||This article may be expanded with text translated from the corresponding article in the Czech Wikipedia. (July 2009)|
Upper Chateau in Panenské Břežany
Location in Prague-East District
|• Total||5.79 km2 (2.24 sq mi)|
|Elevation||245 m (804 ft)|
|• Density||98/km2 (250/sq mi)|
|Postal code||250 70|
The municipality covers an area of 5.79 km² and as of 2010 it had a population of 567.
Panenské Břežany lies in proximity of the capital city of Prague, approximately 14 kilometres (9 mi) north of its centre.
The settlement was first mentioned in 1233 as the possession of the Benedictine monastery of St. George at Prague Castle. In the first half of the 18th Century a Baroque palace was built, which came to be called the Oberes Schloss.
After the secularization of the monastery during reign of Emperor Joseph II the manor fell to the Virgin Teinitz Religious foundation. Until 1820 the owners changed several times, then it was purchased by Matthias von Riese-Stallburg. It was re-designed and re-built around 1840 as a French chateau. His descendants lost the property in 1901 because of indebtedness to the Prague Credit Bank. In 1909 the property was bought by Ferdinand Bloch-Bauer, a financially strong buyer involved in the sugar industry. Bloch-Bauer decorated the Lower Castle with his private art collection and a hunting room full of trophies.
Following the Nazi occupation after 1939 the Jewish industrialist fled and the estate was confiscated. From 1939 to 1942 the Lower Castle was the residence of the Reichsprotektor of Bohemia and Moravia. In the castle complex lived both Konstantin von Neurath and from 1941 his nominal successor SS-Obergruppenführer Reinhard Heydrich with their families. Driving from the mansion to his work in Prague Heydrich was assassinated in May 1942. After Heydrich's death, his widow Lina lived with the children until 1945 at the castle. Their ten year old son Klaus died in a car accident here in October 1943.
"In April 1943 Hitler finally decided that the future of the [Heydrich] family must be safeguarded, and by a special Fuehrer-Decree he ordered that Heydrich's "beloved schloss Jungfern-Breschan" with all its contents and lands should be handed over to his widow and family in perpetuity. The Fuehrer added that it was his desire that the heirs should always be associated with the property."
- Charles Wighton, Heydrich: Hitler's Most Evil Henchman (London, 1962),
- Charles Wighton, Heydrich: Hitler's Most Evil Henchman (London, 1962), page.282.
- This article was initially translated from the Czech Wikipedia.
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