of the castle. Usually, there are only grassy areas with growing specimens of deciduous and coniferous trees. Among the most significant individuals near the Hlizova Tower, there are mainly the common hornbeams (
3.2. Renaissance gardens
With new philosophical perspectives on the regular understanding of the world and life, new directions of gardens are emerging from the sixteenth to the nineteenth century. Gardens are transformed into unprecedented monumental gardens, or gardens and parks that return to rationality and simplicity and return to nature. Renaissance is referred as rebirth. In Renaissance understanding, life ceased to be the mere preparation of the soul for eternal life, and it changed itself in value. The classic Renaissance garden is characterized by its regularity, axial symmetry, and balance. Renaissance relies on the principle taken from antiquity, about the finality of space and the perception of material. Renaissance gardens relate to the motherland of Italy, and in other countries such as Bohemia, their concepts have expanded with a certain delay and a considerable degree of simplification. The main clues of the Renaissance garden include a rectangular network of rectangular paths, trimmed low fences alongside them, stone or ceramic pots of plants, walls of evergreen materials, the ground floor of a house open directly to the garden, and the so-called bosket, which is a densely planted shrub. The house was connected to the garden by a column gallery, providing a shadow and opening usually to the garden directly. At the house, there was a parter with more demanding floral planting supplemented with healing aromatic herbs. Private garden, which was close to the house, was separated from a representative part of the garden by fencing. Children could have fun here, and the garden served to nobleman for informal meetings. The character of these areas was mixed, and the area was divided into small beds, where flowers and vegetables were grown for cooking. There was also shady pergola to rest. At the end of the garden axis, special buildings were built like a teatron, a demanding fountain, or a casino. In the marginal part of the garden, there were situated tree nurseries, ponds, bird houses, or gamekeeper. The garden was still hidden behind the wall, but its connection to the neighborhood was important. It has been achieved by visibility through the walls to the city, mansions, and landscape. Part of the garden also consisted of orangeries, pavilions, loggia, aviaries, and arbors. In the Renaissance Garden, there was always a water element like a fountain, a spout, a waterwork, or a cascade. Most of these pieces were associated with sculptural decoration. The so-called grottos (artificial caves) were also popular, where natural materials such as lava, marble, clams, and mussels were used for decoration. The ground plan of the Renaissance Garden was based on the character of medieval gardens, mainly from its utility part. It had the appearance of a checkerboard, because the straight, right-handed paths spread the area on square and rectangular patterns that were stained with evergreen fences. At that time, a huge number of plants were grown, which were often imported. That is why a flat floral parterre, acting like a colored carpet, appears around the houses. Coffee, lemon, orange, pineapples, and other exotic plants were grown in wooden or ceramic containers to move to orangeries, fig houses, pineapple houses, or greenhouses in the winter. For the amusement of the nobility, there were also premises for the breeding of exotic animals, especially birds and beasts.
One of the forms of the Renaissance garden is also the so-called mannerist garden. The mannerist garden is a Renaissance garden with subtle differences, even absurdities, from the end of the sixteenth century and the beginning of the seventeenth century. Water jokes and puns, gigantic sculptures, terraces, cascades, ramps, and stairs were the main features in this type of garden.
Now, for the first time, formal ornamental gardens are linked to the free landscape, although it is a unique phenomenon in a few places. This interconnection was carried out by the interconnection of deer parks with fencing and modified paths and structures located at intersection routes or at significant points of sight. The deer parks were used for breeding domestic game, which was hunted by the nobility by the hunts. However, the Renaissance and Mannerist Gardens remain mostly cut off from the surrounding landscape by fencing and hedges. The reason is the effort to create a space that is to be an idealized paradise without connecting to the outside world.
Examples of Renaissance-built or landscaped gardens in the south of Bohemia are the Gardens of Rosenberg family, such as Cesky Krumlov, Trebon, or the unique garden in Jindrichuv Hradec. A unique example of Renaissance gardens is the Kratochvile villa. Another example is the modification of the deer parks for game breeding and for hunting and recreational purposes. An example of such fields is, for example, extensive complexes around the castle of Blatna or the area around the Cerveny Dvur mansion.
