Kladno Castle  

Autor: Michal Sýkora, student PedF UK v praze

Dientzenhofer partly complied with the original Renaissance building, used the old masonry of the northern, eastern and western wings and adapted it to the new building. The south wing was completely demolished; therefore there was space for a courtyard of honour surrounded by three wings. The exterior is designed very simply, unlike other buildings by Dientzenhofer.  On the castle clock turret,  we can see, next to the year 1750, the monogram of Abbot Löbl – BAB (Benno Abbas Brevnoviensis).

Inside  the castle  is the recently restored Chapel of St. Lawrence with a fresco painting by Jan Karel Kovář, which depicts the martyred end of the life of a Roman saint. In the abbatial chapel there is the Altar of St. Lawrence, probably carved by Karel Josef Hiernle; the main Altar painting of St. Lawrence was painted by František Lichtenreiter. The author of two sculptures on the sides of the altar is again Hiernle. Traditionally, it is stated that these two sculptures represent St. Benedict of Nursia and St. Gunther of Bohemia.

Kladno Castle is not the only well-preserved sight of historical importance from the time of the Benedictines. On Kladno square there is a Marian sculptural ensemble from 1741 again designed  by Kilian Ignaz Dientzenhofer. The sculptural work was carried out by Karel Josef Hiernle. The sculptural representation is divided into three horizontal parts: the first depicts the family of Jesus – reliefs of St. Joachim, St. Joseph, St. John the Baptist and St. Anna. The second part expresses the saints St. Benedict of Nursia, St. John of Nepomuk and St. Benno. The sculptural ensemble culminates in the statue of the Virgin Mary.

The last building associated with Dientzenhofer and Abbot Löbl is the Chapel of St. Florian, whose foundation stone was laid in 1751. However, both the master builder and the architect died in the same year and the chapel was not completed until 1872. The painting decoration by Vilém Kandler from 1872 is worthy of mention. The three canvases depict St. Florian, St. Procopius and St. Benedict of Nursia.

 Kladno Castle did not undergo any major alterations in the 19th century. These were to come about in the 20th century, when the castle was rebuild for the purposes of the city archives, museum and library. Today it houses the Castle Municipal  Gallery.