Bítov is one of the oldest and the most romantic castles in the Czech Republic (the first written reference comes from years 1061–1067). It is situated on a narrow cliff surrounded the Želetavka River near its confluence with the Dyje. The Bítov Castle is mirrored in waters of the Vranov dam (built in 1935); its water flooded the Bítov village bellow the castle. Originally a wooden lordly castle was rebuilt in a stone castle in early 13th century.
Bítov has become a centre of one of the six Moravian regions and was a part of the uninterrupted fortress line of castles protecting the south border of the country. After Premyslid family died out the Lichtenburg’s clan got the enfeoffment of the castle in 1307 immediately for more than 200 years. Under their rule the core of today's chapel of the Virgin Mary (1334) was built, the basis of today's palace and of the south east wing and defense system was built. After Lichtenburg died out Strein from Švarcenava ruled here, then Jankovský from Vlašim came here, they were the founders of the local armoury (1612–1755). The earls of Dauns owned the castle since 1755. They rebuilt it to Neo-Gothic style from 1811 to 1863. It is worth noting especially the Neo-Gothic palace interiors with an extensive collection of imaginary paintings imitating wood, stone or stucco. After them, from 1904 to 1912, the Polish aristocratic families Zamoisky and Radzivils changed there. The last owner was a large-baron George Haas of Haasenfelsu in 1945. His son, George changed the castle to the largest private zoo in our country at that time.
Tourist attractions in a destination
- Illusive paintings of interiors designed by Austrian artist A. Schuller
- The largest collection of stuffed dogs in the world - 51 pieces
- One of the largest castle armouries in the country (the guns from the 15th to 19th century)
- A romantic collection of lighting made from coloured sheet
- Castle brewery
- Castle restaurant
- souvenir shop – gift shop
- Wine-cellar of the Lichtenburg’s lords – wine casting
- Possibility to lock bikes to a rack
- Easter tours
- Night tours (July, August)
- Civil and church weddings – from April to June, September, October
- Swordsman performances, theatre – July, August
- Christmas Advent tours – December
- Tour I. – Palace (main tour), 60 – 70 minutes, 25 - 30 people
Ground floor – Salla terrena in connection with bailey garden, an atypical collection of lightings.
First floor – Baroness Olga Haas bedroom, Earls of Daun interiors.
Second floor - a permanent zoological collection with the largest collection of stuffed dogs in the world.
Ground floor of north wing – the castle kitchen (open 2008).
(In the summer tour with historic music performance.)
- Tour II. – Castle Exteriors
Tours of the brewery, courtyard, the castle chapel, the castle garden (where there is no action), and seasonal exhibitions. Admission only for visitor who has not visited any of the guided tours.
- Tour III. – Armoury (guided tour), 30 minutes, maximum 20 people
(opened only in July and August, from April to October only on the order of 10 people) Since 2003 the selective exposure of the most famous specimens Bítov Armoury is opened. The armoury is situated in its original premises from 18th century. Weapons collected mainly during period when house Jankovsky from Vlašimi (1612–1736) owned the castle are the core of the collection. It includes works of distinguished armourers from the late 16th century and excellent art and craft works of gunsmiths from 17th century. The house has been also interested in new and unusual gunpowder weapons: repeating rifles, breech-loading guns and air guns. The armoury also contains selection of medieval arms for example spears (11th century), swords (15th century), fortification guns. Items especially from Islamic area are core of oriental exhibition. The armoury has a romantic distinctive feel of medieval knight halls.
- Tour IV. – Castle prison, dungeon, torture chamber (guided), 30 minutes, 15 people (opened only in July and August)
Located in the oldest preserved castle stone building – “Břitová věž” (Blade tower) from the early 13th century. The tower has been used as defence tower. It has protected the only entrance to the wooden fortifications of that time. Originally the tower was habitable (for the castle garrison later when the tower has lost its importance as fortification (on the turn of 13th and 14th century) it was turned in ammunition dump. Castle prison and dungeon was built in the tower in the year 1679. Unobedient subjects and outlaws were imprisoned here. Besides castle dungeon you will see prison cells and one of the few torture chambers in our country equipped with tortural replicas which every visitor can try out.
- Tour iV. – Castle Exteriors
Tours of the courtyard, the castle chapel, the castle garden (where there is no action), and seasonal exhibitions. Admission only for visitor who has not visited any of the guided tours.
Our tips for trips
- Vranov nad Dyjí State Chateau
- Uherčice State Chateau
- Castle Cornštejn
- Jaroměřice nad Rokytnou State Chateau
Trip without barriers
Wheelchair access: only the courtyard, the restaurant and an exhibition hall, where we hold temporary exhibitions.