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Templářské sklepy
Hotel Chateau Zámek *** Čejkovice

The history of Čejkovice and Čejkovice Chateau

The Knights Templar came to Čejkovice in the 1230s. Little information has survived about the Templar Commenda. The oldest written mention of Čejkovice comes from the year 1248 in a document issued by Oldřich of Sponheim (Adum est hoc in Schaeikwitz), then Lord of Břeclav.

The Templars were the oldest of the orders of knights formed during the Crusades in Palestine. The order was established by a group of high-born knights from Champagne in 1119, primarily to protect pilgrims on their way to Jerusalem and to protect the colonial estates of Europeans on occupied territory. The army of the Knights Templar or the Poor Fellow-Soldiers of Christ and of the Temple of Solomon was, for its time, an excellently organised, rich, international and well-armed expeditionary force connected by the rules and statutes of the order. At the height of their glory, they could assemble an army of as many as three thousand men, and their military strength became indispensable to the armies of the Latin states in the East. Their highly modern banking activities brought them huge financial profits, while their castles and estates were among the best kept and administered. The originally Hospitaller Brotherhood of Saint John the Baptist of Jerusalem or Johannites became militarised along the lines of the Templars and the Teutonic Order was later formed. The fall and annihilation of the Knights Templar was prepared by French King Philip IV (Philip the Fair) and his counsellors and lawyers. All the Templars on French territory were arrested on 13 October 1307. The trial of the Templars, held in an atmosphere of sensationalism and secrecy, lasted several years. Pope Clement V, under pressure from Philip the Fair, dissolved the Knights Templar at the Council of Vienne on 22 March 1312. Members of the order were burned at the stake in Paris on 18 March 1313.

Following the dissolution of the order, Čejkovice was acquired by the powerful Lords of Lipá. After Jindřich of Lipá and his descendants, Čejkovice was held by Albert and Vilém of Šternberk, the Moravian Margrave Jošt, Boček of Kunštát, Heřman of Zástřizl, Herolt Kuna of Kunštát, Albrecht of Víckov and Jan Adam of Víckov. His property was forfeited because he took the anti-Hapsburg side during the Uprising of the Estates. In 1624, the Chateau was gifted to the Olomouc College of the Society of Jesus. The Jesuits completed the construction of the building in its present form.

After the Jesuits were abolished in 1773, the Chateau was transferred to a study fund in 1774. In 1783, Čejkovice was purchased from the study fund by Emperor Joseph II and the Supreme Office for the Administration of the Imperial Estates was established at the Chateau. “In addition to the offices and residences of officials, ten imperial rooms were ready for members of the imperial family and their guests at all times in the inner section of the building, as the Hapsburgs often held hunts and hunting festivities at the nearby Hodonín forestry district.” (from the Čejkovice Journal 1248–1998). In 1785, Čejkovice was visited by Emperor Joseph II, and in 1880 by Emperor Franz Joseph I.

In terms of its importance and state of preservation, the Chateau is unique not just in Moravia, but also in the wider area. Čejkovice was the most important Commenda in this country and home to the provincial commander, so the size of the site comes as no surprise. The complex layout of the Chateau itself speaks of its long and complicated structural history.

The most difficult period in the history of the Chateau came after 1918 when it became state property. No renovations were performed and the Chateau fell into a state of disrepair. Its demolition was even planned. Long and expensive reconstruction began, however, in the middle of the nineteen seventies. The hotel opened for business in 1998.

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