About the festival

The festival of baroque culture in the Flower Garden in Kroměříž will again enchant by a programme that will allow you to experience the pastimes and entertainment of 18th century aristocracy. Baroque music and dance, theatre performances of early modern plays, beauty of wooden marionettes, fireworks composed according to original iconography, and historical games for all children and adults – all this has become an integral part of the Hortus Magicus festival. Its fourth year will take place on the first weekend in September at the recently reconstructed Flower Garden, one of the UNESCO heritage gems in Kroměříž.

The period of rule of Leopold I is an epoch when music and theatre flourished and significantly influenced the artistic tendencies of all the countries of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Festivities in the form of great dramatic, dance, and musical productions, linked to special occasions in the life of the imperial court in the second half of the 17th century, but also the early days of commedia dell’arte – these are the key topics of this year’s festival of baroque culture Hortus Magicus. And this particular topic is very important for Kroměříž – the Viennese court was a great inspiration for the Bishop Karl von Liechtenstein-Castelcorno. His contacts with the artists who served also the Emperor allowed for the preservation of unique compositions in the Musical Archive of Kroměříž. The archive resources were used for a show prepared specifically for this festival: the Festa di Sua Maesta Caesarea Leopoldo. We are also preparing another special show – Sunday high dressage show performed by the famous Old Kladruber horses.

You can enjoy the standard programme of the Flower Garden on both festival days. Walk through the splendid avenues of the Pleasure Garden, join one of the guided tours, and have fun with your entire family – engage in various games that will be prepared all over the Flower Garden. The festival offers a unique opportunity of trying on historical costumes – put one on and walk through the garden as a baroque lady or gentleman. You can also see our skilled florists in action and learn some flower arranging skills.

The festival is supported from the programme “Support for UNESCO monuments” of the Ministry of Culture of the Czech Republic.

The festival is organized by the Czech National Trust in cooperation with the Archbishop's Chateau and Gardens in Kroměříž and the Olomouc Museum of Art.

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What are the highlights of the festival?

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Unique combination of the Hortus Magicus festival and Horses in Tutus exhibition

Battles are not only won on battlefields, and celebrations don’t have to be just simple pastimes! The exhibition titled Horses in Tutus and subtitled Festivities at the Court of Emperor Leopold I tells the story of the celebrations and artists who prepared sophisticated festivities as an entertainment for the court, as well as means of representing the emperor and his country.

Archbishop’s Palace Kroměříž | 22 June – 1 October 2017
Olomouc Museum of Art | 25 January – 15 April 2018

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A premiere prepared exclusively for the festival

Hortus Magicus will present a number of musical compositions from the period of Leopold I. They were brought to Kroměříž from the Viennese court by Bishop Karl von Liecthenstein-Castelcorno and kept at the archiepiscopal archives. Thanks to that, visitors can look forward to a special show combining theatre and music Festa di Sua Maesta Caesarea Leopoldo (Celebration of His Imperial Majesty Leopold I) created exclusively for the festival. The show will peak with Theatrum Pyrotechnicum – a grand baroque firework display.

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Equine ballet

On Sunday the visitors can look forward to a special show with horses performing high dressage as a reminiscence of the grace and beauty of baroque equine ballet that was much admired by the Emperor Leopold I. The equestrian performance is also an open invitation to a unique exhibition titled Horses in Tutus displayed at the Archbishop’s Palace in Kroměříž that presents the iconography and documentation of 17th century spectacular baroque festivities at the imperial court of Leopold I.