Visit the home of Antonín Dvořák in Vysoká u Příbrami

Published: 28.8.2019

Visit the home of Antonín Dvořák in Vysoká u Příbrami

The small central Bohemian village of Nelahozeves proves that even great personalities are born even in lesser-known places. This village is the birthplace of the composer Antonín Dvořák, well known and respected all around the world. Anyone who has the pleasure to listen to his work must surely marvel at the beauty, immortality, and pure emotion of the tones he was able to conjure up.

Antonín Dvořák was admired even during his lifetime, in Germany, Austria, England and the United States of America, where he even spent two and a half years as Director of the National Conservatory of Music of America in New York City. He channelled the feelings and impressions he gained from this experience into one of his most famous works, Symphony no. 9 ‘From the New World’. A point of interest and further proof of its exceptional status is that Neil Armstrong took a recording of it on his journey to the moon... That’s quite an accolade, is it not?!
 
The foundation of his works rested on folk lore, myths and fairy tales. He found a ceaseless source of stimuli in the landscape, which the composer himself described in his letters to his friends with an undeniable enthusiasm and undisguised love: “I feel very happy here.” And what place did the artist have in mind? The Central Bohemian village of Vysoká u Příbrami. The composer and his family were invited to Vysoká by his old love and close friend Josefína Kounicová (the sister of his wife Anna). She owned a neo-Renaissance mansion there, given to her as a wedding gift by her husband, Count Václav Kounic.
 
Antonín Dvořák fell in love with the château and its surroundings at first sight, and decided to buy an old farm building with a garden at the other end of the village from his brother-in-law. He then had it rebuilt into a two-storey villa, after his death named Rusalka. The following twenty years the family would spend the summer months here and Vysoká u Příbrami is linked to the period when the composer was at the height of his powers.
 
There is thus no location better suited to honour the composer’s memory than here. For this reason, a memorial to Antonín Dvořák was established in the château. The château itself is surrounded by a fabulous park with small ponds. The aforementioned Villa Rusalka nearby and the surrounding picturesque landscape were a true private paradise for Antonín Dvořák. It is a now a paradise for tourists, with both a permanent exhibition about the original owners, Count Václav Kounic and his wife Josefína, as well as an extensive exhibition dedicated to the composer, his time spent in Vysoká and of course, his work. Adding to the overall impression are mock-ups of scenes from the premières of selected operas, and costumes from the opera Rusalka, one of his most admired and renowned works.

Practical information:

  • Information about the Antonín Dvořák Memorial in Vysoká u Příbrami can be found here.
  • Learn more about the life and work of the composer here.
 
 
load