Guide of the castle’s ground floor


Wedding hall

You are in the premises, which together with the other two rooms are in the heart of the oldest part of the Roztoky castle. The first two halls have been used for different social occasions, mainly as a place for wedding ceremonies, in the third one an exposition starts which is devoted to the administration of the manor at the end of the 18th century.


  • Kneeling angels - woodcuts, Czech provenance, 3rd quarter of the 18th century
  • The Madonna and child, oil painting, Czech provenance, 1st half of the 18th century

From the oldest history

The site has been continuously inhabited since prehistoric times. However it is not clear when and by whom the Roztoky fortress was found. Appearance of the fortress was documented by the archaeological research from the period of the 2nd half of the 13th century, when the place around the fortress consisted of a huge stone residential tower, surrounded by a high city wall, a moat and a rampart. The floor plan of the residential tower is marked in the stone pavement of the courtyard. In written sources the fortress is explicitly presented from the year 1416, in a dispute over the land between the owner of the manor of that time and the monastery of Benedicts in Břevnov (now a part of Prague).

Roztoky in the period of Lords of Mühlhausen

At the end of the 14th century the Roztoky manor got into ownership of brothers Eberhard and Reinhard of Mühlhausen (town between Kassel and Erfurt in Germany), who belonged to a wealthy patrician family. The importance of the family in the context of contemporary society was not insignificant because Eberhard was a treasurer of the emperor Charles IV. After his death (1381) Roztoky was passed to his younger brother Reinhard, who began an exacting reconstruction of the early gothic fortress in a comfortable residential seat. He demolished the residential tower, and built a sumptuous palace on the south east side of the fortress (room in which you are right now). On the first floor of the palace he placed a bay chapel decorated with wall paintings, preserved almost in its original look. The paintings represent a unique piece of art, comparable with manorial range of paintings. Their design is closed to monumental decorations of the significant church of St. Clement in nearby Levý Hradec. The same artists from the same workshop probably worked on the both works of art.

Roztoky in the period of Lords of Donín

In the year 1453, Lords of Donín, who realized the completion of circular courtyard buildings in 1476, attained Roztoky. The storied buildings were accessible from courtyard by several external staircases.

Points of interest

At the door to the next room a block of stone stands out from the wall - it is part of the entrance portal of the palace of Reinhard of Mühlhausen from the end of the 14th century. Its reddish colour is not the original colour of the stone (sandstone), but result of chemical changes induced by high temperatures of fire; the entrance was destroyed during the Renaissance reconstruction in the 2nd half of the 16th century - arches with preserved hard polished plaster come from this reconstruction.

Hall with a medieval pillar

Roztoky in the period of Boryně of Lhota

Boryněs of Lhota were major renaissance builders, who owned Roztoky from the year 1565 till 1623. The first holder of Roztoky, knight David Boryně of Lhota, was a provincial officer, a successful farmer and a landlord, but also a very harsh master. He created good financial precondition to further building development. But in the year 1590 when mob from surroundings of Prague and his own vassals plundered the castle, the knight was tortured for his cruel behaviour and died a year later, probably due to its consequences.

More extensive construction works of the fort apparently took place in three stages up to the 90s of the 16th century (dated by dendrochronologic analysis of preserved wooden elements) – the ground floor was gradually vaulted and the 2nd floor was built including roofing with painted beamed ceilings. Big construction projects of Boryněs, however, were not consistently met. Part of the property of one of heirs David Boryně was seized due to the participation in uprising of Czech estates against the emperor Matyáš. Because of the dire financial situation Roztoky castle and the whole manor was forcibly sold to Karel of Liechtenstein in the year 1623.

Points of interest

Vaults with polished plaster arched on the central stone pillar – the 2nd half of the 16th century, probably the 90s.


