Roztez, a faded, formerly grand chateau, situated in a magnificent secluded location with grounds which contain spectacular trees, has an interesting history, particularly as the former Hunting Lodge of the colourful sponsor of the Arts, Count Sporck, sometimes known as the Father of Czech Freemasonry (picture below). He was the publisher of over 150 books, a sponsor of opera, including the premieres of a number of Vivaldi’s works and was also the patron of Matthias Braun, one of the finest Baroque sculptors, who carved some famous pieces directly in the rock at a Bethlehem Park near Sporck’s major estate, Kuks.
While Roztez has been extensively rebuilt in subsequent centuries, most recently in the style of Viennese art-nouveau classicism, direct memories of Sporck still linger in the area, for example at the long-abandoned and ruined Monastery at Vysoka, a hill whose name means ‚high‘ which is close by.
This monasery was built by Sporck to celebrate the birth of his son; inaugurated with a famous firework display, it was paid for by his winnings at cards.
During the Communist era Roztez became a summer camp for the Bohemian and Moravian journalists‘ union and is facing the prospect of imminent restoration.
Meanwhile it will be a haven of peace and tranquillity for our pursuits.
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