Before Christ and the settlement of the Celts
The first mention of the settlement of the area around the Štiřín Chateau comes from the time before Christ. The abundance of water that was here was the basis for life in the settlements of that time. The oldest known nation that settled in this picturesque landscape were the mysterious Celts. From these ancient times, only circular ramparts have been preserved, which protected the tribes from uninvited guests and beast attacks. However, the Celts did not inhabit this area only because of the water and the abundance of food, they found gold in the area. Nevertheless, they left this region for unknown reasons.
Many years later
Many years later, around 500 AD, their very well-placed opida were used by the Slavs, who continued their way of life in the area. Another important milestone was the beginning of the 15th century, when a fortress was built near the local settlements, where Emperor Maximilian II spent the night in 1562. on the way to Prague for his coronation by the Czech king.
The period after the Thirty Years’ War
After the end of the long war in the 17th century, the fortress was rebuilt into a chateau with a garden. The year 1750 was decisive for the continued existence of historical buildings in Štiřín, when the local estate was bought by the old count L. A. Salm-Reifferscheid-Hainspach for his son Johann Franz Wenzl and his wife, Walburg of Sternberg. The Salm family immediately began the complete reconstruction of the chateau, and in the late Baroque style, the present appearance of the chateau, a three-winged two-storey building covered by a mansard roof, was created. The reconstruction was completed around 1757 with the construction of a chateau chapel, passing through both floors of the west wing.
In front of the south facade of the main wing, a two-armed French staircase was built to the regular Baroque garden, with views of the park. The staircase was later decorated with sculptures of small putti and four allegories of the seasons. This work is attributed to Matthias B. Braun or his nephew Anton. Other sculptures, such as the statue of St. Jan Nepomucký in front of the castle gate, dated to 1764. During the reign of the Salm-Reifferscheidt family, the whole building was rebuilt into a stately three-wing Baroque mansion, the middle wing of which led to a grand staircase and the garden facade of the castle had an open French staircase decorated with vases.
Castle owners since the 18th century:
- genus Sam-Reifferscheidt (usually only Salm in Bohemia) 1751 – 1822
- Rohan family (Prince Ch. A. Rohan) 1822 – 1833
- genus Nostiz- Rieneck 1833 – 1870
- Ringhoffer family (František Ringhoffer II.) 1870 – 1945
- Czech Republic 1945 – present
During the ownership of the Ringhoffer family, the castle was last rebuilt, specifically the north wing, the farm buildings were expanded and electric lighting was introduced. At the beginning of the 1950s, the building belonged to the then Ministry of Education and the chateau was used for training and recreation of ROH members. In the years 1985 – 1993, the monument was rehabilitated in an extraordinary way and all modifications were made sensitively with the intention of future hotel and congress use.
The story of Přemysl Pittr – humanist and savior of children (1895 -1976)
He was born in 1895 in Smíchov, Prague, in the family of the printer’s director Karel Pitter. At the beginning of the First World War, he volunteered for the army, where he underwent a great spiritual conversion and became a pacifist and a devout Christian. At that time, he promised God that if he survived, he would devote the rest of his life to caring for children and needy people – that determined his future life and deeds during and after World War II.
During the occupation, he and his girlfriend Olga Fierz helped Jewish families and sought immediate assistance to children in the postwar period. Immediately after the liberation, Přemysl Pitter was commissioned by the National Council’s Health and Social Commission and launched a “lock action”. At the castles of Štiřín, Olešovice, Kamenice and Lojovice and in the boarding house in Ládví, which he transformed into sanatoriums, he offered children of different nationalities from concentration camps the opportunity to stay. Health and social care intertwined with friendly treatment and thus saved children’s lives. Eight hundred children, half of whom were of German nationality, went through the event.
But nothing lasts forever. After 1948, his concept was unaccepted, so strongly that Přemysl Pitter was forced to emigrate in 1951. However, he did not abandon his vision and continued in refugee camps. He later landed in Switzerland and was unable to see his homeland. He died in 1975. For his heroism and in 1991 he received the Order of T. G. Masaryk in memoriam.