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Lednice–Valtice: English or French Garden?

Author elsslots
#1 | Posted: 16 Feb 2009 00:17 
According to Wiki, both Lednice and Valtice are English style parks/gardens. Someone suggested they are French. Or are they both French and English? Or even Italian?
The "garden landscape guide" writes:
".....fashioned according to English romantic principles of landscape architecture.
... The garden was further embellished, in the mid-nineteenth century, with an English-inspired Italian revival garden. Today, it is best regarded as a fine example of the Mixed Style. "

Can someone who has been there or is really into gardening clear this up for me?

Author Assif
#2 | Posted: 16 Feb 2009 03:31 
Lednice is certainly English except from a small French garden near the palace. I don't know about Veltice. Perhaps Lednice can be assigned to both then.

Author Solivagant
#3 | Posted: 16 Feb 2009 04:21 | Edited by: Solivagant 
Given the estate's size and the 3 centuries over which it was mainly developed (17-19th) it is likely to contain a wide variety of styles. Certainly the ICOMOS documentation "majors" on the English Garden as it was seen in Europe - and the landscape has all the right influences to be so categorised. The words "French" or "Italian" are not, as far as I can see, applied as epithets to the gardens anywhere in the Evaluation - though the word "Baroque" is used a few times. Conversely there is a lot about the garden's English provenance.

It is quite fascinating to look at Web sites from various countries and see the differences in emphasis they place on different aspects!! Wiki in particular provides a direct comparison
Herwith Wiki on Lednice
a. English speaking -
"The surrounding park is laid out in an English garden style and contains a range of Romantic follies by Joseph Hardtmuth"
b. French speaking
"Comme le palais attenant, il subit maintes métamorphoses. Jardins Renaissance tout d'abord, parc d'inspiration baroque italienne dans les années 1730 avec terrasses et sculptures décoratives, puis dans le gout anglais au XIXe siècle sur les plans de l'architecte Fanti. La rivière Dyje est alors captée pour alimenter étangs et canaux enjambés par des ponts. La dernière transformation en date a lieu en 1884–1887 quand, sur les plans de l'architecte Michelli, dans le gout néo-baroque français à la mode, le parterre regagne les formes géometriques, les sculptures antiques, fontaines, buis taillés et boulingrins qui auraient pu être là deux siècles auparavant."

So, the latter emphasies the "Italian Baroque" and makes a passing mention of the "English style" before moving on to "French Neo-baroque"!

I also found this quote in another French Web site "Les Jardins de Lednice-Valtice est un domaine de plus de 156 ha composé d'un jardin à la française et d'un autre comportant de très nombreuses plantes originaires d'Amérique du Nord et de nombreux étangs. On peut aussi y voir un l'aqueduc romain ou des sculptures. Le nombre et la qualité des édifices éparpillés sur le domaine Liechtenstein sont une des raisons de son inscription au patrimoine mondial de l'Unesco. " ( ). So that is that then according to the French - the 156 ha is a French Garden with N American plants, scattered buildings etc etc and no English influence at all!!

Regarding Valtice - The French Wiki doesn't mention the gardens whereas the "English" wiki states "The palace is surrounded by an English park"!

The ICOMOS evaluation concludes "Among the designed landscapes in Europe the Lednice-Valtice example is pre-eminent for the way in which it combines very diversified cultural and natural Components, for the range and quality of those elements, and for its extent.....It succeeds in bringing together in harmony cultural monuments from successive periods and both indigenous and exotic natural elements to create an outstanding work of human creativity."

The reality must be that one could find, within the inscribed area, most aspects of fashionable garden design from the periods during which the gardens were constructed - ie English, French and Italian. However it seems to me that it represents, par excellence, an English Park (Garden) as seen by Continental Europeans - but I would say that wouldn't I -perhaps I am as biased (or culturally introverted) as those French Web sites!

Author david
#4 | Posted: 16 Feb 2009 08:33 | Edited by: david 
I have been in Lednice many times and seen everything that is possible to see there. It is mainly an English style park but there is a quite big French garden (I think it can be defined as a key element of the landscape) in front of the castle. I think also there are not clearly Italian elements. The garden surrounding the Valtice castle is really modest and I think it can be defined more as a part of the whole English park landscape.
There are other interesting parks in Czech Republic:
- The French Pleasure Garden and the English Castle Garden in Kroměříž
- The English garden of the castle of Telč
- The French garden of the castle of Český Krumlov
- The extremely small garden of the Litomyšl castle with French and English elements
- Many beatiful parks and gardens in Prague with French and English elements

Author alexhills8
#5 | Posted: 13 Nov 2009 12:24 | Edited by: alexhills8 
I've just read something like the feel of fairy tale castle Lednice never lost. While I am searching some information about the Lednice gardens I've found that. How about some earlier time of the Lednice garden?


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