Troja Chateau is considered of the most important architectural works of the beginning of Late Baroque in Central Europe. In areas where vineyards were once located, Count Václav Vojtěch from Šternberk had the chateau built in 1678 to successfully obtain a title of nobility. The chateau's form resembles a type of an Italian suburban villa, it is therefore a summer residence rather than a chateau. The villa was also to serve as a residence and resting place of the emperor and his retinue while hunting in Stromovka, the nearby game enclosure. Outstanding European artists were invited to the construction and decoration of the chateau. The project was designed by Jean Baptist Mathey, an Italian architect, who changed the original concept to regular disposition with grand hall in the center.
Giovanni Domenico Orsi de Orsini, renowned Prague architect, started the construction and his disciple Slivestro Carloni lead it for a few initial years. Despite his extensive experience the architect Mathey was not allowed to lead the construction himself, for he had not been trained in the mason's guild, which was against the then valid regulations.
The chateau's decorations are devoted to the celebration of the imperial line, to which the chateau was to be "dedicated". The view of the ruler's seat, The Prague Castle, is directly in the main axis of the chateau.
If you enter the chateau's premises via its original ceremonial entrance, the southern gate by the Vltava river, you may sense the original atmosphere. Following the axis of the garden, guests may reach the very apex of the chateau's composition - the monumental two-arm grand sairway, which leads directly to the grand hall.
The stairway is decorated with dramatic scenes from the Gigantomachy, depicting the triumph of the Olympian gods over the Titans characters as it is portrayed in the ancient Greek Iliad. It is very likely that this was also the inspiration for the name "Troja", which then spread out to the whole locality. The sculptures are works of the sculptors Paul and George Heermann who were invited from Dresden to decorate the stairway in 1685 and around 1705 they were joined by Jan Brokof.
The Grand "Emperor's" Hall is the dominant and central feature of the chateau, from which corridors with door enfilade of adjacent lounges lead down both sides. Both corridors are connected by two opposite spiral stairways in tower-like two-storey belvederes. These belvederes give the construction a unique character and at the same time they represent an obvious "signature" of the work of the architect Jean Baptiste Mathey.
The premises of the ground floor served as a background for the servants and in the basement there was a spacious wine cellar. A single-wing stables and a coach house with two-storied pavilions had been built by the wall in the northern courtyard of the complex.
The construction was completed in 1689 and the villa was honored by the Emperor's visit when in 1702 Count Šternberk received the Emperor Leopold I.
The Grand Hall is situated on the 1st floor of the chateau and you can enter it directly from the southern gardens via the grand Baroque stairway or from inside the chateau. The painting decorations are the creation of the Dutch painters Abraham and Isaac Godin 1691-1697 (nearly 1,400 m2 of paintings). Their theme is the celebration of the victory over the Turks at Vienna, which culminates in a tribute to the ruler. In the richly divided work there are interconnected historical stories and legends as well as the triumphalistically culminated celebration of the ruling Habsburg dynasty's glory and power.
The paintings have been created as tempera (not the fresco technique), therefore they required much slower painting process. This allowed for a thorough detailed drawing and modeling of all details with incredible shape precission, which considerably increases the work's deceptive effect. The hall's space is illusionistically cambered with the notion of the open vastness of the heavens.
|Grand Hall's dimensions|
|276m2: 22,7m x 12,2m (Hall is 12m high)|
|Grand Hall's capacity according to the event|
|Gala dinner||200 people|
|Theatre production||200 people|
|School event||100 people|
The stables are located in the northern courtyard. It used to accommodate stands for 24 horses and the original marble troughs have been preserved. After 1690 Abraham Godyn took the lead of the painting decorations of the vaults in the stables. The paintings depict scenes of abductions and other mythological events, in which horses and alike creatures played a significant part. The painting was made with the use of a special technique called stippling - with sea sponge the paintings resemble a delicate wallpaper.
|294m2: 46m x 6,4m|
|Stables' capacity according to an event|
|Gala dinner||230 people|
The stables may be adjoined by a tent of 200 m2 - the capacity may then be increased up to 450 people (suitable for a Reception/Cocktail).
The Chinese chambers are situated in the northeastern part of the chateau's first floor, from the edge to the Grand Hall. They comprise of two nearly square rooms and one narrower room, which is set between them and serves as a connecting corridor. From the original painting decorations the ancient myths of brothers Marchetti have remained on the ceilings.
A collection of remarkable paintings by an unknown painter from the late 18th or early 19th century may be seen on the walls. Illustrations in educative and travel books about China were the theme for the wall-wide views of Chinese landscapes with its characteristic architecture. On the walls of the middle narrower room there are European features distilled into some of the Chinese views, especially roofs and star-shaped bastions on the cityscapes. They are not romantic imitations of the Chinese patterns, as it is often the case of Chinese chambers in other chateaus. These paintings correspond to the actual landscapes and constructions. It is not entirely clear what the purpose of thus decorated rooms was. They most likely served as tea rooms, or an exhibiton space for collections of exotic objects.
|Chinese Chamber I (corner)||62,4 m2|
8m x 7,8m
|Chinese Chamber II (middle)||33,2 m2|
4m x 8,3m
|Chinese Chamber III (next to Grand Hall)||65,5 m2|
7,9m x 8,3m
|Chambers' capacity of all rooms|
|Welcome cocktail||100 people|
The Gardens of Troja Chateau are divided into three parts. Situated to the south of the chateau, the parterre garden is divided into two elevation levels, and on the main axis it is passed through by representative entrance path from the southern gate. On the upper parterre there are two almost identical sandstone fountains with square rounded tanks and with reptile motives. A set of decorative terracotta vases decorates the window sills of the upper parterre. In the lower parts of the southern garden there is central fountain with the Neptune's water jet, a number of ornamental and fruit trees and shrubs, many ornamental and fruit trees and shrubs, and by the gate there is an orangery and gardener's house.
On the eastern side of the southern parterre garden there on an irregular rhomboid plan extends another garden with a maze, which is nowadays called "orchard".
On the northern courtyard before the entrance to the chateau there is a modern fountain with a pool with stone trim and cobbled bottom. The fountain is equipped with a metal sculpture with water jet.
In the southern garden marquees with/without a base may be pitched, the gardens' capacity is up to 1500 people.