3.2.1. Kratochvile villa garden
This manor Renaissance villa is inseparably linked to the Rosenberg family. The first mention of the local court dates to the fifteenth century, and it was owned by Jakub Krčín of Jelcany under the name Leptac. The year 1580, when Vilem of Rosenberg took the old fortress, has the biggest importance in the history of the villa and the garden. The fortress and the feast did not correspond to the representative needs of the powerful Rosenberg family, and so it was rebuilt into a generous Renaissance complex. Immediately in the years 1582–1589, the extensive reconstruction of the whole courtyard followed an elegant Italian Renaissance summer palace with a popular Italian Garden of Eden. The one-story house stood within the strictly regular layout of the garden. The villa and the garden and the related deer park represent a strange, closed world. The basic function of this unit was completely secular, as can be seen from deer park for game breeding and hunting. The garden was surrounded by a triple wall with bastions and a low commercial object with a tower over the gate. The garden is divided by two water ditches into the inside and outside garden. The interior water ditch with the drawbridge surrounded the summer house. The outside water ditch then encircles the main wall of the garden. In 1586, water games were formed in the garden, but they were not there for a long time. Garden with fruit trees, an herb garden, a regular ornamental garden, and, above all, a spectacular water ditch in the immediate vicinity of the villa are a perfectly clear symbolic representation of paradise away from behind the wall. Important fact is that the composition of the villa itself has never been fundamentally changed; basically, it remained in the late Renaissance conception until the twentieth century. Since 1981, the complex has been reconstructed, and its present status is a good example of a summer house from the Rosenberg age. The Kratochvile Summer Villa with the garden is today one of the most preserved Renaissance buildings of its kind in our country. Its unique atmosphere also competes with the noble much larger settlements. The garden has the shape of a rectangle, and it is surrounded by a wall with an entrance gate. Part of the fortification is the Chapel of the Birth of the Virgin Mary in the south-eastern part of the complex and farm buildings. The compositional arrangement has been preserved to this day without any significant changes. The rectangle of the garden intersects the main axis on which is the entrance with the tower, the stone bridge over the internal water ditch, and the entrance to the summer house. The water ditch is followed by a wide grass belt, formerly a gravel. Today, a simplified orchard is planted there. The rear transverse part of the garden is designed as a kitchen and herb garden. Significant tree species include golden cypress (
3.2.2. Garden of Bratronice Chateau
Today, the unused chateau with the park area is an exceptional example of a Renaissance rural garden partially rebuilt into the late-Baroque Classicist French garden. The building has undergone the usual development typical for almost all rural noble settlements. On the place of the original small fortress from 1227, a magnificent Renaissance chateau was built in the style of an Italian between 1575 and 1603. Part of the castle complex was a perfectly fenced garden, isolated from the surrounding environment. Part of the garden at the beginning of the eighteenth century became an orangery for growing citrus plants, a kitchen, and fruit garden. At the end of the eighteenth century, the Renaissance style of the garden was partly transformed into a late-Baroque French-style garden with many water features. The chateau was completed with a polygonal terrace and a transparent east-west axis was formed, intersected by four oval shaped pools, which were always fitted at the crossing of the main axis with the perpendicular paths in the north-south direction. At that time, some exotic tree species were also imported according to the period custom. The chateau was practically inhabited by the descendants of the original owners until the end of the twentieth century, but today, it is not used and the garden and individual objects are not maintained. Nowadays, the garden is loosely linked to the east courtyard of the farm yard and headed by a Renaissance one-story mansion in the form of an Italian venetian villa with a mansard roof and a perpendicular chapel toward the chateau park. The ornamental garden is continuously adjoining the terrace in front of the south-eastern front of the chateau around the central composite axis. The garden is composed of three elevated terraces individually finished by a stone ledge. The edges of the terraces, as well as the entrance gates, are lined with the originally cut-ash trees. At the highest level, the terrace is unusually shaped into a polygonal shape. Of the original water elements, only two oval pools were preserved on the compositional axis. The stone furniture (table, chairs, or stone cones) is the interesting part, which has been preserved in the central part of the garden. The rest of the original equipment and constructions preserve only the remnants of the original Renaissance fence wall, which was partly changed during the rebuilding of the Renaissance garden to the Baroque-Classicist park. The planned interconnection of the garden complex with the surrounding wooded hilly landscape through views through individual composing and minor axes was the reason for rebuilding of the garden. The overall state of the park is neglected due to zero maintenance. The valuable specimens of grown oaks (
3.2.3. Garden of Cerveny Dvur Chateau
