The town of Bystřice is located approximately five kilometers south of Benešov. Just under a kilometer east of Bystřice, in the northern part of the Líšno stream valley, lies the Líšno village.
After its foundation in 1367 by Beneš z Dubé, the castle of Líšno was initially held by his son, Václav z Dubé, who was initially opposed to the Hussite movement. In 1420, the castle was besieged by Hussite forces, but after they withdrew, Václav held the castle until 1424. From 1424 to 1443, the castle was occupied by Jan Sádlo ze Smilkova. In the mid-15th century, the castle was acquired by Zdeněk Konopišťský ze Šternberka, a supporter of Jiří z Poděbrad. Zdeněk helped Jiří in his struggle against the Strakonice Union and in 1450, he and his army captured the castle of Kostelec (now Zbořený Kostelec). However, Zdeněk betrayed Jiří in 1465, and in 1467, the royal army besieged all of Zdeněk’s castles, including Líšno, Konopiště, and Český Šternberk. Líšno was captured and Jiří z Poděbrad appointed one of his sons, Hynek z Münsterberka, as the new lord of the castle.
In 1478, the new ruler Vladislav Jagellonský handed over the castle to Petr II Holický ze Šternberka († 1514). Petr started with castle reparations, which were completed after his death in 1514 by his son Jan. After 1589, the property was taken over by Dorota, daughter of Otakar ze Šternberka. The castle remained in the ownership of the Šternberk family. When Dorota died in 1633, her children from previous marriages, two sons and two daughters, inherited the property. One of the daughters, Anna Albertina, started a lawsuit with her siblings over this property. She won the legal dispute and thus Líšno was acquired by her daughter from her first marriage, Dorota z Illova. During the Thirty Years’ War, the castle fell into disrepair.
During the division of the estate in 1667, the castle was acquired by Petr Vilém z Říčan, the son of Anna Albertina from her third marriage. However, his son Karel Šebestián sold Lišno in 1712 to Maria Renata ze Satzenhofenu, who sold it in 1744 to Lucie z Kokořova. She then sold the neglected castle and estate to the Servite Monastery in Prague near St. Michael in 1781. In 1785, the Servite Monastery was dissolved and the castle became the property of a religious fund. It had two more owners and continued to decay until it was purchased in 1872 by the Prague industrialist Čeněk Daněk. From 1873 to 1884, he had the castle completely rebuilt into a luxurious romantic-style chateau and constructed a grand park around it.
His grandson, Oskar Danek von Esse, accepted German citizenship during World War II and collaborated with the Nazis. After the war, he lost all his property, and the chateau became state property. In 1945, the Czechoslovak Red Cross established a central school at the castle. The Czech Red Cross (formerly the Czechoslovak Red Cross) operated the chateau until about 2000, when it was closed due to its poor condition. Since 2011, it has been offered for sale, but the chateau park has remained freely accessible. Since 2015, the chateau and park have been in private ownership, and renovations are underway. The company is offering the spaces for rent for corporate events, celebrations, weddings, or film shoots.
Bystřice u Benešova
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