Palava was the last part of Southern Moravia, which we have not visited. Last year we rode our bike in the Moravian Karst, Podyji National Park and around Brno Reservoir. Recetly Palava is a trendy region, everyone seem to go there at least once during the summer. To get known what is so special about Palava, we took our bikes and visited it in July.
The most interesting cycling trail in Palava is the Liechtenstein trail Lednice. Liechtenstein trails connect the most beautiful monuments of Liechtensteins in Southern Moravia in the region of Lednice-Valtice and Lower Austria. Liechtenstein trail Lednice leads through the Lednice-Valtice area more or less on local roads, forest and field paths along vineyards.
We left our car in a guarded parking lot near the castle Lednice and began our trip with a tour of the castle and the park, which is one of the largest in Europe (nearly 200 hectares). You can find also a Venetian fountain, Roman aqueduct, Chinese pavilion, Minarett and Greenhouse.
After visiting the Greenhouse, we continued along the Hunting Mansion on an asphalt road in the shade of a forest to the artificial ruins of John´s Castle. It was built at a hunting preserve and the river Dyje surrounds it on three sides. The castle served as a hunting mansion and meeting point before the hunt. After hunting, celebrations were held here, at which the King of the hunt was announced.
After three kilometers, we reached Appolon temple located on a hill near the shore of the Mill Pond. There is a beautiful view of the surroundings from its roof. The empire church was built in the early 19th century for a pleasure of Lichtensteins. Appolon´s story is written on the walls of the building.
Appolon empire church
Forest trail led to the Lichtenstein farmhouse – Novy dvur. This large farmhouse consists of four ground-floor wings that create a large rectangular courtyard. It is one of the last buildings that were built in the Lednice-Valtice area and as a separate building it is listed on the UNESCO. Novy dvur is currently used for breeding horses and is closed for public. The building is in a quite dilapidated condition.
Near the farmhouse there is a Temple of the Three Graces. Statue trio of naked women rises on a pedestal and is surrounded by semicircular Classicist building. In fact, Three Graces are not graces at all. The statues symbolize a trio of ancient goddesses: Athena, Aphrodite and Artemis.
We followed the red tourist signes to St. Hubert, the patron of hunters and shooters. Triangular chapel seems to be gothic, but it is not. It is one of the newest buildings of Lednice-Valtice area and sandstone blocks, of which the chapel was built, are even provided with fictional medieval stone-cutting marks.
There is another short trail through the forest to the magnificent building Rendez-vous. Empire-style mansion is quite big and has three floors. In the 1st floor there is a hall that served as a meeting point before the hunt. Rendez-vous is devoted to the goddess of hunting Diana, therefore it is sometimes called the Temple of Diana.
It was around noon, so we left for Valtice to have a lunch. It took us some time to find a restaurant with a free table but we succseed. We had our lunch in a garden restaurant and then we went on.
We could not miss the Valtice Castle. This majestic Baroque building impressed us more than Lednice Castle. In a four-wings building should be one hundred rooms. Today only 17 are opened for public. You need whole afternnon when taking a tour of the baroque residence, the surrounding park, and local tavern.
We we out of time, so we continued to the Reistna Colonnade. I hate the hills and this was extremely hard. If I knew, I would give up for sure. But it would be a shame. It is said, the building was hold up for a long time due to lack of finance and the architect Hadmuth just copied the Glorietta of Schönbrunn in Vienna. We liked this place. It is opened for public and from the roof you can see in all directions: North, vineyards surrounded by Lednice-Valtice park, South, Austrian Schattenberg, East, the Little Carpathians and West, Mikulov.
Next downhill ride to the border with Austria was great. We continued along the road through the village of Sedlec and along the pond Nesyt to the Little Border Chateau.
The Little Border Chateau is Neoclassical building and was built on the border between the Moravian Margraviate and Lower Austria. There is a stream flowing in the midlle as the symbol of the border.
The path leads further along the Lednice pond under the Pond Chateau, than turns left and a field trail took us back to Lednice.
I have to say that I've never experienced so many cyclists. Neither in the South Bohemian region, which is famous for cycling. For the first time we found ourselves in bicycle traffic-jam, we were unable to go our own pace and terrible behaviour of tourists to the sights unpleasently surprised me.
I would like to ride this 40km long trail once again, but in off-season. Lichtenstein trail Lednice is indeed one of the best bike trails we've ever rode. Most of the time there are no hills, trails are surrounded by nature and on almost every three kilometers you see an architectural jewel.