  • Chairs and mirror, neo-baroque, the last quarter of the 19th century
  • Sofa, neoclassical, early 20th century (the chairs and the sofa are newly upholstered and intended for use)
  • Picture - Roztoky from the Vltava river, Dominik Jan Kottula, oil painting on canvas, dated 1840; the scene is showing the look of the Roztoky castle at that time and the situation in its surrounding.
  • Dishes on the shelves - sample of a tableware made of soft stoneware, Czech provenance (Prague, Týnec nad Sázavou), 1st half of the 19th century

Residential space of magisterial administrator

Roztoky in the period of Liechtensteins

In 1623 Charles I. Liechtenstein, who became the most famous member of this family in the Czech lands, purchased the Roztoky manor. In 1599 he converted to catholic religion and in the following years gradually acquired a number of high court offices. From the year 1621 he held the position of the royal governor in Bohemia and became the second most important man in the kingdom after the Czech king, respectively the emperor of Habsburgs. Thanks to his position he could significantly expand his ancestral property. At the beginning of the thirty years ' war he bought, or received from the emperor, number of dominions confiscated from Protestant nobles. He also received large funds by participating in the so-called coin consortium, which minted debased coins. Depreciation of the currency led to state bankruptcy in the year 1623. In the central Bohemia, except Roztoky, he also bought e.g. extensive estate of Kostelec nad Černými lesy, whose official administration was of liechtensteins` possession at the time superior of the Roztocky manor.

From the year 1623 the Roztoky castle was no longer a manor but it became only a seat of aristocratic administration of the estate and was inhabited by officials. Change of use of the castle was fundamental for its future building development. At the time of Liechtensteins there was not any expensive fundamental reconstruction, as we know from previous periods. There were just functional building adjustments and maintenance works here. Farm buildings went through some substantial changes. Today incompletely preserved area of the court bears a conspicuous building manuscript of the 18th century.

The reason why a man of such importance Charles of Liechtenstein bought a small manor Roztoky is not known. As an explanation it offers proximity to Prague, Hradčany and Malá Strana (Lesser Town), where Charles of Liechtenstein built governor’s palace. It cannot be excluded that products from the manor were meant for supplying to the Prague palace. This could last throughout the 17th century. In the following century, however, the prince's court came to Prague just minimally; the capital of the Bohemian kingdom lost its importance. The high nobility resided in Vienna, close to the emperor. The coronation of Leopold II was an exceptional situation, during which ruling prince of Liechtenstein was staying in Prague, in which period the exposition is set in.

We would like to introduce you the way of life of a magisterial administrator in the castle, what he dealt with, how he worked, to whom and what he was responsible for, and also how a member of the white-collar layer lived.

Now you are standing in the room where a medieval timbered sitting room, heated by a tiled stove, was documented in the historical survey. The living room was placed here in younger periods. This fact is illustrated by a toilet built in the thickness of the wall, dated in the 1st third of the 18th century (dendrochronological analysis of door lintel identified logging of wood for years 1716-1717). This room was likely used for administration of the estate in the 18th century. It could even be a private living space of the administrator, as the recent records in the parish memorial book show; the entire second floor with the castle chapel was empty.

Room equipment consists mostly of furniture from the last third of the 18th century, in the late baroque and classicism styles, however, in less representative forms than were used in the interiors of aristocracy.


  • Wardrobe with two doors, oak wood, inlaid fill, 3rd quarter of the 18th century with later modifications
  • Double bed, oak wood, classical, 1780-1800
  • Set of chairs, baroque and classicist, last third of the 18th century
  • Chest, oak wood, baroque, around the middle of the 18th century
  • Kneeler, oak wood inlaid with veneer, the end of the 18th century
  • Images above the kneeler

    • The Golgotha (Christ on the cross), author unknown, oil painting on canvas, the end of the 18th century
    • The resurrection of Christ and the Roman martyrs St. John and St. Paul, under painting on the glass, in northeastern Bohemia, the end of the 18th century
    • Picture above the bed
    • The St. Teresa of Avila, author unknown, oil painting on canvas, the 3rd quarter 18th century
  • Wall on the left of the entry
    • The repentant Mary Magdalena, Rudolfine painter, oil painting on copper plate after the year 1600
    • The Madonna with the child, author unknown, oil painting on the stone plate, the 1st half of the 18th century
    • Plate, faience, Zittau, 1735
    • The adoration of kings, under painting on the glass, Augsburg (?), last third of the 18th century
  • Wall above the desk
    • Series of colour graphics depicting some dominions of the genus of Liechtenstein in the central Bohemia, author Antonín Pucherna, the turn of the 18th and 19th century
  • Wall at the toilets
    • Mirror, frame decorated with the technique of under painting, the 2nd half of the 18th century

