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Memorial statue of Zophie Karoline Millesimo
The castle foundations date back to 1120, when it was one of the largest Benedictine monasteries in Central Europe. The original founder of this monastery was an abbot called "William", and it is from his name that the later castle and town takes the name of "Vilémov". The monks who lived in this monastery are known to have eaten fish and frogs as their staple food source. Remains of their buildings may still be seen in the castle's foundations and park.
In 1421 the Hussites destroyed the monastery, leaving only the foundations. From these ruins a fortress was constructed in the year 1578.
Later the fortress was remodeled into a Renaissance castle. In 1684, Vilémov was bought by Count Caretto de Millesimo, Marquis of Savona.
In 1746 the castle was enlarged and its style changed from Renaissance to Baroque. The Italian architect Francesco Caratti designed the building; architectural details were added by artisans from Italy.
In 1852 the estate passed to Eckmuhl Josef Baron Reisky z Dubnic, great-grandson of Marie Alzbeta Countess Caretto de Millesimo and Frantisek Vaclav Baron Reisky z Dubnic. The Reisky family has owned the castle ever since, but during the Second World War it was taken over by the Nazis and the Reisky family was expelled.
In 1945 Russian Army troops under General Malinowski were quartered in the castle, and later in that same year it was returned to the Reisky family.
In 1948 the property was confiscated by the communist regime and was put to a variety of uses, including a boy's boarding school. All works of art and various other family keepsakes were removed or stolen during this period, and in 1991 when the estate was once again returned to the Reisky family, the buildings were empty and in complete disrepair.
In the last ten years of his life Prof. Dr.Vladimir Reisky de Dubnic returned home from America to take on the task of restoring the castle and its grounds. Restoration is complete, and Vilémov Castle continues to be an ideal setting for conferences, events and celebrations.
The Town of Vilémov Web Site:
includes photos, history and information about the Town of Vilémov