After extensive renovations, the former granary building has acquired a new roof and will open for the first time this summer season with a new exhibition. Under the guidance of architect and actor David Vávra, the Granary’s owners, Lucie Havlová and Tomáš Hendrych, together with photographer Tomáš Princ and a team of collaborators have created an exhibition titled Lemberk: Step by Step, which explores the historic sites in the Granary’s vicinity, both well-known and obscure. 


Text: Simona Martínková, translate: Patricie Vlachová • Photo © Tomáš Princ

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Fourteen Eyelids and Roof Renovation

Last year, the Lemberk Granary project first came to attention by presenting a pre-season exhibition of sculptures by Čestmír Suška. It was, however, confined only to the outside of the building; the poor condition of the roof meant it was not safe to be inside the building. After the reconstruction work, which took place mainly in the autumn of last year and continues this year, the roof is secured. A company specializing in the repair of historic buildings completely replaced the roof covering, including the ridge tiles, battens and gutters on the south-west side. The roof truss components have also been repaired in the process, by cutting out and replacing parts of the roof ties. The reconstruction also involved the replacement of the skew rafters, damaged tie beams, and the completely missing wall plate. The brickwork of cornices was repaired and completed.

What other renovations have been planned for the near future? Depending on the amount of funding available for the next stage, plans include demolition of the original entrance and installing oak doors, and possibly flooring refurbishment on the ground floor. A probe has uncovered an old wooden floor underneath the existing floorboards. Plans are also in the work for building sanitary facilities, cleaning the well, adding toilets with a shower stall, and installing a sewage pipe with a septic tank, all of which is crucial for making the building habitable again.

Photo: Tomáš Hendrych - An eyelid dormer is a low and wide dormer with a curved roof and no sides, where the roof covering is gradually curved up and over the dormer in a flattened bell curve. Creating a dormer is a difficult enough task for a roofer; but building an eyelid dormer is a challenge that requires a true master of the roofing craft. The roof tiles need to be adjusted and laid in such a way as to prevent water from seeping under the tiles and causing the roof to leak. Similarly, battens need to ensure a smooth transition of the dormer’s arch to the roof surface.

Lemberk: Step by Step, by Bike or by Train?

Respect for history and the preservation of historic sites, both incredibly old and modern, is apparent from the care devoted to the Granary itself and to the concept of this year’s program. The most important event the Granary team has been working on since early spring will be an exhibition mapping historic sites and places of interest in the vicinity.

Where once corn swayed in the wind
The soul now finds nourishment.
Lift an eyelid, look outside
And walk strong, yet mystified.

Under the creative leadership of David Vávra, the exhibition has been conceived as a tourist trail for visitors to Lemberk, who can walk or ride around the area, explore and learn. It is based on the photographs of Tomáš Princ, who captured the buildings, sculptures and important natural landmarks over time and in changing light. David Vávra then composed verses for each of the fifty panels and drew them as open-air sketches. The creators plan to test the entire project this year and make it a permanent exhibition in the future.

Photos by Tomáš Princ, which will be on display at the exhibition: The Granary, which stands right next to the castle, is part of the Lemberk Landscape Conservation Area, along with many interesting objects in the vicinity. In addition to the chateau, there is also the Breda Summer Palace with a unique garden full of Baroque sculptures; a Classicist gazebo with the pilgrims’ spring of St. Zdislava; a collection of historic houses and small monuments; and sculptures from the 20th century scattered around the area, which are products of the local sculpture symposiums.

Kistefos and Support in the Form of an Inspiring Partnership

From the very beginning, when the idea of buying the listed granary was born, it was clear to its current owners, Lucie Havlová and Tomáš Hendrych, that they could hardly manage without further support. The year was 2019, just before the lockdowns and upheavals caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. What followed was a time that changed many things. The owners lost all income from their business, which they had used to finance their non-profit, mostly exhibition projects. They had no choice but to start looking at other funding options than they had been used to.

