Name of Monument:

Episcopal residence, Kroměříž

Also known as:

Kremsier, known as the Athens of the Haná region


Kroměříž, Moravia, Czech Republic


1665–1698; 1752–1759; 1772


Filiberto Luchese (1606 Melide – 1666 Vienna), Giovanni Pietro Tencalla (1629 Bissone? – 1702 Vienna?), Carpoforo Tencalla (1623–1685, Bissone), Quirico Castelli (Lugano?, active 1658–1672), Michael Mandík (? Gdaňsk, worked 1689–1699 in Moravia), Justus van den Nypoort (1645–49 Utrecht – after 1698?), Ignác Josef Cyrani of Bolleshaus, Franz Anton Krzoupal von Grüneberg, Baldassare Fontana (1661–1733, Chiasso), Paolo Pagani (1655 Castello Valsolda – 1716 Milan), Franz Anton Maulbertsch (1724 Langenargen am Bodensee – 1796 Vienna), Josef Stern (1716 Graz – 1775 Brno), František Ondřej Hirnle (1726, Prague – 1774, Kroměříž), Franz Adolph of Freenthal (1721–1773), Karl Martin Keller

Denomination / Type of monument:

Religious – Episcopal residence


Bishops of Olomouc: Karel II of Liechtenstein-Castelkorn (1664–1695), Ferdinand Julius Troyer (1745–1758), Leopold Egkh (1758–1760), Maxmilian of Hamilton (1761–1776)


Originally a market village, Kroměříž grew up around the crossroads of the Amber and Salt Trails, two major European trade routes. Moravian bishops purchased the demesne in 1107. Bruno of Schaumburk (d.1281) built a Gothic castle and established the Chapter of St. Mauritz. In 1290 Kroměříž was granted town status. Under Stanislav Thurzo (d.1540), a man of humanist leanings, the castle was converted into a Renaissance chateau and a summer residence. In 1643 the town was plundered by the Swedes and burnt down during the Wallachian uprising of 1821. The famous picture gallery, now containing work by L. Cranach and one of Titian’s last paintings, was built around the end of the 17th century.


This residential complex for the bishops of Olomouc consists of a chateau with a lower garden and a floral garden. Canonical homes line the street leading to the Church of St. Mauritz, which contains a chapel in which bishops were interred. The chateau, with a closed central courtyard, is a free-standing building with four wings and two floors on a trapezoid ground plan.

View Short Description

Originally a market village, Kroměříž grew up around the crossroads of major European trade routes. Moravian bishops purchased the demesne in 1107. The residential complex consists of a chateau with a lower garden, floral garden and canonical homes lining the street leading to the Church of St. Mauritz. A fresco by F. A. Maulbertsch in the Feudal Hall is considered the most impressive of its kind in Central Europe. In 1998 the Kroměříž gardens and chateau were included on the UNESCO World Heritage List.

How Monument was dated:

A number of receipts, contracts and correspondence associated with the monument have survived. Additional information for the dating of individual stages is provided by historical events and biographies of the bishops.

Special features

Entrance portal


Giovanni Pietro Tencalla (1629 Bissone? – 1702 Vienna?)

The chateau was renovated under K. Liechtenstein-Castelkorn, at first to a design by F. Luchese, but after his death, to the designs of G. P. Tencalla. The current state of the facades (largely respecting Tencalla’s approach) is the result of a restoration, following a fire in 1752, by Cyrani of Bolleshaus and later F. A. Krzoupal. The courtyard was approached in the same manner as the external facades while the courtyard arcade has been walled-up. The facade features tall pilasters alternating with continuous window axes.

Sala terrena

Episcopal residence


Baldassare Fontana (1661–1733, Chiasso), Paolo Pagani (1655 Castello Valsolda – 1716 Milan)

Of the 17th-century interiors, only a hall opening to the garden and flanked by two grottos has survived the many fires. Stuccos frame allegorical pictures of Earth and Heaven, the Four Seasons and the Elements, symbolised by mythological figures. The decoration is the work of M. A. Lublinský, artist, canon, and advisor to the bishop.

Feudal Hall

Episcopal residence


Franz Anton Maulbertsch (1724 Langenargen am Bodensee – 1796 Vienna), František Ondřej Hirnle (1726, Prague – 1774, Kroměříž)

Following the fire of 1752, J. Stern decorated both library and chapel ceilings. The restoration of the Feudal Hall (Courtroom) took place in parallel; its decoration featuring key scenes from the history of the Olomouc bishopric and the apotheosis of the builder, Bishop Egkh. A virtuoso fresco with a striking colour scheme, it is considered one of the most impressive of its kind in Central Europe.

