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Castle Lukov2

The Lukov castle - main gate

Lukov Castle is a large ruin of a Gothic royal castle located in the southwest of Hostýnské Vrchy, near Zlín, Czech Republic. It is one of the largest and oldest Moravian castles.[1]


   The castle you are now visiting dates back to the beginning of the 13th century. Some interesting pieces of stone decoration have survived from those times, crafted by stonemasons in the masonry workshop at Velehrad, South Moravia, one of the most influential stonemasons’ workshops of the period. At that time the castle was in the direct possession of the King himself. By the beginning of the 14th century ownership had passed to the powerful House of Sternberg, as mentioned in a written notice from 1332. The very next year, however, Lukov castle was returned to the Czech King and Holy Roman Emperor Charles IV., who wrote about it in his Autobiography. Within a short period of time Lukov had changed hands again and around 1342 was back in the ownership of the Sternbergs, who held the castle for most of the next two centuries.  In  1392,   Pope  Bonifac IX.  noticed  that   the St John church in Lukov Castle had some remnants of the Holy Cross among its treasures. The unique architectural significance of the church continues to be proven today with new findings, such as richly decorated gothic pinnacles, window tracery or a rose window. 
   During the Bohemian War (1468-1478), begun by king Matthias Corvinus of Hungary who invaded Bohemia on the pretext of returning it to Catholicism, Lukov was seized and burnt down by Matthias’ troops. The vast damage caused to the defensive walls was probably the reason for the subsequent thorough reconstruction of the castle. The so-called Lower Castle including the St John’s Tower (Svatojánka) was probably founded at this time. 
    In 1511, Lukov and its surrounding land were purchased by the House of Kunštát. Among them, Jan Kuna of Kunštát is worth mentioning as he held the office of the Governor of Moravia. As soon as 1547, Lukov had new owners again, the Nekeš of Landek. While held by the Nekeš family, Lukov underwent thorough reconstruction in the renaissance style, in order to make it a more comfortable residence. The Nekeš were good managers and their domain grew ever bigger and richer. No wonder then that the last heiress of the family, Lucrecia, attracted the attention of many high-ranking cavaliers. Her second marriage was to a slightly younger, extremely ambitious nobleman (and later a successful military leader) Albrecht Václav Eusebius of Wallenstein (Valdštejn), who, after Lucrecia’s death, suddenly found himself owner of her vast possessions. 

Then came the Protestant Bohemian revolt against the Catholic ruler Ferdinand II of the Holy Roman Empire (of which Bohemia and Moravia were part at that time), and Lukov was confiscated from Albrecht of Wallenstein by the Directors of Moravia (a governing body established by the rebelling Moravian nobles) on the grounds that Albrecht was a devoted supporter of Emperor Ferdinand II. After the Battle of the White Mountain near Prague (1620), at which the imperial forces won a decisive victory, Lukov was returned to Albrecht of Wallenstein, but he sold it off very soon thereafter and bought Frýdlant castle instead. In the course of the Thirty Years’ War that followed, Lukov witnessed several rebellions by the local Wallachian population against the ruling Habsburgs. The Wallachian uprisings were on the verge of reaching a settlement when everything was turned upside down by the invasion of Swedish troops in the spring of 1642 and their seizure of the city of Olomouc. The Swedes captured Lukov without a battle, garrisoned it for about three months and on leaving, plundered it and burnt it down. The castle was then owned by the House of Minkvic of Minkvicburk, which had been deep in debt for many years. The indebted Minkvics passed Lukov over to Jan Josef of Rottal, who soon sold it to the Seilern family. Being established as courtiers at the Imperial Court in Vienna, the Seilerns scarcely visited Lukov at all. The castle was becoming less and less important and even the administration of the Lukov domain was moved to more comfortable offices down in the village. By the end of the 18th century, Lukov Castle had been completely abandoned and provided a source of cheap building material for local people.

At the end of the 20th century, attempts began to save what remained of the castle. Archaeological research has been going on almost continuously since 1983. A step-by-step reconstruction started in 1987 thanks to the volunteer conservationist organisation called Brontosaurus and the Association of Friends of Lukov Castle. Many years’ effort by generations of volunteers has helped turn the once neglected ruins into an attractive tourist destination that also offers educational programmes, mainly for children and youth.


Since 1983, the castle has been a subject of extensive voluntary restoration works by the Friends of Castle Lukov (in Czech: Spolek přátel hradu Lukova) and the Brontosaurus Movement, as well as archeological research.



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Coordinates: 49°18′12″N 17°44′24″E / 49.3032°N 17.7400°E / 49.3032; 17.7400

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