The first mention about the garden around the Cerveny Dvur dates to 1598. At that time, the so-called Novy Chvalsinsky Dvur was established by Petr Vok of Rosenberg, intended for the breeding of beaver, pheasant, partridge, and quail. The chateau, together with the hunting ground and the arbor, was founded in 1672 from the initiative of Princess Marie Ernestina of Eggenberg. During the reign of Adam Franz of Schwarzenberg, a gardener’s house, a fountain, and water elements were built. Josef Adam of Schwarzenberg subsequently realized in the period 1748–1781 the construction of a nonpreserved sala terrena, the annexation of the southern wing of the castle, and extensive landscaping of the garden. The shape of the field is illustrated on a plan from 1754, which captures an area of about 30 ha, adjacent to the eastern court. Plans from 1762 to 1779 show the transformation of the deer park into the Baroque garden, in the form of a regular French garden of a trapezoidal floor plan bounded by walls. The star-shaped road network, diverging from the central pool, architecturally divides the garden into closed bosquets. All roads, except the center, are lined with cut alleys. In front of the garden facade of the chateau, there is a rectangular area of the ground floor with a pool in the middle. The main composing axis led from the chateau through the parter and the pool. It was highlighted by distinctive water elements across the entire length of the axis. In addition to the common fountain, the garden was supplemented with a water cascade with a cave, a beaver pond, a canal with a poplar island, and other waterfowl tanks. In the period 1769–1784, beavers, Chinese pheasants, Bengali deer, and angora rabbits were bred in the garden. In the garden, there was a natural theater, a summer riding school, Schneckenberg, and later a Chinese and Dutch Summer Palace. The transformation of the Baroque Garden into the English Park takes place in the middle of the nineteenth century, under the prince Jan Adolf II. of Schwarzenberg, partly thanks to the great damage by the storm. First, the peripheral formal walls were removed. The area of the original garden was extended to the eastern and southern sides after the removal of the fencing walls in 1839 to the current area of 117 ha. Regular road network has been canceled. While the water elements on the main viewing axis were left, they were modified into less formal tanks. Although some former water elements were removed during the formation of the new natural landscape composition, the water remained one of the main compositional elements. Various new buildings such as Bazantnice for accommodation of seasonal guests, the so-called Svycarna for breeding cow of Swiss origin, a Pink gazebo connected by a shadowy corridor with a rose garden, and a chapel of the Holy Cross contributed to the creation of the romantic sceneries. In the 1950s, the summer houses were demolished, and artificial caves were abolished. The parter’s area, situated in front of the garden facade and the chateau’s terrace, retains its rectangular ground plan. It is divided into three square squares—a circular fountain remains in the center, with a circular flower bed in both external fields. The flower beds also form the edge of the grassy square fields. The castle complex was transferred to state ownership in 1947 and nationalized in 1949. Since 1966, a psychiatric hospital has been set up in the chateau, which is still here. An extensive 117-ha park was used only near the mansion, and maintenance was reduced proportionally with increasing distances. The back stands and meadows were covered with natural seeded vegetation, and the so-called Green Way completely disappeared. Even the objects of garden architecture were not properly used and quickly dilapidated, some of them were completely removed from the park, such asso called Slechtuv mill, Svycarna or, one of two Gatehouse buildings. The park vegetation is formed mainly by pines (
3.3. Baroque and Classicist gardens
The Baroque garden is a typical formal garden. These gardens are the product of European art of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Compared to the Renaissance garden, which is composed of individual regular parts, the Baroque garden combines these parts to create a dynamic whole. As well as Baroque architecture and Baroque garden art, it is directed to the infinite and unlimited space. For example, it uses a large, quiet water surface that allows mirroring of objects. This makes the garden for the first time more connected to the surrounding area and, through typical elements and sight axes, combines formal private space with an open landscape. Popular motifs in Baroque gardens were shells and volutes (conch wrap). The creation of gardens, architecture, and art uses mirror symmetry on the center axis. In Baroque, we distinguish two basic types of gardens according to the origin of the place, namely the Italian and French type of garden. The type of Italian Baroque garden originated mostly in very sloping terrains. In our territory, they have spread together with the following type of maniristic gardens since the end of the sixteenth century. Differences in terrain overcome terraces, staircases, and water cascades. Water is fed from mountain springs through a system of aqueducts, canals, and tanks. The use of architectural works is the characteristic feature and the foundation of the garden. The vegetation component of the garden then only complements architectural works. Some artists did not even avoid irregularities in the ground plan. In contrast, the French type of Baroque garden is considerably larger than the Italian type, and these gardens are usually only on a slight slope. The Baroque garden was characterized by a rectangle, oval, and ellipse shape, complemented