The first phase of the building's rescue was carried out with the financial support of the Ministry of Culture of the Czech Republic, and this year the Liberec Region joined the support so that the granary could be opened to the public. An interesting experience was last year’s cooperation with the Via Foundation, which doubled the funds raised at as part of its Living Community program. What is also important, however, is that the entire campaign has put the Granary on the mental map of the Czech philanthropic community, thanks to which it has found its own long-term private donor. Zdeněk Rossmann, who decided to support similar projects in the region, met with the owners in a heartfelt get-together at Lemberk Castle.

The owners also have the support of the town of Jablonné v Podještědí: last year, at the opening ceremony of their new exhibition, they were presented with a gold commemorative coin with St. Zdislava as a token of appreciation for their achievement. Lemberk Castle manager Renata Černá has also been extremely helpful by providing her expert conservation knowledge and materials for the new exhibition. Last but not least, the children’s home in Jablonné v Podještědí is a partner of the project.

Photo: Lucie Havlová and Tomáš Hendrych visiting the Lemberk chateau with Mrs. Renata Černá, a castellan

The Granary’s projects for both this and next year, which seeks to revive the historic granary at Lemberk and contribute to the cultural development of the region, are being partly covered by the Culture Program of the Ministry of Finance, through the EEA and Norway Grants (funded by the countries of Iceland, Liechtenstein, and Norway with the aim of reducing economic and social disparities in the European Economic Area (EEA) and strengthening cooperation with fifteen European countries).

In 2023, the Granary will host five seminars led by experts in architecture, art, sustainability, communities and locations. These events will help set a strategy for how to use the Granary for the next twenty-five years, so it would serve an educational purpose and contribute to the cultivation of the surrounding area, while also making its operation sustainable in the long term.

As a part of this program, the world-famous Norwegian museum Kistefos has chosen to partner with the Lemberk Granary, to the immense joy and satisfaction of its owners, Lucie Havlová and Tomáš Hendrych. They had always had great interest in renowned patronage projects, both in Europe and elsewhere, and visited them to find inspiration. These include, for example Cinema Sil Plaz in Ilanz, Switzerland; Chaumont-sur-Loire in France; the LUMA complex in Arles, France; and the Storm King Art Center in Hudson Valley, USA. The owners have not yet revealed what the future cooperation with their Norwegian partner will bring, but we definitely have something to look forward to next year.

Photo: Laurian Ghinitoiu, source: - Kistefos is a museum created by converting a former paper mill from the late 19th century in the Norwegian town of Jevnaker. It includes a park full of site-specific installations by contemporary artists such as Anish Kapoor, Olafur Eliasson, Yayoi Kusama, and Fernando Botero. A new addition to the museum is The Twist, a gallery of modern art by architects from the Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG), which focuses on contemporary Norwegian and world The Twist, a modern art gallery that focuses mostly on contemporary Norwegian and international artists.

The team involved in this year’s program:

Lucie Havlová is a graduate of the University of Chemistry and Technology in Prague. She has worked for the British company ICI for 15 years in sales of technical polymers in Central Europe. Together with Tomáš Hendrych, she founded the company Happy Materials in 2004, which represents the Messe Frankfurt and Achema trade fairs. Happy Materials also operates the Czech materials library matériO’, the Kuzebauch Gallery and the Šumná bibliotéka, all under one roof in a 1920s house in Prague’s Břevnov district. Since 2020, they have been the owners of a Baroque Granary at Lemberk, which they are renovating in an exemplary manner and intend to use it for cultural purposes.

Tomáš Hendrych studied choreography and pantomime at the Faculty of Music and Dance of the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague. For 17 years, he was a member Ladislav Fialka’s pantomime troupe at the Na zábradlí Theater in Prague. He also applied his organizational and creative skills as a TV and radio production director, and as a marketing and PR manager for a British company in Czechia and Central Europe. His interests include theater, film, music, architecture, design, and sports. In 2004 he co-founded the company Happy Materials with Lucie Havlová.  Since 2020, he has been a co-owner of the Baroque Granary at Lemberk, working on the building’s renovation and designing its cultural program.

David Vávra is an architect, theater artist, poet and visual artist who became famous as host of the TV travel documentary Šumná města [Lovely Towns]. He graduated from the Faculty of Civil Engineering at the Czech Technical University and the Academy of Fine Arts in Prague. Together with Milan Šteindler, he co-founded the Sklep Theater in the 1970s. He comes from the Prague district of Braník, where he grew up and where he still lives. His whole life is connected to this place. He is the patron of the Šumná bibliotéka and the library of materials matériO’ Prague. As creative director, he has been involved designing the cultural program of the Lemberk Granary since the beginning and is the author of the poems and drawings for its first exhibition, Lemberk: Step by Step.