Patrimonial office

Now you are situated in the heart of life in the Roztoky castle at the end of the 18th century. The key people were representatives of aristocracy - patrimonial officials, who provided economic and political management and collected taxes from tributaries. There were office hours established in the office, as a rule contact with tributaries was determined for one day in the week, when they came with their applications and paid their bills.

Roztoky was part of a very small estate with only 6 villages and approximately 60 estates (the state existed throughout the 18th century). All soil of the manor belonged to the aristocracy. It was divided on so-called dominical soil, which was administered directly by the lords (taxable in the course of the 18th century, more significantly, in his recent decades) and rustic soil, which the nobility provided to tributaries as a hereditary lease. Quality of the arable land was mostly the middle and poor (ranked by revenue). The administrator stood at forefront of the administration. For large dominions, as it was the liechtensteins` one, the administrators were not responsible directly to nobility, but there were more bureaucratic intermediaries.

The administrator in Roztoky was responsible to the inspectorate in Kostelec nad Černými lesy and he communicated further with the Central accounting office (at the end of the 18th century in Bučovice in Moravia) and the Court central office in Vienna. The inspector had extensive powers, facilitated the correspondence between the estates and the higher authorities and exercised personal supervision of the various dominions. In the 2nd half of the18th century an effort for the centralisation seriously affected management of manors. Volume of political administration increased, and individual offices had to adjust to that. Running of office was defined in so-called cirkulars, issued by central authorities of liechtensteins` administration. They determined tasks, scope of powers of officials and way of management and administration of the whole estate. In the 18th century the cirkulars were transcribed into special books called Protocols of cirkulars (Circularienprotokole). In addition to the cirkulars the state administration issued its own documents (the imperial decrees, decrees, etc.).

In the administration in Roztoky were employed only 3 officers – an administrator, an incumbent and a scribe, in comparison with 16 officials in inspectorate in Kostelec. Some bigger liechtenstein estates were managed by 5-8 officials in average. The administrator in Roztoky received 1100 zl. a year, partly in terms of money and partly in benefits in kind, the incumbent 550 zl., also partly in terms of money and partly in benefits in kind, the scribe of 50 zl. in terms of money only (for a comparison some of the prices of goods at the end of the 18th century: a cow 10-20 zl., a goose 6 dimes, a barrel of beer 10 zl., calceolaria (shoes) 5 fl.). From a simple comparison you can discern a huge influence and social status of the administrator on the estate.

The total gross income of the estate was around 7000 zl., of which, however, the net income was only one-third, and the rest was used for constructions and reparations of buildings, operating, to pay salaries of officials and taxes. For example, an average net yield for the summer 1764-69 had the value of 1997 zl., which was the third lowest yield of all liechtensteins` estates. The usual net yield ranged between 50-60%. One of the possible reasons why Roztoky remained nearly two hundred years in the property of Liechtensteins, although it was geographically isolated from the other central bohemian domains, and its yield was almost the lowest, is the already mentioned short distance of Roztoky from the palace in Prague (just 9 km far). It was almost once so much to the centre of the next liechtensteins` estate Uhříněves.

Economic governance

The first duty of the officers was to oversee the estate management. Agriculture, sale of products, ponds, mills, pubs, the forge, and cooperage were the main of incomes on the Roztoky estate. Other revenues came from rent of brewery, meat shop, from rents, irregularly also from cottagers, and from the river. The office was in charge of trade with the salt as well.

The lords farmed on their own-account on 4 farmyards. Manorial land consisted from forests, arable fields, meadows and vineyards. Revenues from sale of crops, wheat, rye, barley, peas, oats, cabbage, wine and other fruit also appeared on the balance sheets from the years 1789 and 1794. The office also sold milk and meat from steers, bulls, cows, and calves, further earned on stud pieces. The bailiff was probably responsible for sale of pigs. Relatively large was sale of sheep wool. Forests also brought some earnings. Cattle in the manor courts were stabled for meat and milk, for local kitchen and in case of needs for the palace in Prague. Mandatory work of tributaries with their own work animals covered the great part of work, so it was not necessary to breed and to feed cattle for these needs.