by complex patterns and curves. This was manifested, for example, by embroidery (French embroidery) of cut fringes and areas of colored sands and gravel. Baroque art is full of movement and life. There is also a shift from the Renaissance chessboard layout to a distinct oscillation, not just the garden, but, as described above, the entire surrounding area. Together with the gardens, sets of economic buildings, pheasantry, deer parks, and communications lined with alley were included in the unified landscape concept. In this concept, even the whole landscape units were transformed. An example of such landscape compositions may be in the South Bohemian region of Novohradsko, Cimelicko, or Libejovicko. Thanks to the longitudinal and transverse axes, the visitor was surprised by the new elements while walking through the garden. The axes were often directed to the open landscape to form an endless space or to a significant point, usually a statue, a significant tree, a small building, or a water element, in some cases, a city silhouette or some building. This point is named “point de vue”. Linking the garden with the landscape begins with the removal of the walls when the former types of gardens were rebuilt. These fencing walls have been replaced by grids and later by canals and hidden water ditches called “aha” so that the garden is optically linked with surrounding landscape backgrounds. The characteristic structure of the Baroque mansions had stable positions of the individual parts, namely the courtyard in the entrance part, the residential building (palace, chateau), the partitioned ornamental garden behind the residential part, the young fruit trees garden, and possibly also the pheasantry and the deer park. The shadows of the grown trees were replaced by long shadows of pergolas, and paths were lined with shaped formed trees. The main entrance to the garden was a terrace with a staircase. Other determining features of the Baroque Gardens are the presence of decorative vases, spectacular sculptures, riding halls, horse stables, theaters, artificial waterfalls, and water cascades and alleys. The establishment of small country mansions and noble settlements was typical for the time of the late Baroque. These were always supplemented by rural gardens and parks. Their origin was related to the fatigue of the pompous Baroque gardens of the French style.
Among the typical examples of Baroque gardening in the region of South Bohemia, there belongs undoubtedly the Český Krumlov Castle Garden, the Garden of the Lnare Chateau, or Straz nad Nezarkou chateau. Typical examples of the Baroque composition of gardens and their connection to the open landscape are the above-mentioned gardens and parks Novohadsko, Cimelicko, and Libejovicko in the south of Bohemia. Typical examples of small-scale rural Baroque settlements are valuable garden complexes around the rural settlements of Bratronice, Lcovice, Nemcice, or Tazovice.
In the eighteenth century, Baroque garden creation changed into a cooler classicist gardens. The gardens were geometric and strict. These returned to the ancient style of Roman and Greek gardens. Simplified composition, slender, noble detail, simple, uncompact area fulfilled the contemporary concept of nature. In addition to parks with numerous waterways, colonnades, greenhouses, and statuary arbors, smaller suburban parks were established. Even the sculptural works were trying to imitate the antiquity. The surrounding landscapes around the gardens were still being adapted. The gardens were characterized by a diverse set of small parters. Roses, perennials of one color or basic colors, were planted. Cast iron was a favorite material of classicism, which appeared both on the construction site and in the gardens. The classicist space is often revived by a regularly designed reception area with a restored terrace complemented by fountains, balustrades, and the flower beds. The selection of plants for classicist gardens has been greatly influenced by the increasing popularity of the collection of exotic and rare plants. At the turn of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, the gardens were complemented by romantic exotic objects and artificially created ruins. Classicism gradually disappeared for the romanticism. In the creation of gardens on the territory of Bohemia, two developmental stages of Romanticism gradually emerged: first, somewhat sentimental German Romanticism, which in the nineteenth century replaced to the English Romanticism. The German form of romanticism was reflected in landscaping and gardening by the incorporation of the originally classicist composition and antique elements that subsequently replaced the elements of the Middle Ages and Gothic. The gardens are divided into smaller, more intimate sections, complete with decorative historic buildings such as caves, hermitages, ruins, and other romantic buildings, often in country style. The Romantic Garden was a place of wide grassy landscapes with graceful features, with groups of trees set with the impression of a romantic natural scene. Many older gardens have been rebuilt during the Romantic era, or at least, the overwhelming walls have been bumped, and other lands have been joined that have been transformed in the spirit of the English Park. By the end of the nineteenth century, the gothic forms of architecture had been mixed with other styles such as Baroque and Renaissance, bringing a wide variety and richness of detail into landscaping. Historic flower parters have become the popular element of gardens. From the previous periods, the collection of exotic plants, which are mainly grown in clustered and isolated groups, continues to be popular. These tree species have often become the basis for future arboretums.
