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Hiking from Valtice to Lednice


Today was our first official day of hiking on the "Czech Greenways". We started right from the hotel and took off thru the fields and woods. While in the woods I started hearing a Cuckoo clock! I'm thinking, what in the world is a cuckoo clock doing out here. Then it dawned on me. There must be a real live cuckoo bird out there! I'd never heard one before. I had always thought Cuckoo birds were a fictitious creature invented just for Cuckoo clocks ! I had to travel all the way to the Czech Republic just to learn that cuckoo birds really do exist. :-)

After a short while we came upon more of the "follies" built by the Liechtenstein family. First was the "Temple of Diana" (also called the "Rendezvous") built in 1812. It was used as a hunting lodge . It looked more like a giant "Arch de Triumph" than a hunting lodge. It looked totally out of place in the woods. Then we came across a small stone gazebo with spires and statues called "The Chapel of St. Hubert" which was named after (you guessed it!) St. Hubert, the patron of the hunt. Following that was a semicircular colonnade with arches. In the center of the semicircle was a monument to the "Three Graces", a statue of three, lithesome, young, naked ladies. Just the kind of things you run into all the time out in the woods back home in Maryland and Virginia !

The Rendezvous Hunting Lodge

^ Above, the Liechtenstein's hunting lodge "Rendezvous".

> Right, The Chapel of St. Hubert.

The Chapel of St. Hubert

> To the right is a closeup of the "3 Graces" representing three antique godesses.



v Below is the semi-circular colonnade surrounding the "3 Graces".

The 3 Graces
The colonade with the 3 Graces

Lunch overlooking Mlynsky Lake

^ On our way to Lednice, we stopped for lunch on a log overlooking Mlynsky Lake.

Eventually we came to the village of Lednice which was the end of today's hike. Before we called Tom on the cell phone to come pick us up, we walked around the Lednice chateau, which was once the summer palace of the Liechtenstein family. We took a short tour thru the interior of the chateau. The guide spoke in Czech but they gave us a very helpful pamphlet containing an english translation of her talk.

After the chateau tour we walked out back thru the gardens to the Janohrad, an artificial ruined castle built by the Liechtensteins back around 1809. I say artificial ruin because they purposely built the castle to make it look like it was an old ruined castle. Many of the walls and towers were made to look like they had collapsed and fallen down. Hey, what can I say, when you've got gobs of money burning holes in your pockets, you can indulge every one of your silly whims.

That night we stayed again in the Hotel Apollon in Valtice.

> To the right is part of the Liechtenstein family chateau at Lednice. It was too large and had too many trees surrounding it to get a good shot of the whole place.




v Below is the Janohrad, a castle they purposely built to resemble a "ruined" castle.

The chateau at Lednice
Janohrad, the "ruined" castle


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last revised : February 12, 2006