Adam Havel is a graduate of the Faculty of Architecture at the Czech Technical University in Prague and has completed internships in Paris and Tokyo. Professionally, he was influenced by a three-year internship in Switzerland, where he focused mainly on the renovation of old mountain houses. He works as an expert consultant at matériO’ Prague, focusing on innovative technologies and advanced materials for architecture and construction. He has a lifelong interest in the use of traditional building materials such as lime, stone, wood and raw steel in contemporary architecture and in the restoration of historic buildings. He is interested in environmental sustainability and specializes in measuring the environmental impact of products. He has been involved in the project of the Lemberk Baroque Granary, having helped design the Lemberk: Step by Step exhibition.

Simona Martínková studied art history at Charles University and specializes in contemporary art and architecture, contributing to publications on art and exhibition projects. Last year she served as the curator of the pre-season exhibition of sculptor Čestmír Suška at the Lemberk Granary, and currently serves as editor-in-chief of the Material Times magazine. She is also involved in the preparation of the Lemberk: Step by Step exhibition. In the future, she would like to collaborate on designing exhibitions and programs related to the revitalization of the Baroque building and its surroundings.

Barbora Kolenčíková studied interior design at the Technical University of Zvolen in Slovakia and completed a fellowship at Wismar University in Germany. She is interested in environmental protection, sustainability, and innovative approaches in interior design. She finds inspiration for her work in nature. She uses the principles of biomimicry in her designs, which she started to explore while working on her Master’s thesis, Biophilia in Public Space. She has completed an internship at the material library matériO’ Prague. This year, she is focusing primarily on projects at the Lemberk Granary.

Tomáš Princ is a graduate of the Faculty of Humanities at Charles University. After his studies he worked as a volunteer in South Korea and Kenya. For five years, he randomly approached people on the streets of Prague, photographed them and recorded their stories for the Humans of Prague blog. He is the author of Pod Rukama, a series of documentary videos about Czech craftsmen and artisans and collaborates as a photographer and video maker on other Happy Materials projects. This year he created a series of photographs of sights in and around Lviv, which will be on display at the Lemberk: Step by Step exhibition in the Lemberk Baroque Granary.

Jan Šimsa graduated from the Film and Television Graphics Studio at the Academy of Arts, Architecture and Design in Prague, and afterwards completed an internship in the Type Design and Typography and Design graphique / Multimédia studios at ENSAD in Paris. The graphic designer and artist, who specializes in graphic design, animation and type design, has won awards for his work in the Most Beautiful Czech Book of the Year competition, was nominated for the National Student Design Award, and has had several group and solo exhibitions. He has worked for the graphic studio VOALA. Since 2021 he has been part of the HMS Design team. He has created the visual identity of the Lemberk Baroque Granary and has contributed to the Lemberk: Step by Step exhibition this year.


Exhibition opening: Sunday, 3 July 2022, 3 p.m.

Exhibition runs: 6 July – 30 October 2022
Open: Daily except Mondays and Tuesdays 9 a.m.–4 p.m.

Sýpka Lemberk, Lvová 67, 471 25 Jablonné v Podještědí

GPS: 50.77644618858373, 14.788619287984508

The Lemberk Granary stands on the Krutina hill above the village of Lvová, opposite the entrance to the castle.

By car: The village of Lvová is located on the road I/13 past the town of Jablonné v Podještědí in the direction of Liberec. In the village there are signs marking the turn-off to the castle. The parking lot is located below the castle.

By train: The Lvová train stop is located under the Granary, on the railway line No. 086 Liberec – Česká Lípa, with connection to trains running from the direction of Ústí nad Labem, Lovosice, Kolín, Rumburk, Pardubice, Dresden, Harrachov and Frýdlant v Čechách.

By bus: The bus stop is located at the end of the village of Lvová in the direction of Liberec. The distance from the Granary is about 1 km.

8. 6. 2022



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