While the classicist direction of the South Bohemian landscape has not been much remarkable, one of the few examples of Classicist Precision Engineering and Garden Architecture can be, for example, the Dacice Chateau. Romanticism has been manifested in the South Bohemian landscape in many places. In the spirit of Romanticism, reconstructions of large complexes of castle gardens were made. Of noteworthy, levels and scale have been the romantic rebuilding of gardens in Hluboka nad Vltavou or around Nove Hrady. Romantic parks and gardens are very often associated with the redevelopment of noble settlements in the spirit of historical styles such as neogothic such as Orlik nad Vltavou, Rozmberk, Vraz, or previously mentioned Hluboka nad Vltavou.
3.3.1. Gardens of Lcovice Chateau
The Baroque country manor was rebuilt into its present form in the eighteenth century on the original foundations of the Gothic fortress. The original fortress was extended to a three-story Baroque manor house with three floors of arcades, the addition of the Little Chateau, and a polygonal chapel on the north side of the castle. The first rebuilding, which primarily brought the establishment of an extensive Baroque formal garden, dates to the mid-seventeenth century. Although it was a Baroque-style barrier-type garden, this garden was embedded in the surrounding mountain landscape and the surrounding landscape served as a backdrop for sightseeing. These views to the surrounding countryside were used mainly at the beginning of the nineteenth century when a terrace in the southern part of the chateau was built. This terrace has a unique view on the mountainous landscape of Vimperk surrounding. There were also small buildings built in the garden in the spirit of the fashion trend of the time, namely the octagonal summer house with a dome known under the name of the Holy Trinity Chapel and a pavilion called the Hunting Tower, which was completed until 1984 by a grotto. At the end of the eighteenth century, Lcovice is listed as a mountain chateau with an exquisite garden and a ditch carved into the rock. At the turn of the eighteenth and twentieth centuries, the kitchen garden, including a large greenhouse, was established to the ornamental landscaping garden. After 1930, the owner of the park also established a sports facility in the form of tennis courts. After the nationalization of the castle, the park was dilapidated and served as a background for the agricultural cooperative. Now, a fire tank was built in the park.
At present, the whole park area is integrated into the wooded landscape of the Sumava region. The chateau with remnants of ditches is surrounded by a loose landscaped park with grown trees, especially of domestic species. The free area is left only in front of the southern arcade facade, where the uncovered part serves as a viewing axis to the surrounding landscape. The axis pointed from the northern side of the castle to the octagonal Chapel of the Holy Trinity is an important preserved compositional element. The axis ends with a decorative rock with an oval pool. In the northern part of the park, the Baroque pavilion, the Hunting Tower, and the road network has been preserved to this day. This part of the park is completely wooded. On the southern side, under the terrace adjoining the arcade facade is still a utility garden with a small pond, island, and story orangery, also with an arcade corridor. In the lower part of the garden, the orchard was preserved.
