The gorgeous Lobkowicz Palace opens its doors for a forty-five-minute live stream tour conducted by William Rudolf Lobkowicz. The owner of the family house will personally introduce the greatest collection of world-famous paintings and religious objects, the unique music archive and the finest private manuscripts collected by Lobkowiczs throughout the last seven centuries.

One of the oldest Czech and Bohemian noble families – Lobkowicz, were patrons and collectors of arts for centuries. Their private collection has over 1500 remarkable paintings, including masterpieces by Pieter Bruegel the Elder, Velasquez, Rubens, Veronese, and others.

Archives at Lobkowicz Palace

A 12th-century cross of rock crystal and gilded copper via House of Lobkowicz

The music archive of the Lobkowicz Collection is ravishing with its diversity of musical instruments. It keeps the world’s largest private collection of Baroque plucked instruments, hand-annotated manuscripts by Mozart, Handel and Beethoven. Franz Joseph Maximilian, the 7th Prince Lobkowicz, was an amateur musician and a lifelong patron of Ludvig van Beethoven. The composer dedicated his numerous pieces to the prince. The 4th Prince Lobkowicz, Philip Hyacinth, and his wife, were talented lutenists, taught by the finest contemporary masters.

The religious objects from the private chapels of Lobkowicz principal, which remained untouched during the Nazi occupation of Czechoslovakia and the Communist rule, are also featured in the Lobkowicz collection. Some of the artifacts are dating back to the 12th century and are of great value.

The Lobkowicz library originated in the 14th century, showcasing various ancient books, including the book of gospel dated to the 9th century.  It is considered the largest and oldest private library in the Czech Republic.

Art objects

Haymaking, Pieter Bruegel the Elder 1565 Lobkowicz Palace, Prague Castle via House of Lobkowicz

The collection also keeps decorative and sacred art objects, dating through the 13th to the 20th century. Furthermore, there are armours and hundreds of hunting trophies that date to the 18th century. The collection also has an archive that keeps documents detailing the social history, politics, diplomacy, arts, and family correspondences dating back to the Middles Ages.

The life of the Bohemian noble family that prospered for centuries, has changed after World War I. Prince Lobkowicz Maximilian opposed the rise of Hitler in Nazi Germany and hardly escaped to London after the occupation of Czechoslovakia in 1939. During these times, the property was seized under the Nazi and later Communist regimes until the Lobkowicz family reclaimed and reassembled the ancestral belongings. For nearly 30 years, the Lobkowicz family’s private enterprise has been on the mission to preserve, study and share the family’s heritage with the world.

William Rudolf Lobkowicz received a BA in Central European History at Harvard and returned to the Czech Republic to continue working on his family’s cultural heritage efforts around the Lobkowicz Collections. He leads the virtual Sunday tours, enhanced with over fifty high-quality images and videos. The tour ends with a 15-minute Q&A, where participants have the opportunity to write-in questions for William to answer. The tour is English-friendly and volunteer donation-based.

The next virtual tour to Lobkowicz Palace is scheduled for Sunday 4/4/2021, at 6 PM Prague time. For more information follow the link here.

Featured image: Lobkowicz Palace via House of Lobkowicz