Lednice is a small town in the heart of the Lednice-Valtice Cultural Landscape, a UNESCO World Heritage area at the border between the Czech Republic and Austria. Its most well-known attraction is the Lednice Chateau with adjacent park styled according to old Italian and French gardens, containing numerous scattered romantic buildings. The present neo-gothic style of the chateau dates from the last major rebuilding in the mid-19th century but the site itself has a history of more than seven centuries.
The massive riding hall from the late 17th century, which remained in almost unaltered form attached to the main chateau building, has just undergone a major reconstruction, during which it was converted to a multifunctional conference, information and education centre. This spectacular building will host our meeting. Noteworthy is also the magnificent greenhouse build in 1843-5, attached to the chateau at the opposite side.
Lednice surroundings have many attractions to offer. Its castle is one of the major landmarks of the Lednice-Valtice Cultural Landscape, a UNESCO World Heritage Site that beautifully blends baroque, classical and neo-gothic architecture with countryside fashioned according to English romantic principles of landscape architecture. Apart from Lednice, visitors from far away are also drawn to the baroque Valtice chateau just 7 km southwest. Many other buildings and structures in the area, mostly from 18th and 19th centuries, are nevertheless worth visiting.
Lots of these are located in the vast Lednice Park with over 400 years of history, which can be easily explored by foot (but also by boats or horse-drawn carts) from the conference venue. Structures to be discovered in the park include for example the Minaret (a viewing tower in a Moorish revival style), the John’s Castle (an artificial ruin serving as a hunting lodge), a replica of a Roman aqueduct, or an artificial cave. The park is also valuable from naturalists point of view, with numerous interesting tree species, habitats for endangered insects and other invertebrates, and many birds (including nesting colonies of herons and storks at the castle pond with 15 small islands).
Twelve kilometers westwards, the limestone outcrops of Pálava (or Pavlov) hills, a landscape protected area hosting huge diversity of plant and animal life and particularly attractive for biologists, emerge from the flat country. At the foothills, the charming historical town of Mikulov is dominated by a castle with over seven centuries of history but its Jewish heritage or wine cellars are also worth exploring.
Thanks to favourable climate and landscape settings, the whole area is an important winery region. Wines are produced in almost every local village, and those from Valtice and Mikulov are particularly worth tasting. The underground cellars of the Valtice chateau host the Wine Salon of the Czech Republic, a wine tasting exhibition that offers 100 best wines selected every year from all over the country.
The natural values of Lednice-Valtice Cultural Landscane, Pálava hills, and alluvial plains of the Dyje (Thaya) river, represent the core of the UNESCO Biosphere Reserve Lower Morava. And, of course, the system of Lednice fishponds recognized as a Ramsar site (the lowermost of which is located in the Lednice Park), is not only the habitat of many interesting bird species but also abound with Daphnia magna as well as many other cladocerans.
Accommodation for conference participants has been arranged in three adjacent hotels at the edge of the Lednice Park, about 150 m from the conference venue. While taking a short walk through the park to the baroque riding hall, you will thus be able to admire the fairy tale-ish panorama of the chateau. All three hotels (Zámecký, Mario, Princ) are just next to each other, and offer spacious rooms, free internet connection, and all other things that a travelling researcher may need. A limited parking space for those travelling on their own is available. Lednice offers also a range of other accommodation facilities to fit almost any budget.