3.3.2. Gardens of Dacice Chateau
The first mention of the new castle appears in 1591 relating to the construction of houses in the upper square of the town of Dacice. Oldrich Krajir of Krajka and the Italian master Francesco Garrof de Bissone were the architects of the castle. The four-wing chateau with a square courtyard was based on the type of north-Italian town palaces. The significance of the main northern wing was underlined by a palatial arcade loggia with Tuscan columns and square-orientated overhangs on the sides. The castle after the extinction of the Krajir family in 1600 often alternated the owner, it was burned several times, and only under the rule of Ostejn family of Mohuc, it was repaired. In 1809, the Ostein family died out, and the Dacice dominium was dominated by the Dalbergs. The latest reconstruction that determined today’s classicist appearance relates to this family. In 1832-1833, the rebuilding was carried out under the guidance of the Viennese architect Karel Schlepse, who placed a monumental empire-shaped stairwell into the eastern wing, penetrating both floors. Salm family related to the Dalbergs was the last owner of the Dacice Chateau. They owned the chateau until 1945. The castle from the beginning of its existence was adjoined by an extensive garden, later by the park. The oldest appearance of the chateau park is not known, but it is assumed that in the seventeenth century, the surroundings of the chateau were modified in the spirit of the Renaissance gardens. On the pictures of Dacice from the middle of the eighteenth century, the garden arrangement of the chateau in the French style with regular beds, cut shrubs, stone vases, and arbors can be seen. The ornamental part was separated from the utility garden, which included a still preserved garden house. The eastern slope under the garden was also planted, where hops were growing according to the description. The park has undergone a major change under the Dalbergs in the early nineteenth century. Karel Dalberg asked in 1817 Michael Riedl, the chateau chancellor of the Austrian Laxenburg, to create a proposal to establish a park in the English landscape style. The architect took full advantage of the rugged terrain sloping from the chateau building to the southwest, including a pond in which the islet was built. Since then, some groups of pine trees (
3.3.3. Garden of Chateau Cekanice
Cekanice is one of the rare representatives of Classicist architecture in the South Bohemian Region, although its former appearance dates to the thirteenth century, when a medieval fortress was there. It was later rebuilt in the second half of the fifteenth century into a Renaissance chateau. The reason for the present appearance of the chateau and the garden is the fire and the subsequent renovation by Jan Jiri of Helversen in 1785 into a contemporary classicist rectangular castle with an extensive courtyard lined with production and economic buildings. A covered rectangular terrace with a triangular shield carried by Dorian columns is the base of the composition in front of the chateau. The mansion and the originally far larger landscaped park were marked by the nationalization and subsequent placement of the social care institution. At that time, there was almost zero care of the park, and there was also a significant reduction of the park area to the current range of approximately 4 ha. At present, the garden can be divided into two separate parts. The first one is the already restored entrance part of the so-called honorary court, the area of the courtyard in front of the castle. This area is loosely linked to the open space of the chateau terrace. The height difference between the terrace and the courtyard is aligned with a stone wall with an upper terrace and arched stone stairs on the sides. The terrace was supplemented with stone vases in the Classicist style, of which only one was preserved in its original form. The six grown spherical maples (
3.4. Landscape parks
Large landscaped parks have a very exceptional position in the landscape of the South Bohemian region. These parks were conceived as a set of different park modifications, castle gardens, and deer parks. These parts together form a harmonic unit interconnected by paths, water elements, and sight axes. This part of the ornamental horticultural work has in many places determined the appearance of large parts of the countryside. The main representatives of these landscaping compositions include Novohradsko, Libejovicko, or Cimelicko.
3.4.1. Novohradsko landscape park
The entire landscape park is situated near the town of Nové Hrady with its dominant castle and chateau. The total treated area is approximately 60 km2 and extends from the valley of Stropnice, through the Novohradske ponds to the undulating edges of the valley that passes to the Novohradske foothills. The basis of landscape park structure was the Stropnice River, and above all, the dams of ponds covered with oaks.
The foundation of the ornamental Renaissance garden in an elevated position outside the town by Vilem of Rosenberg in 1593 was the first significant impact on the landscape. The lack of space near the existing seat, today’s castle complex of Nové Hrady was the main reason for the separation of the ornamental garden from the settlement. In 1630, during the reign of Buquoy family, this garden became the foundation of a formally arranged Baroque garden in the French style. The garden was characterized by many cut flower beds, sculptural decoration, greenhouses, fig house, and summer riding school. Besides the ornamental garden, there were also a kitchen and fruit garden and a utility water pool. The Baroque parter is axially symmetrical, and this axis of symmetry has become the basis of a generous landscape axis with a total length of over 8 km ended by a polychrome obelisk in Kapinos deer park. On the other hand, the ornamental garden related to a linden alley with an adjacent pheasantry, which was arranged in two star breaks. The transformation of a formal Baroque garden into a relaxed landscape park in a romantic spirit occurred already at the end of the