The expenditure included annual amounts for churches and foundations, taxes, administration, salaries of officials and salaries of chaplain, and also for travel expenses for higher authorities. Other expenses included purchase of cattle, horses, and medicines for livestock. In the balances there were also included costs for light, or linseed oil, axle grease, linen canvas, need for production of butter, sticks for hop garden, battens for forest and lime, small things to repair buildings and inventories. People also paid for other parts of country estate (wine cellars, brewery, fruit garden). Expenses were also for work on the field, if corvée did not suffice, and for crafts (such as blacksmith, glazier, mason, carter, custodian, unskilled worker, locksmith, carpenter, potter, wheelwright).

Taxes, corvée

The second concern of patrimonial officials was a tax collection from tributaries, made in money, benefits in kind and also in acts (corvée was maximally 3 days a week). The liege levies, duties and responsibilities, but also the scope of farmhouses were registered in the urbary (listing of property).

State administration

The estate, or patrimonium, was the lowest unit of state government. In the course of the 2nd half of the 18th century the amount of political governance significantly increased. Regional authorities entrusted administrators of manors to arrange police, medical, military, judicial and administrative agenda. Concretely, e.g. to ensure reparations of roads, collect taxes, recruit troops, perform surveillance on health status of the population and to oversee affairs of schools.

The administrator of the estate was a lowest bailiff. He registered purchase and sale of tributaries` real estate, material and financial claims, adjudicate in criminal matters. In this state conferred agenda we can often encounter with a variety of regulations and orders of state, which were translated by provincial and regional authorities in printed patent and cirkulars. At the same time, the state interfered in functioning of estates restrictively; e.g. regulated patrimonial corvée patents, which set the corvée to the maximum of 3 days a week from the turn of the 17 century. The power of aristocracy was significantly limited by the patent on the abolition of serfdom (1781), which brought an easing into the area of authorisation of marriage, moving or leaving the craft.



The administrator was responsible for the state and overall management. He was the one who came into contact with subjects during official days in the office or at the annual courts. He signed documents prepared in the office. We can meet with his signature on the regular annual accounts, which gave evidence on economic results of the yards, mills, distilleries, brewery and other services. He had responsibility for rentals of various parts of country estate, but also for collection and payment of tributary taxes. He guaranteed registration of sales or inheritance of tributaries` farms (so called grunt books), care of orphans (orphans` accounts), presided over the court. His signature and sometimes his seal can be found at documents related to the payment of taxes or military and police affairs. In the 2nd half of the 18th century administrators in Roztoky did not often alter, between the years 1765-1803 there was only four of them.

Incumbent (obroční)

The incumbent (obroční) was in charge of grain management – he took care of grain in the fields and in the granaries, managed harvest works, he supervised the proper progress of work at the threshing and storage, dispensed grains from granaries, his activities also covered the grain of both of aristocracy and tributaries. In Roztoky his competence was probably wider, due to the small number of officials on the estate.


The scribe stood the lowest among the officials. He was in charge of preparation of all documents in the office. He responded on applications, managed variety of evidence (e.g. urbaries), issued originals of contracts and rewrote those to individual books (e.g. purchasing or wedding contracts).

Other people on the estate

Bailiff, grooms and maids

Own functioning of the estate was in charge of a bailiff. He managed grooms, took care of cattle, buildings, tools, etc. Bailiff`s wife assigned work to maids, cooked for grooms and maids and took care of small domestic animals (poultry, sometimes also pigs). Grooms and maids ate and lived in the yard in so-called servants` hall (čeledník). During the period of service it was not permitted to marry.


Village self-government was the lowest part of the administration of the estate and a reeve administered it. He managed the village and represented it with the aristocracy. Usually once a week he went to the office, where he solved tributaries` matter together with other officials.

