Duchcov (German: Dux) is a château located about 8 km from Litvínov, in northern Bohemia, Czech Republic. The chateau houses a museum with a collection of historic furniture. Also on display is the painting and portrait gallery of the Waldsteins, including portraits of the most famous member of this family, Albrecht von Wallenstein, Duke of Friedland by Anthony van Dyck. One room is dedicated to Giacomo Casanova, who was here employed as a librarian from 1785 to 1798, and his memoirs Histoire de ma vie written here in 1798.
The castle was founded as a fort in the 13th century by the Hrabišic family, which resided at the Osek Castle. Not earlier than 1527, the Lobkowicz family replaced the fort with a one-wing Renaissance palace. Marie Polyxena of Thalmberg the widow of František Josef of Lobkowicz, married secondly Maximillian, Count of Waldstein in 1642. Their son Jan Bedřich, Count of Waldstein, later the Archbishop of Prague, was apprised with the French architect and painter Jean Baptiste Mathey, and brought him to Duchcov for the purpose of rebuilding the palace. The Castle was incorporated in the Waldstein's family fideicomis and passed on through inheritance to Ernst Joseph Count Waldstein and to his descendants until it was nationalised in 1945.
Mathey designed a huge Baroque complex, including a large park and a hospital. The decoration of the building was provided by the best baroque artists in Bohemia like the sculptors Matyáš Bernard Braun, Ferdinand Maxmilián Brokoff, and painter Václav Vavřinec Reiner. Between 1785 and 1798, Giacomo Casanova, the so-called secretary of the 18th century, spent the last thirteen years of his amazing life in Duchcov.
In the 19th century the palace was rebuilt in the classicist style and the garden in the romantic style. The Waldstein family left the place in 1921. At present the chateau is state-owned and open to visitors.
- Media related to Duchcov Castle at Wikimedia Commons
- Castle of Dux, aerial photo
- Usti Region Official site