Large Dining Hall (Assembly Hall)

Episcopal residence


Franz Adolph of Freenthal (1721–1773), Karl Martin Keller

Due to the death of Bishop Egkh, the Large Dining Hall spanning two floors was not renovated. Some of Maulbertsch's preparatory sketches, with scenes from Ovid's Metamorphoses featuring allegories of the times of the day, have, however, survived. The hall was further enhanced in the spirit of Rococo Classicism under Bishop Hamilton, although not with murals but with gilded stuccos portraying allegories of the sciences and arts, together with the canvases The Trial of Paris and The Wedding of Peleus and Thetis, exemplifying ephemeral vanity, and Pallas Athena Kidnapping an Ephebus from Aphrodite, symbolising wisdom and stability. The alternative name of the room, the Assembly Hall, comes from 1848 when an imperial assembly took place there.


Garden, Episcopal residence


Giovanni Pietro Tencalla (1629 Bissone? – 1702 Vienna?), Quirico Castelli (Lugano? active 1658–1672), Carpoforo Tencalla (1623–1685, Bissone), Michael Mandík (? Gdaňsk, worked 1689–1699 in Moravia)

The concept of a garden outside the town walls was probably proposed by F. Luchese. It was executed under the guidance of G. P. Tencalla, with M. A. Lublinský participating in the design. The original state of the gardens is captured in a portfolio by J. van den Nypoort. The ground-plan of the ornamental garden contained a complex water system, feeding ponds, fountains, an aviary, a lake, and a series of “water jets” with which the bishop had become acquainted in Salzburg. The axis of the ornamental garden runs from the skittle-alley entrance that opens onto two “strawberry mounds”. The mounds originate in ancient gardens where they were artificially heaped (Khorsabad) with gazebos, as was the case in Kromeríž. At one time the axis of the garden was flanked by labyrinths and rectangular ponds.
Rising out of the intersection of paths in the geometrically segmented garden there is a rotunda covered with stucco in high relief. The central space is divided into four grottos and four salons that once featured fountains. Statues and paintings depicting satyrs, allegories of the seasons and stories from Ovid's Metamorphoses line the gallery that closes off the front of the garden. The sculptures are modelled on the Villa Pamphilli in Rome. Alternating male and female figures in niches represent ancient gods and goddesses, muses and historical figures from ancient Rome. Side walls once contained grottos with water cascades. A Latin inscription over the main entrance invites visitors to view what was once wetland and wasteland but which now, after many years of hard labour and considerable cost, is a garden designed to delight present and future generations.

Selected bibliography:

Bohumil Samek, Umělecké památky Moravy a Slezska I, A-J, Prague 1994, pp. 220–257.
Radmila Pavlíčková, Sídla olomouckých biskupů. Mecenáš a stavebník Karel z Liechtensteinu-Castelkorna 16641695, Olomouc, 2001, pp. 24–46.
Jiří Kroupa (ed), Dans le miroir des ombres. Moravie a la age baroque 1670–1790, Brno–Paris–Rennes, 2002, pp. 55–56, 104–107, 222–224.
Ondřej Jakubec, Kulturní prostředí a mecenát olomouckých biskupů potridentské doby: umělecké objednávky biskupů v letech 1553–1598, jejich význam a funkce, Olomouc, 2003, pp. 214–215, 223, 234, 246–249.
Zora Wörgötter, Zum Schaffen der Maler aus dem Umkreis Maulbertschs in Mähren: Johann Jablonský und Franz Anton Schebesta-Sebastini, in Eduard Hindelang – Lubomír Slavíček, Franz Anton Maulbertsch und Mitteleuropa. Beiträge zum 30-jährigen Bestehen des Museums Langenargen, Langenargen–Brno, 2007, pp. 263–293.

Virtual visit:

Additional Copyright Information:

Copyright images "Národní památkový ústav v Telči": Národní památkový ústav - územní odborné pracoviště Telč.

Citation of this web page:

Zora Wörgötter "Episcopal residence, Kroměříž " in "Discover Baroque Art", Museum With No Frontiers, 2021.;BAR;cz;Mon11_E;2;en

Prepared by: Zora Wörgötter
Copyedited by: Jiří Kroupa
Translation by: Irma Charvátová
Translation copyedited by: Mandi Gomez

MWNF Working Number: CZ 02