The Castle at Zbiroh serves as a fine example of the development of the seat of a Czech nobleman from a fortified castle to a mansion designed kovém suku v nádvoří. Hláska pochází z 13. století, je opatřena barokní šindelovou střechou s vikýřem a hodinami a boční přístavbou schodů z doby přestavby z let 1868–70. primarily for show. It was founded at the beginning of the 13th century. The first mention of Zbiroh in writing dates from the year 1230. The architect of the castle was probably Břetislav of Zbiroh, from the House of Sulislav. The castle then became the property of the large House of Drslavic, who began adding „of Zbiroh“ to their name when they had settled there. Děpolt of Zbiroh was an ancestor of the noble Švihovsky line from Rýzemberk. Another of the most significant owners of the castle was Přemysl Otakar II.
The castle was founded on a large hill crowned with boulders, which made the castle inaccessible from three directions. Only from the more gradual Eastern slope was the castle approachable, so two moats protected that side. This structure represents the Sasko – Hesensko style of castle construction, as do the nearby castles of Krašov and Valdek.
In the 14th century the castle became the property of the House of Rožemberk and after the Hussite movement was taken over by the House of Kolovrat. They carried out late-Gothic reconstructions and improved the fortifications, for example by adding the cannon bastion on the South-Western corner of the castle walls. Further reconstructions were carried out in the latter half of the 16th century by the House of Lobkowicz and continued by Emperor Rudolf II after he confiscated the property of Ladislav Popel of Lobkovicz around 1609. From that time the castle became a rental property of the royal treasury. In the 17th century it served as a prison for captives, and later as the headquarters and accommodation for castle officials. In the 1840’s the royal treasury provided for various repairs. Tthe moat was filled and the interior, including the Great Renaissance Hall of Rudolf II,, was somewhat diminished by various additions.
In the year 1868 the Castle was bought by the famous industrialist Baron Bethel Henry Strousberg, an iron and railway magnate who conducted dramatic reconstructions in 1869 and 1870. The oldest part was least affected by the changes, but the outer walls were almost completely rebuilt. The Berlin architect August Orth led this project and, along with his colleague Kaiser, gave the castle its current architecturally and artistically impressive Neo-Renaissance appearance.
This is particularly characteristic of the entrance with its high portico. This provides the focal point of the impressive approach to the Castle, which is weighted on either side by a monumental pair of stone lions. The portico creates an axis that continues toward the original castle, whose entrance reflects the outstanding architectural composition of this axis. This was damaged when the orangery on the North side of the courtyard was removed. Above the center of the West Wing rises the ancient watchtower, as a reminder of the long history of the structure and as its centre. The other highlight of the Baron’s modifications is the Great hall of the Castle.
Baron Strousberg soon went bankrupt, however, and the Castle was literally plundered by his creditors. Some parts, such as the Castle orangery, were even taken apart and carried away. In the year 1879 the empty Castle was bought by the Colloredo-Mansfeld family, in whose hands it remained until 1945. They lived there only occasionally; most of the time they rented it out. Thus the artist Alfons Mucha came to live at Zbiroh, where he painted his famous Slavic Epic in the Great hall. From 1912 to 1928, he and his family occupied an entire floor in the Eastern Wing. From 1943 to 1945 the Castle was used by the SS as its headquarters. After 1945 it became the property of the Czechoslovak government and was used by the Czech army.