eighteenth century. The main interventions were the transformation of the rectangular water reservoir into the current pond, the construction of a rock waterfall, the creation of part-meadows, and the planting of the linden rondel. In the eastern part of the park, according to the Versailles Hameau, a romantic village with a hermitage, a gingerbread house, and a small courtyard were built. At the turn of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, the Empire Castle was built according to the plans of the architect Franz von Werchafeld. A stone staircase was added to the southern facade, and the northern facade was rebuilt. There was a terrace with balustrades and a double staircase. This terrace was directly linked to the so-called Blue Salon, which is in a large risalit that may evocate a tent. This salon became the second end of the sighting axis, ending on the polychrome obelisk in Kapinos deer park. At that time, the waterfall in the park was canceled, and an islet with an access bridge was set up on the pond. The romantic village of French style was rebuilt in a fashionable English Gothic style. The Park suffered considerable damage after seizing the property of the Buquoy family after the Second World War. Economic and sports facilities were built into the park, and many woods and building elements were destroyed and damaged, including the complete destruction of a romantic village. At present, the park is again connected with the surrounding countryside, thanks to the cancelation of fencing from the past decades. In front of the southern facade of the chateau, there is a courtyard with grassed oval bed and a unique specimen of ginkgo tree (
Under the chateau park, another part of the landscape park is connected to the plantation in the valley of the Stropnice river, namely Dolní Bazantnice in Udoli u NHradu, with a total area of 29 ha. However, this area is in a very poor condition, many plantings have been degraded by natural seeded tree species, and only the central meadow is regularly mowed. The area of the pheasantry was established as a fenced area in the years 1667–1670. The area was gradually expanded and upgraded until 1794, when the pheasantry was changed into a utility garden with greenhouses and fruit trees. The utility garden with pheasantry was abolished in 1836, when a decorative park was established from the part around the water surface, which became an integral part of Novohradsky landscape park. Fields emerged from the second part of the former pheasantry around Stipton. In the framework of the reconstruction of the utility garden into the landscape park, the area of the Bazantnik pond was enlarged, two islands were planted, the existing oak stands were supplemented with other trees, a cottage building was built from the gardener’s house, and the whole park was furnished with benches. As mentioned above, only the central meadow was preserved in its original form. Other areas are overgrown primarily by native-seeded forest trees and young spruce trees. Oak specimens are the most valuable tree species. The building of the original Cottage was preserved, but all decorative elements on the facade disappeared.
From the landscape point of view, the most valuable area is the so-called Tercino valley in the floodplain of the river Stropnice in the cadastral area of the village Udoli u Novych Hradu. The total area of this most important part of the landscape park is 138 ha. The park is situated at the foot of Nové Hrady Castle hill to the gothic Cuknstejn Fortress. The park was founded already in 1756, in an open area from the current ruins of the so-called Blue House to Economic Buildings, which is no longer present today. In the first phase, it was an ornamental park with flowerbeds, ponds, and a romantic ruin in the form of brick arcades. This form of the valley was destroyed at the end of the eighteenth century after the great floods. After the removal of all the above-mentioned constructions, the part was transformed again into a grassy floodplain. Now, the valley was taken by the wife of the owner of the estate, Terezie Buquoy Paar, who had built many new buildings in the valley. At first, the Wenceslas Spa, the so-called Laznicky was created in 1788. It is an Empire Spa complex with two sidewalks and a main building enclosed by a fence and entrance gates. The spa bath was completed with a swimming pool, a fountain, and a decorative flower bed. A terrace, a small pond, and a greenhouse were set up in front of the spa. In the year 1803, a residential so-called Blue House was built against the Stropnice stream. Under the leadership of architect Ignac Fnoik, the park was transformed into the so-called Friendship Garden in the following years, and it was gradually completed by other buildings such as the Empire Gate, Hammer, Filemon’s cottage at Gabriel’s Pond, and the Pine Lobe composed of rare specimens of the Eastern white pine trees (
3.5. Modern garden styles
These large complexes, mainly from the nineteenth century, were completed at the turn of the century mainly by small-scale Art Nouveau gardens. It is based on the principle of negation of historicism. The main features are asymmetry, ornaments, linearity and continuous, often complicated curves. These gardens have large lawn areas and carpet beds, and there is also a large water area. In addition, the color of pavements, garden furniture, and pergolas often appears. Art Nouveau style appeared in garden architecture only for a short period of time. Art Nouveau gardens are connected almost exclusively with the newly built magnificent villas. These villas were often nationalized and devastated in the second half of the twentieth century, just like their gardens. In some cases, the gardens were rebuilt in new emerging avant-garde styles, such as Cubism or Functionalism. For this reason, only a tiny fraction of originally pure Art Nouveau gardens, such as the garden of the Hardtmuth Villa in České Budějovice, survived to this day. These gardens have returned to an isolated, precisely enclosed space that is not a developmental or interconnecting element from the point of view of