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Stronghold In Prague - Chodov

Published: 28.9.2010
Jižní Město Quarter (South Town Quarter) in Prague is dwelling-house complex, constructed since 1970. It is true that all this area has its characteristic atmosphere, but despite such fact, you can find there several places which are, from cultural and historical point of view, worth to be visited. And just Chodov stronghold belongs to such points.

Disputes regarding foundation

There are disputes about a fact who exactly constructed this stronghold. Several versions are existing. The stronghold could be founded by somebody from Hrabišic Parentage, by Templar Knights or watchmen of God´s Tomb, known also as the Knights of Jerusalem. The basic material, used for its construction, was formed with quarry stones, and the wallings were established just from these materials. The access to stronghold was created by wooden bridge - (on its western part) – and even agricultural courtyard was situated there (this placement became very popular practise in 14th century). The economical as well as administrative centres of each dominion were created by such way,

Despite the fact that the building was constructed just in 13th century, the first written message is dated  two hundred years later, (in 1421). The construction was marked as confiscated  property of Zderaz Abbey. At the beginning of 15th century, the Crusaders from Zderaz tried to do their best, in order to increase the level of the building, so, the first ponds started to be founded in its environs. Owing to the fact that the country began to feel the quakes of Hussite movement, which taught also Zderaz Abbey. Hussite troops devastated the building, and the events, of course, had its influence to remote Chodov stronghold. New owner, Jan, producer of guns, obtained, except Chodov, also the communities of Litochleby and Šeberov.

Since 1471, „Chodov Lady Machna“ became an owner of Chodov dominion. This woman belonged to opponents of King George of Poděbrady (1420-1471). So, Prague burgrave ordered to confiscate cattle herds to all disobedient landlords and knights. Machna, together with many other persons, caught cattle herds on „Cattle Market“ (Charles Square at present), and she herself tore a sword from some of mercenaries, and she even demonstrated to kill some of them.

Decline and Ascent

In the course of 30-years´ War (1618-1648), when the stronghold was in possession of Michna Parentage, the building started to fall to decay, as this uncertain time period dissuaded their owners from any investments. In 1676, the building was in ownership of Benedictine Order, and the reconstruction to small castle was effected, and the building would serve as relax place for monks.

Since 1801, Korba Parentage of Weidenheim became next owners of the building. And just from this time period (the second half of 19th century) the detailed description was preserved, as follows:

„You can reach this ring-shaped building via authority courtyard. Its walls are freshly decorated with clear red roof and green Venetian blinds. The building looks like modern villa (countryseat). It is connected by fence with a farm, and narrow stages lead inside, which are being used as a passage for economic purposes.“ (Bartoň Jiří, Chodovská tvrz).

Since 1897, when Chodov Dominion was in possession of Louis Korba-Weidenheim, (the stronghold was a part of it) the area took the extent of approx. 230 ha of soil. The complex was consisted of a park, courtyard and distillery, which was not often in operation.

Chodov Stronghold at present

The stronghold undergone detailed reconstruction within 1984-1988. Culture Centre Jižní Město became its new owner. Nevertheless, Chodov Stronghold became, during past years, an important centre of cultural life of Jižní Město Quarter. Local  programmeof events is really very rich: you can visit there chamber concerts, exhibitions of art, follow theatre performances of fairytales for children, the weddings are held there, or welcome of new-born  small citizens is organized there.

Text/photo: Maxim Kucer

Translation: ing. Jan Jonáš


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