Lednice Castle is one of the most lavish chateaux in Central Europe, home to the staggeringly wealthy Liechtenstein dynasty for centuries. Discover this breathtaking building and its surrounding park in our in-depth guide.
Lednice Castle is one of the grandest castles in the Czech Republic, located in the gorgeous South Moravian countryside near the border with Austria. Along with nearby Valtice Castle, it comprises the stunning Lednice-Valtice Landscape World Heritage Site, one of fifteen UNESCO sites in the Czech Republic.
Lednice was the summer seat of the powerful Liechtenstein dynasty for centuries, has one of the most compelling and extravagant interiors of any Czech castle, with exceptional woodwork, furniture and decor.
This article explores Lednice Castle and the surrounding parkland, with information on the Castle tours, and the other sites around Lednice – we’ll be posting an article on Valtice Castle shortly. We also explain how to get to Valtice from the surrounding region and beyond.
Lednice Castle – An Introduction
Lednice Castle was for centuries the seat of the wealthy House of Liechtenstein, which owned a large area of South Moravia including the nearby towns of Valtice and Mikulov
The Castle we see today is the fourth on the site, and was built by Johann Fischer von Erlach
It was intended as a summer residence for Prince Alois II, who used it to entertain royal and aristocratic guests from all over Europe
It bears some resemblance to some of the oldest, most august Oxbridge colleges in the UK, which may have been an inspiration for Fischer von Erlach
The Liechtensteins also used their land around the Castle to create a much larger landscape park, which stretches down to the nearby town of Valtice and what is now the Austrian border
The Lednice-Valtice landscape also includes Valtice Castle (Valtice zámek), and a series of monuments ranging from a Minaret and Moorish Waterworks to a triumphal arch and colonnade overlooking the border with Austria
The Lednice Valtice Cultural Landscape has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1996
Lednice Castle History
The first Lednice Castle was a medieval fortress surrounded by water, which was replaced by a Renaissance chateau in the 16th century
This in turn was replaced by a Baroque chateau, which wasn’t to the taste of Prince Alois II, who wanted a chateau inspired by the English Gothic Revival
The current building was designed by Johann Bernard Fischer von Erlach, and built between 1846 and 1858
It remained in the hands of the Liechtenstein dynasty until the end of World War 2, after which it was confiscated by the Czechoslovakian State
Where Is Lednice Castle?
Lednice Castle is situated in South Moravia, around 56 km – 35 miles – south-east of the regional capital and the second city of the Czech Republic, Brno. The nearest mainline train station is at Břeclav, 10 km (6 miles) to the south. Lednice is also just 10 km from the enchanting border town of Mikulov, which makes a great base if you plan to stay in the area for a few days.
What to See At Lednice Castle
The undoubted highlight is the English neo-Gothic exterior of the Castle, the adjacent Lednice Park and the interiors of the Representative Rooms of the Castle.
Lednice Castle Park is extensive, and you can explore it on foot, by bike, by horse-drawn carriage or even boat. There are a total of eight separate guided tours around the site, which would easily fill up a whole day, but most of these only tend to run in peak season.
The horse carriage tour is a great way to experience Lednice, and takes in the Minaret and Janohrad, a remarkable fake-ruined Castle 4 km from Lednice Castle. They depart from close to the departure point for boat trips, and isn’t very well signposted.
We didn’t choose to go on a Lednice boat trip – they run to the Lednice Minaret and from there onto Janohrad – as a return journey would have cost us around 40 GBP, more than it cost us to travel back to Prague the following day. The best way to do this is to take the two boats to Janohrad and walk back to Lednice Castle from there.
Interested in other Czech World Heritage Sites? Check out the following articles:
Telč Czech Republic – A Fairytale Medieval Town
Things to do in Mariánské Lázně, the elegant historic spa town
Pruhonice Park Prague – A Magnificent World Heritage Garden
Lednice Castle Tours
If you visit the Lednice Valtice World Heritage Site and only have time for one tour, make it the Lednice Castle tour I, a circuit of the Representative Rooms. It includes several rooms where the Liechtensteins entertained their guests, beginning at the impressive entrance hall with its grand staircase.
The tour continues through a series of smaller rooms before reaching the vaulted Gothic Revival Knights’ Hall, which has a complete 16th century Venetian suit of armour. You then move on to the beautiful Chinese Room, before things get seriously grandiose.
You briefly pass through the Turquoise Room before turning into a side room to see the extraordinary Lednice Castle spiral staircase, fashioned from a single block of wood. The woodwork throughout these rooms is of the highest standard I’ve ever seen, with exquisitely carved ceilings, doorways, panelling and original parquet flooring which sent my other half Faye into raptures.
The Turquoise Room was the main dining room and has some original 19th century wallpaper – for me this is the most beautiful room in Lednice Castle. You then move on to the opulent Red Smoking Room and the somewhat darkened Blue Dancing Room, from which there is a vista to the Minaret.
Tour I of Lednice Castle is the one which is run most frequently, and others which run during the busy part of the season are the Princely Apartments and the Children’s Rooms and Puppet Museum.
There are additional tours at Lednice Castle, including the Artificial Baroque Cave beneath the Chateau, the tropical Greenhouse, Minaret and Janohrad (John’s Castle).
Discover these other Czech Castles in our guides:
Křivoklat Castle – a romantic forest castle near Prague
Blatna Castle – a superb water castle and deer park in South Bohemia
Lednice Castle Opening Hours
Lednice Castle is open between February and December, with varying hours each month.
Essentially, it’s open February to April on weekends and public holidays, then between May and September daily except Mondays. It is then open on weekends and public holidays in October, and weekends in November and December up to the weekend before Christmas.
The Lednice Castle website has a full run-down of opening hours and available tours here.
Lednice is a most agreeable small town and the surrounding countryside is ideal for exploring by bike. We didn’t stay in Lednice, opting to use Mikulov as our base instead, but there are several good hotel options in Lednice worth considering.
The 4-star Zamecky Hotel Lednice couldn’t be closer to the Castle, and indeed accommodated many guests of the Liechtensteins. It’s also right next to the town square and bus stops. Prices start at 2,200 CZK for a double.
Hotel Mario is also situated very close to the square and Castle, in a gorgeous old building. Its rates tend to be a little lower than the Zamecky, and they also offer apartment accommodation.
Vila Lednice, a 5-minute walk from the Castle, gets exceptional reviews, and they offer rooms, apartments and secure bike storage.
Getting to Lednice
The way to get to Lednice is by road – whether it’s by car, bike or bus.
The nearest train station to Lednice is at Valtice, with Břeclav a little further away. Břeclav is on a main line linking Budapest, Bratislava, Brno and Prague, so it’s the more likely gateway for many visitors. Check the Czech Railways website for current train times. Břeclav bus station is a 2-minute walk away from the train station, and the hourly 570 bus runs from there to Lednice. The excellent IDOS site can show you any connections by bus or train from anywhere in the Czech Republic.
You can also travel by bus between Lednice and Valtice – the 555 makes the short journey every two hours.
We stayed in Mikulov and made use of the 585 bus, which follows the scenic route through the Palava landscape, taking at least three times longer than the direct route between the two towns.
If you’re travelling by car or bike, it’s on the 422 road from Valtice which joins the main Brno to Bratislava E65 motorway.