Tributaries in the castle

Besides to farm buildings patrimonial office was area of the castle, where even a common man from manor could come. We are talking about a period of lack of freedom (so-called indentured servitude) and bondage of majority of people on estate. It means that if a man wanted to move on to another estate, or get married, or if he wanted to study or learn a trade outside of its own patrimonium, he had to apply at his patrimonial office, where he could get a permission (these conditions were applied till the year 1781, when they were abolished by the patent of serfdom).

Tributaries did not go to the office only in relatively exceptional matters - office was a place where during so-called judicial days property matters were solved and registered (wills, transfers, sales, wedding contracts, debts, pledges or receipts), but also disputes, orphan's affairs or taxes. While today a man must address to various authorities (municipal or district office, the district court, notaries or financial authorities), for tributaries all of these functions were connected in patrimonial office. A common man was mostly closed in the area of his manor almost up to the end of the 18th century, he did not need to exceed its boundaries, here he was born, worked and also died.


  • Archive cabinets, design of soft wood, door from cardboard (laminated paper) handpainted, 1st half of the 19th century (the same type was used in the 18th century)
  • Wooden treasury, mighty hobnailed, 17th – 18th century
  • Desk, inlaid, classicist, around 1800
  • Working and handling tables, around 1800
  • Maps, pictures and documents
  • Above the treasury
    • Map of the estate Roztoky (village Roztoky), end of the 18th century
  • Next to the windows
    • Map of Provincia Rakonitzensis - County of Rakovník, engraving, Vienna, 2nd half of the 18th century
    • Map of Provincia Kaurzimensis - County of Kouřim, engraving, Vienna, 2nd half of the 18th century
    • Map of the dominion of Černý Kostelec (Herrschaft Schwartz Kostelletz), beginning of the 19th century
  • Above the door
    • Coat of arms of the genus Liechtensteins
    • On the left from the coat of arms: Charles from Liechtenstein (1569-1627), founder of the princely house of Liechtensteins, in 1623 he bought Roztoky
    • On the right from the coat of arms: Antonín Florian from Liechtenstein (1656 - 1721), the first ruling prince of the Gundakers` branch (Gundaker of Liechtenstein, 1580- 1658, younger brother of Charles Liechtenstein) - in the person of Anthony Florian connected together two possessions of rich liechtensteins` tribal lines, Charles and Gundakers, descendants of this branch have been ruling Liechtenstein today.
  • Above the door in the room of administrator
    • Josef Václav from Liechtenstein (1696-1772), a field Marshall and a diplomat, in the years 1737-1741 an ambassador of Austria at the court of Louis XV.
  • On the desk
    • Balance of management of the estate Roztoky, 1789, 1794
    • Grunt book of the reeve of Roztoky, 1788 (pocket compendium from urbary as the basis for tax collection) - on the top plate of the table
  • On the table of the scribe
    • Book of orphan's accounts, 1782, 1783, 1785
    • Count of grain in farmhouses. Cereal register (records management with grain), 1730
  • On the table in the archive cupboards
    • Dominical Realitaten. Tables of dominical (mansion) goods and yields of the Roztoky estate, 1756

Dinig area

A small dining area is situated between the office and the kitchen, although we know that at its time it was not like this. There was a stable in this area. The niche in the wall is the evidence; it is a relic of a trough for stabled horses, which probably served to patrimonial officials to move around the estate. In such dining room the administrator and the incumbent could dine, possibly with their valued guests. The position of the scribe was so subordinate, that we can hardly imagine he could sit to eat along with his superiors. He probably ate in the kitchen or other appropriate room.


