Castle Luhačovice

Luhačovice has been viewed as a significant spa for centuries now. It owes this to the Serényi family whose history has been intertwined with Luhačovice since the 17th century.

Since then members of Serényi family proved to be enlightened landlords and statesmen. Gabriel Serényi, who was the Moravian governor enfranchised the people of Luhačovice from any socage and dues as early as 1636. Even though the family originally comes from Hungary, they have been proving their loyalty to Czechs and Moravians for centuries. Accordingly, the Serényis fought on the Bohemian side at the Battle of White Mountain which they later paid for by losing quarter of their property.

History repeated itself centuries later when their properties in Lomnice and Luhačovice were seized by communists. The party took this step despite the fact that the owner at the time Alois Serényi had fully supported Czechoslovakia during the First Republic and during mobilisation against Nazi Germany in 1938 he even voluntarily registered himself as an officer. The following year he signed the National Declaration of the Czech and Moravian Nobility, to pledge loyalty to the president and the Czech people. As such, he was object of Nazi persecution. Under immense pressure he was forced to sign the German citizenship to save six citizens from Luhačovice held as hostages by the Gestapo. The six hostages were all freed after he signed the documents. Furthermore, the ongoing threats against his immediate family finally came to an end, especially the imminent danger of his children being taken away. Also, the administration of the spa had urged him to accept the German citizenship to enhance the spa´s position and to secure the spa’s interests during occupation. Many documents of that time confirm that due to his outstanding engagement Spa Luhačovice remained the only non-Germanised spa in the country. Thereby, he saved more than 1600 Czech jobs.

The seized properties were given back to the family through restitution from  2016 onwards. The castle Luhačovice was used by ZUŠ and DDM at the time. The Thienen family repeatedly agreed to share the premises in the future, but ZUŠ decided to leave the castle in March 2020 and DDM wanted to stay until the end of the year only.