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The Great Country Houses of the Czech Republic and Slovakia Hardcover – Jan 2 2008

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"Impeccably designed and lavishly illustrated, this volume allows us to wander into a part of the European heartland hitherto closed off to all but the most adventurous....Trumler's photographs of these national treasures unfailingly surprise and satisfy. Highly recommended as a visual delight and an unusual introduction to a newly opened region."

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Absolutely great for someone who has been to Czech Republic Nov. 3 2013
By LD - Published on
Format: Hardcover
Not only is the history of the Czech Republic thoroughly explained, but the impact by the aristocratic families and the evolving architecture in Western Europe is detailed. Having traveled extensively in the country, toured many of these places, heard the histories and read the brochures, I still found the commentary to be better at explaining the larger story. Many of these rich families owned more than one castle/palace. After decades or centuries some family lines died out and the estates went to supporters of the crown. The book also covers the ongoing legal battles by the Schwarzenbergers and Lietchensteins to recover their properties.

The strength of the book is its story-telling. There are some exterior photos of the places discussed and a limited number showing interior rooms. I had hoped for a lot of interior photos because most of these places still do not allow photography without special permission. So I will have to be satisfied with the souvenir photos I was able to acquire. Because the Renaissance, Baroque, and Rococo architectural styles came late to this area, there are some unique looks to these buildings. Sometimes it is on the exterior but primarily the interiors with their marquetry, elaborate ceilings, and mixture of styles for different eras that really take your breath away. If you are impressed with the interior photos from Cesky Krumlov, Hluboka, Lednice, or Dobris you have barely started- there are even better rooms.

If you have not traveled outside of Prague, this book will definitely make you want to go. One thing this book will do is to help you understand this region's fascinating history that is virtually unknown to Americans. At the time of this review, the book sold for 10-$15 and you can't buy the full page color photos for that.
The castles and chateaus are in the horrible shape, like they were 20 years ago July 19 2014
By Marian Kopecky - Published on
Format: Hardcover
Pictures are old. The pictures must have been taken during or right after of the fall of the communism in Czechoslovakia. The castles and chateaus are in the horrible shape, like they were 20 years ago. I guarantee you that none of the are in the bad shape as shown in this book which claims it is from 2008. Stay away from this book, although the writing is interesting the pictures need to be updated.