An easy day trip out of Prague is a visit to Zámek Jemniště. Here you can take a tour inside the chateau or just stroll around the beautifully restored grounds which also include a small zoo. Jemniste also has a pretty exceptional cafe and restaurant on-site. And if you don’t feel like leaving well thats fine, as you can stay here too!
This is a privately owned chateau run by the Czech aristocratic family Stenberg who own at least four castles and chateaus within the Czech Repbulic, including their most well known Castle: Český Šternberk. Jiri Stenberg is the youngest family member and takes on the responsibility of Chateau Jemniste. He lives on-site along with his wife and two children. You will often see Jiri running around the property, he and his wife are very hands on and they need to be - imagine the cost and responsibility that one takes on when running such a huge property!!! The family have been slowly renovating the chateau for 14 years and each time I visit I can see more improvements and restoration that has taken place.
In 2005 BC (before kids!) David treated me to an overnight stay at Jemniste so I’ve experienced the complex in it’s quietest moments. There are several apartments available to stay in, they are within the chateau forecourt (not inside the main building). The interior design was opulent; rich silk curtains, pillows, restored antique furniture and an above standard bathroom. Our apartment had a living area with fireplace, a bedroom and a bathroom - plenty of room! The restaurant and cafe had not been built at that stage but we ordered a cold plate of food before we arrived and Jiri Stenberg himself bought this to our room along with a bottle of wine. Well, this was some cold plate - huge and bursting with cheeses, fruits, breads, meats etc. Anyway, if you’re after some unique accommodation and are kid-free it’s worth considering.
So nowdays we have a few kids in tow and questioned what the chateau can offer us? With two small ones (3 and 3 months) tours inside castles are hit and miss so we were more than happy to spend our day outdoors in the splendid sunshine enjoying the renovated grounds. There is a fee to enter the park that you pay in the cafe, this is fair enough as the money goes back into the upkeep of the gardens and the animals. Wandering around you will come across kangaroos, lamas, peacocks, parrots, goats and chickens as well as a couple of swings and a lake with a boat.
A great idea is to order a picnic lunch in the warmer months, this is very easily done through the chateau’s website here. Everything is provided (picnic rug, basket, glasses, plates etc.) and looks very good - there was a couple enjoying a picnic date whilst we wandered around so I took a discrete peek. Just being out in the fresh air and walking amongst the old trees renews our sprit and it doesn’t hurt either that the cafe has the most decadent deserts not usually found in small village establishments outside of the city!
The chateau has a beautiful church within the interior so the venue is popular for weddings. Functions are also catered for with various rooms for hire including a ballroom. A unique program for schools is the possibility to stage a Banquet Lunch. Kids take a tour of the chateau and then sit down for a 3 course banquet which includes a lesson on dining etiquette!
Chateau tours are run in Czech, English and German. Adults pay 150CZK, Kids 6 to 14 pay 70CZK, Pensioners & Students pay 90CZK - this also gives you access to the park grounds. Entry to the park only is 70CZK for adults and 40CZK for kids up to 14 years. Parking is right outside the castle and from memory it’s around 20CZK.
OPEN: Jan-March: open with prior arrangement; April-May: 9 to 4.30pm weekends & public holidays; June: 9 to 5.30pm every day, July-August: 9 to 6.30pm every day; September: 9 to 5.30pm every day, October: 9 to 5.30pm weekends & public holidays; Nov-Dec: 9 to 5.30pm weekends & public holidays till December 20
ADDRESS: Jemniště 1, Postupice
DIRECTIONS: By car: join the D1 out of Prague in the direction of Brno, take exit to Divisov and follow signs to Postupice.
FURTHER INFORMATION: http://www.jemniste.cz/en/index.php