History of Milotice Chateau

The pearl of the Southeast Moravia

The village of Milotice in fact dates back to the turn of the 11th and 12th centuries, although the first written record of it did not appear until 1341. The first known owners of Milotice emerge around 1360 with the lords of Ronov. From then until 1648 numerous owners are recorded, most notably Bernard Ludwig Tovar of Enzesfeld (1586-96), who was responsible for building the Renaissance chateau here at Milotice, and Albrecht of Waldstein, who was best known for his exploits in the Thirty Years War.

1648 ushered into Milotice the era of the Serényi family, which lasted until 1811, when the last male member of the family died. He was Karl Bernard Serényi. After his death Milotice was managed first by his daughter, and afterwards his granddaughter. Then in 1888 it was acquired by Franz Karl Seilern-Aspang along with all the other parts of the family inheritance, making him the sole owner of the estate. However, since he never married and had no legitimate heirs the property passed after his death in 1916 to his nephew Ladislaus Seilern, who managed the estate until 1945 despite the restrictive measures imposed by the land reforms of the First Republic. In 1945, however, because Seilern, a doctor of law, had formally adopted German nationality his family´s estates were confiscated by the state after the war and the family was forced into exile.

The first titled owners of the Milotice estate lived in a moated fortress. The remains of the moat can still be seen around the chateau today. When the fortress no longer met the more sophisticated living requirements of the family, a programme of reconstruction was undertaken from 1586-1596, most probably by Bernard Ludwig Tovar of Enczesfeld, resulting in a two-storey chateau. This Renaissance family seat had arcades both on the ground and on the first floor. A fundamental transformation in the appearance of the chateau then occurred in the 1770s with the addition of corner towers and another floor after the chateau had been razed to the ground by a Tartar raid in 1663.

Although Milotice had been in the hands of the Serényi family since 1648 it was really only of peripheral interest to them until the early 18th century. The estate took on a new lease of life with the advent of Karl Anton Serényi in the wake of his successful career as a diplomat. He was Hofmeister at the court of Marie Magdalena, sister to Emperor Charles VI, a post which called for a suitably elegant residence. Out of all the Serényi estates Milotice was chosen for this purpose on account of its proximity to the capital city of Vienna.

Since up to that point the chateau had only served for warehousing and administrative purposes, it became necessary to undertake some building renovations. The four-winged ground plan of the chateau was preserved even for the baroque reconstruction of the chateau, which was carried out in two phases, from 1719-1725 and from 1738-1743. The first was under the auspices of by the Brno master builder Franz Benedict Klíčník, the architectural plans being carried out by a local master bricklayer from Hodonín, Martin Pahnost. It is not clear who exactly the architect was.