If you walk through the Jeann Carro Park in Karlovy Vary, the Empire-style two-floor Lützow Villa, located on a slope above the bank of the Teplá river, about 160meters northeast of Karlovy Vary’s hot spring, is sure to catch your eye. The city is attractive to visitors not only for its spa stays but also for its unique historical atmosphere. The Villa as well as the park in which you can find a roundel with sculpture of cats, have both been protected since 1964 as cultural monuments. What is the history of this place and its original owner?
History of the place and Baron August von Lützow
Baron August von Lützow had the Empire-style villa built between 1853 and 1854 by the Karlovy Vary builder Johann Knoll. The architect and the original plans of the building remain unknown. With its architectural design and disposition, it completely deviates from all the customs and buildings of that time and in that area. The rest of the land was converted by Baron Lützow into a romantic garden designed for long evening walks with pergolas, gazebos, imitations of two bastions, a number of mysterious nooks, caves and promenades. His taste was as unique as it was provocative, as was he. It is said that he often came into conflict with city representatives. His most famous acts of resistance include a proposal to build a cable car from the colonnade to his villa or turn a sculpture of a cat sitting on a tall pole with its butt towards the market, where Karlovy Vary City Hall was located, as an expression of his opinion on the size of the monument to Charles IV. in 1858.
Other owners of the property
After the baron's death, the villa became the property of the city and was subsequently bought by Theodor von Zedwitz, who named it after himself. But no one would call it anything but Lützow's villa. The owners then changed, after the war the villa was bought by the Czech Administration of Transport Airports of Prague, which turned it into a recreational facility for its employees. It was later privately owned. In 2013, a tour of the garden and roundel with the legendary statue of a cat was made possible for hundreds of visitors thanks to the Open Day of historical monuments..
Reconstruction and the present state of the building
The villa has undergone an overall very demanding and successful reconstruction. The current owner, a collector, did not make any major interventions, cooperated with conservationists, preserved the interior and its elements, which he fitted in the style of the 50s – 70s of the nineteenth century. It is a fully renovated monument at the highest level, which still holds a mysterious atmosphere with a touch of uniqueness. Currently, the villa is privately owned and is closed to the public.
Unique building with original features
The romantic villa, which was once one of the first villa buildings in Karlovy Vary and in northwestern Bohemia, has a very asymmetrical layout and is built directly on a slope. The villa has a basement, ground area of 400 m2 and is divided into three parts. Corner projections (protrusions), receding elevation and a middle part in the form of massive towers. The ground floor was originally an open loggia with pillars, currently there is a central corridor. Six-part windows throughout the property with profiled Windsor-type cornices add uniqueness to the entire building. The welcoming living room in the form of an octagonal hall with access to the terrace offers one of the best views of Karlovy Vary. In the left wing there is a dining room and a kitchen and in the right wing a magnificent study with a bedroom and a bathroom. Upstairs is a relaxing living room with a 5.1 m high ceiling and three more bedrooms. The villa with a view of the city skyline includes a rotunda with a statue of a cat, other statues by the Berlin sculptor August Kiss, such as a stallion, a lying deer, a large bull ready to fight and two large sitting dogs guarding the entrance of the villa against uninvited guests. Some of the statues were said to have been made by the baron himself, but it is not possible to determine which ones they are. The building has a terrace with a staircase and a garden with a gazebo. On a plot with a total area of 2,400 m2, you will find a garage for two cars with a 1 + 1 apartment for the caretaker. For safety, the entire building is fenced and secured by a camera system.
Philip & Frank commentary
This property is exceptional not only for its location and beauty, but mainly for its unique sentiment and atmosphere. When you are inside, you have an uplifting feeling that you are sitting in the middle of a crown that everyone is looking up to. This impression is not only created by the famous history of the villa and its previous owners, there is a natural energy present that calls forth respect and admiration. And that is exactly the greatest value of Villa Lützow for its future owners.