Wave and Quantum Aspects of Contemporary Optics
Technical University Liberec, Czech Republic
September 11 - 15, 2006

Social Program

Social Program

Monday September 11, 2006 - Welcome Dinner - Building M
Meeting Point: Registration Desk 18:45

Welcome Dinner will be held in the Area of Technical University of Liberec. You will spend your evening enjoying a pleasant Czech and international cuisine, along with your conference colleagues.

Wednesday September 13, 2006 - Trip & Dinner
Meeting Point: Registration Desk 14:00

We will start the afternoon trip with the guided tour of Liberec Town Hall.

The Hall is a neo-renaissance building, which was built among 1888 - 1893 by the design of the Viennese architect, F. Neumann. The building has richly decorated façade and rare stained glass windows. The tower is 65 meters tall. Liberec town hall is similar to Vienna town hall. Today the building is the seat of the Municipal Authority.

Then we will continue to the Château Sychrov.

The history of the area, where the Château is situated, dates back to the 15th century. From this time there are records of a fort, which was the property of the Czech royal chamber. In its place a stone mansion house was built in the 16th century, and in the years 1690 - 1693 a smaller Baroque Château was constructed by the knighted Lamotts family of Frintropp.

Members of this French aristocratic family can be classified as belonging to the category of officers who were being rewarded with lands confiscated from Czech aristocracy for their services to the Austrian Emperor during the Thirty Years´ War.

In 1740 this estate was bought by František of Valdštejn of Mnichovo Hradištì family line. Since the Valdštejns resided in Mnichovo Hradištì, the Château Sychrov ceased to be a permanent residence of lords. For almost 80 years no significant changes took place here, and the compound was used for farming purposes and for the accommodation of servants. This situation radically changed on August 30th 1820, when Duke Karel Alain Gabriel Rohan became the new owner of Sychrov and the Svijany estate. That year the 125-year era of the Rohans at Sychrov began, as well as the period of the Château´s greatest fame. The Rohan family originated in Brittany, where the oldest records relating to them can be traced back to as early as the year 951.

Over the centuries their position strengthened until they ranked among the ten most influential aristocratic families in France, and as direct cousins of French kings also acquired the title of "Princes of Royal Blood". The family included several lines whose members held significant offices - military, political or clerical. After the French Revolution they left France and settled into the Austrian Monarchy. Contrary to other aristocratic escapees who were returning to France (during the reign of Napoleon I and mainly in the period of reaction - i.e. under Louis XVII and Charles X), the Rohans stayed in Bohemia, in spite of being later invited to return.

The main residence of the family was Sychrov, however, as a small, dilapidated Baroque Château, it did not satisfy the demands placed on the residence of Dukes and Princes. During the period under Duke Karel Alain Gabriel Rohan, a grand redevelopment in the Empire Style was performed (completed in 1834). Nevertheless, the construction development of the Château continued, particularly under Duke Kamil Joseph Idesbald Philip Rohan, during which time the current neo-Gothic look of Sychrov was being established. Due to the reconstruction in the romantic neo-Gothic style between 1847 - 1862, carried out according to the design of Bernard Grueber, a professor of the Art Academy, Sychrov is included among the most significant monuments of historical styles of the 19th century ( as are for example the castles of Hluboká nad Vltavou, Lednice and Hrádek u Nechanic …). All works were solely entrusted to domestic artists and craftsmen. Among these, a significant position was held by Petr Bušek, a woodcarver, who with his creative and artistic talent imparted a great artistic value and unrepeatable ambience to all the Château´s interiors. His work was complemented by the activities of a number of other great artists and craftsmen (sculptors Emanuel Max and Vincenc Smolík, upholsterer Ludvík Grein, joiner Petr König, blacksmith Jan Novák, ...). Duke Kamil Rohan paid specific attention to the Château Park, designed in the English style, which during his life experienced an unprecedented boom and became a model for the establishment of many now important arboreta such as Prùhonice and Konopištì. During this period, a rare harmonising of the Château exterior, interior, and the park was accomplished.

The end of the 1920s and the beginning of the 1930s brought to the Château functional adaptations which not only partially changed the Château exterior ( various decorative neo-Gothic oriels and attics were removed, as was the plaster from the formerly plastered towers, which was replaced by rubble masonry…) but also its interior. In many rooms, Bušek´s lavish carvings (e.g. ceiling panelling in the staircase hall) and French embossed wallpapers made of pigskin were taken down. The neo-Gothic furnishing was being replaced by new, modern items.

After the end of World War II the Château was confiscated pursuant to Decree No. 12/1945 the Collection of Laws and became state property. At first it served as a collection point for confiscated property, and since May 1st 1950 it has been open to the public to a small extent. During the 70s the tour route expanded to the south wing and the corridor of the south annex with the Antonín Dvoøák Memorial. Since the beginning of the nineties, an extensive reconstruction and restoration of Château exteriors, interiors, and the park have been under way, the object of which is to make the Château Sychrov look as close to its original form at the time of its biggest boom- i.e. its condition in the second half of the 19th century- as possible.

After your excursion you will have the pleasure of attending a nice joint dinner in the Hotel Jested Restaurant.

Different nice meals will be served together with good Czech drinks.

You can enjoy it together with a great view on the woods and hilus from this special place.
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