Liberec will once again try to sell the dilapidated chateau in Machnín
Liberec will once again try to sell the grounds of the dilapidated chateau in Machnín, which it values at around CZK 20 million. In case of failure, the town hall may relocate its contributory organisation Městské lesy Liberec there, announced the mayor Jaroslav Zámečník (Mayors for the Liberec Region).
The Chateau, also known as the Eye Sanatorium or Kleinert's Villa, was originally a splendid mansion set in a well-kept forest park overlooking the ruins of Hamrštejn Castle. Today, it is in a desolate state and has been leaking for a long time. The town hall has been unsuccessfully trying to sell the three-hectare site, situated on the road from Chrastava to Kryštofovo údolí, for the last three years. "Initially, we were approached by interested parties, but it always turned out to be a failure. The area is gradually falling into disrepair, so we are probably trying one last time to find a potential buyer through a public offer and through real estate agencies," said Zámečník.
If the city does not receive any offer, the chateau area could solve the problem of the company Městské lesy Liberec, which will need a new headquarters. It currently has a base in the former Forest Theatre in Lidové sady, but will have to leave it in the future due to the zoo's expansion. "So we have to find a new base for the city forests anyway. And if we don't find an interested party here (in Machnín), then at least I am in favour of the city forests moving there," the mayor said.
According to him, another option under consideration is to relocate the city's contributory organisation to the premises in Otavská Street near the Nisa shopping centre. However, the disadvantage of this location is its size. "There we could process and sell split wood at most. In the Machnín eye clinic, the urban forests would also have space for environmental education, so they could expand their activities there. It would not only be an economic activity, but also an educational one," Zámečník said. He wants a final decision to be made by the city administration by the end of this year.
Machnín Chateau was apparently built as a family residence in 1882 by Adolf Schwab, a politician and textile factory owner. After nationalisation under the previous regime, it was a sanatorium where children with eye defects from all over the country came for treatment. The town owned the site until 1999, when it sold the castle building together with the caretaker's house and the watchtower, covering an area of nearly 500 square metres, and kept only the surrounding land, about three hectares. However, the plan of a few Liberec doctors, who committed themselves to building a modern sanatorium, failed. Liberec regained ownership of all the buildings in 2019 for CZK 2.8 million. However, the mansion itself will probably not be restored and will have to be demolished due to its dilapidated state. The mayor estimates the cost of demolition at CZK 2 million.