• Garden Statuary

    The hillside garden and lower parterres contained a large number of pieces of statuary. Although the majority of them have been lost, copies of several significant ones, particularly those created by Matthias Bernard Braun can be seen on the site today.

  • Long Valley View

    Long, axial views are indicative of the influence of the Italian Baroque style, as is the selection of a setting with significant topographical relief for the palace. This view joins the palace with the village of Luzec and Vidhostice down a axis of almost 9km.

  • Thirty kilometers long

    Composed landscapes in the Czech Republic often extend over long distances, in this case from the pilgrimage church at Andelska Hora to the village church and Stampach family crypt at Vidhostice. Created axes may be constructed or implied connections across the landscape, linking natural, cultural, sacred and ancient features.

  • Baroque Landscapes: At Jičín

    The Baroque period of landscape development in the Czech lands began at Jičín in 1621, when Albrecht von Wallenstein acquired the property that he developed into a grand, composed landscape. This photo shows the terminus of the northern part of the secondary axis at the Chapel of sv. Máří Magdalény at the top of Zebín Hill.

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  • Field School 2015

    The annual field school is an important part of the research approach on the site. Students experience a hands-on research process, and advance the understanding and knowledge of the landscape.

  • The Theater

    Whether indoor or outdoor, baroque theaters were about spectacle. This unusual three-story outdoor theater, likely originally a one or two story theater, was renovated and upper levels added in the 1800’s.

  • Vegetation Management

    A critical challenge of the site is selective cutting of volunteer trees and undergrowth, as a way of revealing the site and its incredible features to visitors. Volunteer groups join us each year to reveal new areas of the site and continue the maintenance on areas already cleared; here the group stands on top of a classical mount revealed during clearing in 2014. The mount is faced with stones similar to those used in the construction of the lower levels of the theater.

Valeč - A Composed Landscape of the Baroque

The composed landscape of the palace at Valeč (Valeč v Čechách, Karlovarský kraj), provides an excellent laboratory for exploring the development of the Baroque period in the Czech Republic.  The style which emerged during this period, the Bohemian Baroque, is an understudied period in both architecture and cultural landscape development.  While it was strongly influenced by the Italian Baroque and French Formal precedents, it developed as a distinctive style reflective of the region's political, social, religious and cultural history.

Statue of Count Špork to the south of the Theater

Statue of Count Špork to the south of the Theater

The statue of Count Antonin Špork, the patron of the spa-hospital complex at Kuks, located opposite the outdoor Baroque theater at Valeč. Kager\'s relationship with Špork may have influenced the design of Valeč.

Vegetation Management: the #1 challenge in a cultural landscape

Vegetation management is the most critical aspect of maintaining a cultural landscape beyond the borders of a formal garden space.  It is critical to spatial organization and definition, and to the ultimate understanding of a site by its visitors.  More ….

Field School enters its 8th year .....

As an exemplary Bohemian Baroque cultural landscape, Valeč is an excellent location for an ongoing cultural landscapes field school.  Themes for the field school change each year and have ranged from home garden yards, to the broader agricultural landscape and the intimate landscape of chapels and sacred sites.  For more information on each of the field schools, go to the Field School tab above and click on a year.