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

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 144 pages
  • Publisher: Abbeville Press; 1 edition (Jan. 2 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0789208938
  • ISBN-13: 978-0789208934
  • Product Dimensions: 28 x 2.1 x 33 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 Kg
  • Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,572,847 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description


"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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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) HASH(0xa7fc5384) out of 5 stars 4 reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa79a5738) out of 5 stars 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.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa79a57f8) out of 5 stars Absolutely great for someone who has been to Czech Republic Nov. 3 2013
By LD - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
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 and leave a lot to be desired. 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 and those I was allowed to take.

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.

Update 10/2015: This book is a reprint of the first 140 pages of The Great Country Houses of Central Europe. I give its text 5 stars without hesitation. My interest was not on Hungary and Poland and that is why I opted to purchase this version. My personal photos are much better but the text and large photos were a bargain at $0.63.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa79a7570) out of 5 stars Only 10 houses; 155 illustrations, 139 in color April 13 2015
By Eugene Tenenbaum - Published on
Format: Hardcover
1. Krásná Horka
2. Betliar
3. Cesky Sternberk
4. Opocno
5. Dobríš
6. Buchlov
7. Buchlovice
8. Veltrusy
9. Lednice
10. Valtice
A comprehensive analysis of where politics, culture, and art merge, The Great Country Houses of the Czech Republic and Slovakia is a captivating read for anyone curious about the history and architecture of these two countries. Gerhard Trumler’s striking photographs allow readers entrance, for example, to the Liechtensteins’ twin chateaux of Valtice and Lednice in the Czech Republic. The lords of these castles established one of the greatest art collections in the world and played a major role in the diplomatic and military lives of the nation; they still remain as the ruling house of the Principality of Liechtenstein. Pratt’s new chapter speaks of the difficulties of restoration and problems concerning modern-day ownership. Though many estates were lost or damaged during the World Wars, the houses as they stand today—some restored, some languishing in disrepair—present a rich cultural heritage of two fascinating countries.
HASH(0xa79a79e4) out of 5 stars Worth the risk. Oct. 15 2015
By SHANE WILLIAMS - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Good window into Eastern Europe. Well illustrated and decent history. Didn't know if it would be worth the money,but I am glad I bought it.