Unique Lichtenstein mausoleum reopens near Brno

Photo: CTK

After three years of extensive renovation, the burial site of the House of Liechtenstein in the south Moravian town of Vranov was re-opened and re-consecrated. The unique mausoleum to the influential noble family was seized by the Czechoslovak state after WWII and has been crumbling apart ever since.

Photo: CTK
An official ceremony accompanied the re-consecration of the Liechtenstein family burial site in Vranov, some 25 kilometres north of Brno. The burial site for the major movers and shakers in Central Europe was established here by Maximilian of Liechtenstein in the 17th century. It was originally part of a monastery complex and came to house the remains of more than 50 members of the noble family.

Since 2009, the church and the mausoleum have been administered by the Roman Catholic Church, but the renovation, which amounted to 54 million crowns (nearly 200,000 euro) was funded by the descendants of the Liechtenstein family themselves. One of them, Prince Hans Adam II, attended the official ceremony at Vranov and spoke to Czech TV:

Hans Adam II,  photo: CTK
“When I came here for the first time, which was I think in the 1960s, we thought that a reconstruction was necessary.”

The present mausoleum, built in 1812, is sited underneath the Church of our Virgin Mary in the hills above Vranov and consists of two crypts, containing the remains of all but one of the ruling princes of Liechtenstein.

Such a complete family burial site for nobility is a European rarity, which is why the Vranov mausoleum is regarded as such an historical jewel.

The Dukes of Liechtenstein owned vast swathes of property on the territory of the Czech Republic, especially in Moravia, including the well-known Lednice-Valtice estates in Moravia. The patrimony of the noble family includes the Lednice stately home, the biggest touristic attraction in the Czech Republic, as well as the Valtice Chateau.

Photo: CTK
The property was seized after World War II and that move has given rise to a long running rift with the Czechoslovak and later Czech governments. Diplomatic relations between Prague and the principality of Liechtenstein were only restored five years ago. Prince Hans Adam II again:

“I haven’t given up the hope that really one day it will be possible to get it back.”

The Liechtenstein mausoleum will open to the public on only one day of the year, November 1.