The Valtice castle, which came into existence thanks to an enlargement of a tower house that was probably founded in the 11th century, was the seat of the ruling prince of the Liechtenstein family from the end of the 14th century, until the post-war confiscation. The magnitude and splendour of Baroque decoration proves, even today, that it was the residence of one of the most powerful noblemen in the Danube monarchy. Renowned European builders (Tencalla, father and son Erns, Ospel, Martinelli, Beducci and many others) participated in the construction of the castle. The castle acquired its present appearance as a result of costly reconstructions in the 17th and 18th centuries. Since the expropriation in 1945, it has been in the possession of the Czech state and is administered by the National Heritage Institute. In 1996, the castle, as an integral part of the Lednice-Valtice Area, was listed by UNESCO as a World Cultural and Natural Heritage Site.