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Valtice is a small town in B°eclav District, South Moravian Region in the Czech Republic, situated 265 kilometres (165 mi) south-east of Prague, on the Austrian border. It had a population of 3,671 in 2005.

Valtice contains one of the most impressive Baroque residences of Central Europe. It was designed as the seat of the ruling princes of Liechtenstein by Johann Bernhard Fischer von Erlach in the early 18th century. Construction was supervised by Domenico Martinelli, who was employed as an on-site architect. The palace is surrounded by an English park with the Temple of Diana (1812) and other neoclassical structures. Together with the neighbouring manor of Lednice, to which it is connected by a 7 kilometres long lime-tree avenue, Valtice forms the World Heritage Site Lednice–Valtice Cultural Landscape.

The princely family lost all its privileges with the collapse of their protectors the Habsburg Empire and by the then newly established state of Czechoslovakia in 1918, the predecessor of the Czech Republic; and the castle was confiscated after World War II.

Valtice Chateau,originally a medieval castle, was founded perhaps in the 12th century by the bishops of Passau or by the Austrian Seefelds (Valtice belonged to the Lower Austria until1920). From 1387 until 1945 it remained in the hands of the Liechtenstein family. The castle was rebuilt several times, alterations in the Renaissance stylewere made in the 2nd half of the 16th century. Damaged by the Swedes in the years 1645 - 1646, it had to undergo the long-term Baroque reconstruction. The original Renaissance part of the former castle was converted into a two-storey entrance fašade, in places of other buildings three wings of the chateau complex were constructed and a garden was established. At the same time the area between the castle and the town was turned into the court of honor (farm buildings, a theater, a riding hall, etc.). Prestigious architects were involved with the construction of the chateau - F. Carratti, G.G. Tencalla, A. and J.K. Ernas, D. Martinelli, A. Beduzzi, A.Ospel as well as a sculptor F. Biener and a plasterer Alberti. During the 18th century castle gardens and a park were remodelled, in the early 19th century extensive alterations of surrounding landscape were made for John I Lichtenstein. In 1945 the Czechoslovak state took over the care and maintenance of the property.
In 1996, he entered business on the global list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

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Additional Photos by Krzysztof Dera (Fis2) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5008 W: 157 N: 6544] (79758)
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