Largely neglected and unknown, the palaces, villas, and castles of Central Europe are revealed in the revised edition of this dazzling history.
In the heart of Central Europe stand some of the most elegant and grandly conceived country houses ever constructed, from medieval fortresses and Renaissance- era estates to baroque villas and neoclassical palaces. Until the last decade these illustrious residences were inaccessible to the West. This landmark volume presents these rarely seen treasures of the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, and Poland, nations that shelter a superb selection of Europe’s finest country houses, built over the centuries by some of the continent’s most distinguished families. Richly illustrated with specially commissioned photography, The Great Country Houses of Central Europe tells the stories of these magnificent buildings and the families that constructed them, immersing us in the vanished world of the region’s aristocracy.
Lord Michael Pratt sets his discussion of the houses and their patrons against the backdrop of Central European history. Beginning in the Middle Ages and continuing to the present day, this monumental study analyzes thirty of the region’s most important estates and introduces dozens of others. Although the primary focus is on the houses and the families that built them, gardens, grounds, and interiors are also illustrated in detail, including examples of furniture, decorative arts, and paintings. Splendid and surprising, these remarkable structures and the magisterial book that celebrates them display Central Europe in its full glory.