When William Lobkowicz, CEO and owner of Lobkowicz Events Management in Prague, takes groups to see the historic castles and cultural treasures of the Czech Republic, it's a thoroughly personal experience. He's a direct descendent of the ruling monarchial Lobkowicz family of the Czech nation.
Showcasing his family history is a right for which Lobkowicz fought long and hard. When his grandfather fled Central Europe to escape the Nazis in the 1930s, he left behind the family's castles, art, and other possessions, which were confiscated by the Nazis and then the Communists.
In 1989, when Czechoslovakia became a free republic, Lobkowicz was living in a suburb of Boston. It took him almost a decade — and four lawyers — to reclaim his family's property. He relocated to Prague and now owns 10 castles, including Nelahozeves Castle and Lobkowicz Palace, as well as a winery, a brewery, numerous works of art, and other treasures.
The Czech prince's destination management company books corporate groups at the castles to help pay for their upkeep. Nelahozeves Castle and Lobkowicz Palace can host groups of 30 to 600 people. Lodging is not available, but catering facilities are located on site, and companies have used them for group events such as a recreation of a Renaissance festival where sword fighters, falconers, and tarot-card readers help to set the 16th-century scene, and attendees can try their hands at archery, candle dipping, and iron forging.