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1. PODĚBRADY CHATEAU

Founded in the early 12th century, Poděbrady Chateau, was originally a fortress on a limestone rock overlooking the Elbe River.  This chateau was ranked among the royal estates during the reign of Přemysl Otakar II.  A stone castle was built here at that time and used as a residence by Kings and their entire courts.  The castle was one of a number of strategic places on the Elbe whose purpose was to defend Prague against enemy attacks from the east and the northeast.  The castle was later rebuilt completely and fortified during the 14th and in the early 15th century and its moats were widened.  At one point, it was renovated in the Renaissance style during the reign of the Emperor Ferdinand I in the late 16th century.  He had it converted into a summer hunting palace.  The last private owners was the family of Hohenlohe of Schillingsfürst (1885 to 1912).  The present appearance of the chateau is therefore the result of several reconstructions - from a water castle, a medieval fortress and a Renaissance royal seat, up to a Late Baroque building intended to fulfill military purposes during the reign of Josef II.