  • The dining room is equipped with period-appropriate furniture, mostly from the late 18th century, in the style of late baroque and classicism.
  • Sideboard, solid wood inlaid veneer, classical, around 1800
  • Chest of drawers, solid oak inlaid veneer, classicist, before 1800
  • Cabinet with two doors, solid oak, inlaid veneer, baroque, the 2nd half of the 18th century
  • Chest, solid oak, classicist, around 1800
  • Chair, the turn of the 18th and 19th century
  • Cushioned chair, baroque, around 1730
  • Tinny and Chinese (fajans) dishes, Czech, German and Dutch provenance, 18th century


Since its inception at the end of the 15th century function of this room was always a kitchen. For almost three centuries it was a black kitchen, as evidence there is a hole for the smoke from the fireplace in the arch above the window. At the end of the 18th century, there were major shifts in development of heating device. Open fireplace was changed in a closed furnace covered with iron plates. A cooker with a plate and with baking ovens was created. This revolutionary change enabled saving of fuel (50-60%) and allowed cleaner kitchen operation and new procedures in preparation of food.

The stove was mass used from the 2nd third of the 19th century; some of the manor kitchens were equipped with it at the end of the 18th century. Installation of the kitchen shows a situation at the turn of the 18th and 19th centuries, although the stove is a modern functional replica of the younger type. Along with change of firebox there was a change of form of dishes. A cylindrical pot with a wide bottom was developed, which could stay on a plate and effectively transferred the heat. Used kitchen utensils depended more on the size of the kitchen than on the wealth of the owner. On the contrary, tableware and utensils were a direct reflection of the wealth and representation (tin crockery, glass, fine ceramics, silver, porcelain, etc.).

Quality and quantity of nutriment always depended on the social status. During the 17th and 18th century, great changes took place in the kitchens of aristocracy and wealthy bourgeoisie; the previous flamboyance replaced the quality and taste refinement. However, even in the mansion environment range of food was not too wide, corn, beans, and especially potatoes were added. More or less simple cuisine of the lower layer (farmers, craftsmen) remained constant until the end of the 18th century; the expansion of potatoes after the famine in the years 1770-1771 was the major benefit.

Kitchen of the patrimonial administrator could be labelled as manorial; however, it was too far from the aristocratic "haute cuisine". It was rather similar to burgess food with its typical efficiency, in which gradually decreased the proportion of meat dishes in favour of the farinaceous dishes, also diminished the number of dishes in one meal. In the composition of meat dishes meat of slaughtered animals and poultry prevailed, occasionally supplemented with game and fish during fasting periods, often baked, or stewed in juice and thickened. Roasting of meat was reserved for the nobility, meat prepared by cooking (only 1-2x a week) and nutritionally valuable legumes, soups, flour and potato dishes, and all sorts of mash were meant for grooms and maids in the yard.

An interesting fact:

The kitchen was originally with a flat ceiling, but perhaps in the 16th century the owners rebuilt it into a brick barrel vault (the only brick vault in the castle). Access from the courtyard is the original, as well as the adjacent window, which functioned as a distribution. During historical exploration a vaulted drain for wastewater was found in the wall under the window. Explorations also discovered immured parts in the wall separating the kitchen from the current pantry. Here could probably be found holes, which served as a bread oven placed in the next room.


Use of kitchen from this part of the castle can be illustrated by the finding of the remains of a stone furnace, designed probably for baking bread.

Equipment of the pantry shows a situation of the turn of the 18th and 19th centuries.

Roztoky from the 19th century

In 1803 the Liechtensteins sold the castle with the estate. In the course of following 150 years Roztoky was in the possession of few different owners of non-noble descent, who lived in the castle unlike the Liechtensteins. Even in the 19th century some construction works, which could enhance the users` comfort, took place here, (e.g. closure of arcade in the floor with large windows). At the same time a small English park with rare and exotic trees was found there. The economic area remained fully functional estate with the usual agricultural activities.

Construction of the railway from Prague to Dresden opened in 1851 in the vicinity brought changes for the castle. The track accelerated transport connection from Roztoky to Prague and contributed to the economic development of the village and contributed to formation of the first villa resort of Prague citizens in the area.

The functioning of the estate was retained until the period after the Second World War. Once a noble residence was converted to apartments of employees and partly also economically used. After the onset of the communist regime in 1948 the agricultural holding became an administrator of the campus, which was using it regardless of its historical value. The castle and in particular the economic court were very devastated in a short time. The rescue was brought by the initiative of the local country-geography enthusiasts in the 1950s, which resulted in the establishment of the museum and reparation of the castle.

PDF icon Download Guide150.45 KB