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Purchase of a chateau in Czechia

If you are looking for a house with park there are not many possibilities how to reach that target. Vilas or homesteads do not have parks. Should homesteads have fields or forests these are usually not in one piece and may be far from the building. So the only way is to buy a castle. And it is important that the chateau parks shall be cheaper that other types of land. Land speculators are not interested in them because parks are as a rule protected and cannot be used for additional construction.

If you plan to purchase a castle please do not rely on mortgage, banks do not want to finance purchase of chateaux. With the exception of the properties that bring profit. The banks would be happy to finance reconstruction of the chateau that you already own, should you present them good business plan. It is usually no problem to get a grant for new roof, just keep in mind that if you accept donation the authorities shall be telling you what technologies you are supposed to use. They say that it is possible to buy a chateau in Czechia for a price of two room apartment in Prague. It is true, but such a castle shall require total refurbishment. Refurbished chateaux can be purchased for prices around one million euro. Prices of highly representative properties usually start at 3 million euro and upwards.

Utilisation of castles

Many chateaux improve their finances by providing their facilities to the organisers of international conferences and staff training. Castle provides dignified venue for such events and moreover it is good that participants have to concentrate on the programme and cannot pursue their private matters when the town is not close by. Cultural activities such as concerts of classical music or museums tend to be loss making, unless you find good sponsors. The chateau can serve as a hotel if it is located near some historical or other point of interest. Or it must itself be the reason why people arrive.

Ideally the activities should be of the kind that can go on throughout the year. You can have there plastic surgery clinic, women appreciate that they can recover in the chateau and park environment where they would not risk meeting curious friends. Should your castle be close to a spa town you can take advantage of the infrastructure there and use local mineral sprig water in your hotel. Castles near the spa Trebon, where the peat is used to treat the joint diseases, there you can offer this treatment yourself using the local peat. Many castle owners adapt traditional castle tours and make them into a sort of theater performance.

Grants to refurbish castles?

Ministry of Culture can give you grant for emergency repairs of historical monuments like chateau or castle. If the roof needs to be repaired then such help can cover up to 80 % of the cost, in case of other repairs it would cover maximum 60 %. Total amount of the grant must not exceed 2 million CZK. In 2020 earmarked 81 million CZK for these purposes. In the framework of another programme called „renewal of the cultural monuments“ the Czech Ministry of Culture plans to spend 120 million CZK in 2020. An average grant from this fund could usually be around 100 thousand CZK per project. The money is designated for refurbishment of the historical monument like castle, it cannot be used for modernisation like installation of central heating, new plumbing, sewerage, electricity etc.

European Union used to provide funds for refurbishment of historical monuments in Czechia in the framework of its cultural grants programmes. Successful aplicants were getting tens of millions CZK per project. However now EU might provide grants only for repairs of „UNESCO world heritage monuments“ or „monuments of national significance“. That means not for repairs of average protected chateaux.

It is possible to get grants for castle refurbishment also from the funds of „Norway and EEA“. For the year 2020 there are 482 mil. CZK earmarked for applicants in Czechia. Maximum size of contribution to one applicant is 38 million CZK. Only one tenth of applicants can expect to be successful. Preference is given to applicants that are somehow connected with the donor countries. Aplication from one of the EEA countries can come from an individual, from Czechia only organisations are eligible. Selection criteria include things like – does the project support minorities e.g. Gypsy, Jewish, German? Among the applicants the so called non-profit organisations are given preference before the commercial subjects.

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