the environment. This isolation is typical for all other types of gardens up to the present. Since the end of the nineteenth century, the creation of open park areas has been linked only to the urban environment, where urban parks were established. The first half of the twentieth century was further characterized by the rapid alternation of various avant-garde art styles, which were reflected in landscaping and horticulture, but rather in smaller areas and near villas in the urban environment. These are directions such as Cubism or Functionalism. Cubism consisted of spreading the object into simple geometric shapes and their subsequent folding. Cubism manifested itself primarily in family gardens where it touched not only beds and arrangements but also fences and pergolas. The woods were often spaced at regular intervals and cut. Garden trips are most often seen by triangles or trapezoids, which divide the garden into parts using a hedge, inside which was a lawn, a flowerbed, or a vegetable garden. On the other hand, a functionalist house or villa formed a garden with a single unit and was nonviolently connected to it by large windows and a winter garden or terrace. The main features of Functionalism are trimmed hedges, climbing greenery on the facades of the house, flower beds of austere shapes, and grassy surfaces. After the Second World War, residential settlements began to appear to a large extent, with the construction of the garden and urban greenery. Bohemia has been a gardening colony for many years since the end of the 1950s. Urban settlements and country houses set up settlements with a specific architecture of small garden buildings. In urban settlements, greenery has been formulated completely since the 1950s without any conception and knowledge of tree species. Approximately from the 1970s, a natural garden with an ecological approach, promoting the return to nature began to grow significantly. Private gardens are formed based on the owner’s requirements and lifestyle. Gardens are formed by self-help and professional firms, both natural and formal, of varying size, public, private, and semipublic. Gardens are embedded in artworks or modern materials and technologies (optical fibers, LED lighting). Gardens are realized on both roofs and vertical facades. Today, we are returning to setting up gardens and gardens for utility function or dividing parts of gardens into various functions, such as utility, leisure, mostly supplemented by swimming pool, ornamental etc.
As can be seen from the above described characteristics of individual historical types of gardens and parks, including the examples, the position of ornamental gardens in the landscape has changed considerably over the course of history. The gardens of medieval castles and monasteries are the oldest documented gardens on the territory of the Czech Republic. Only few gardens of large monastic complexes, such as Zlata Koruna, Vyssí Brod, or Milevsko, have been preserved from that period in the South Bohemian region. The castle gardens did not preserve because of the frequent later breaks or destruction of the castles, except for the unique gardens in the Zvikov castle complex. Since then, practically until the onset of the Baroque in the seventeenth century, the ornamental garden was an isolated area near aristocratic and ecclesiastical settlements, and only slowly the surrounding landscape became the backdrop for views from enclosed areas of landscaped gardens. As the typical representative of this isolated “Italian villas” Renaissance style of gardens, we can mention the garden of Kratochvile chateau of gardens of other small Renaissance village chateaus built in the Renaissance period. There was only one exception—the hunting deer parks, which have related to the surrounding landscape background, especially with forest stands, even though the parks were fenced. Since the southern Bohemia was a very important area from the point of view of the noble families (Families of Rosenbergs, Eggenbergs, Schwarzenbergs, Buqoys etc.), hunting fields have been one of the most extensive examples of planned changes in the country since the Renaissance. The Cerveny Dvur Deer park, Old Deer park near Hluboka nad Vltavou, Deer parks near Nove Hrady, and many others are the typical representatives of such hunting fenced places. Since the time of the Baroque, the country’s ornamental gardens have been open to their surroundings, and their authors have tried to blend the gardens together with the surrounding landscape, as much as possible. It does not mean, however, that these gardens were not the private inaccessible area of the owners of the noble settlements. Open landscape parks have become a phenomenon of the landscape, since then, and especially in the era of Romanticism. The creation of these parks meant the transformation of huge landscapes into an open informal garden. Various buildings imitating architectural styles and customs from different parts of the world have become an integral part of these parks. Ornamental gardens and landscape parks have also enriched rural landscape by a wide variety of introduced plants, including very exotic specimens. South Bohemia became besides the South Moravian region one of the most important places in the whole Central European region in the creation of such type of open landscape parks. We can mention the huge transformations of the large parts of landscape into the landscape parks as Novohradsko, Libejovicko, Cimelicko, and others. It is important to note that the Baroque and empire gardens of small rural mansions from this time also played an unimportant role in the creation of rural landscape in the South Bohemian region. From the time of Art Nouveau, the gardens have begun to be isolated, and today, they are becoming more and more closed as a private resting place for rural houses and mansions.
The chapter was supported by the University of South Bohemia fund GAJU 083/2017/S Analysis of selected socio-economic factors and their subsequent impacts on the development of agricultural landscapes and property-law relations and by Department of Landscape Management.