Manský dvur – location of ancient settlement
The area around Dolní Žandov (a village about 3 km from Manský Dvůr) is mentioned in the document from 1086 concerning the boundaries of the Prague episcopacy under various variants of the word Tugost. Therefore it can be judged that it is the name of the princely castle frontier area. In the 11th and 12th century, bastioned settlements were built in the Kynžvart and Žandov pass, which protected the boundary and kept watch on ways to inland. Also toll-houses were created, collecting toll that was an important income of the governor (so called “regál”). The nearest castle, gaining thus gradually a remarkable importance, was Kynžvart. Also Manský Dvůr was a part of the system of the local fortified settlements, as well as near-by Úbočí , which was mentioned as a castle as late as 1360. Creation of both keeps can be guessed as early as in the 2nd half of the 12th century.
The location, where Manský Dvůr has been built, is evidently linked with the guard system from the 12th and 13th centuries and fully corresponds to the demands on fortifications of that time. A stony court entrenched by a deep ditch filled with water, and a wall in the north-western part guaranteed that along with the near fortified settlement Úbočí the wide open valley would be safely protected. The ditch around Manský dvůr is preserved up to present with its length of more than 900 metres. A natural gorge had been taken advantage of, partially modified by a man and flooded, which had served for later construction of ponds. The first written mention of Manský dvůr dates from 1242, when Konrád of Hohenberg was introduced at the court. He owned it until 1249. Hence it can be judged that nearly one hundred later Manský dvůr nearly had lost its importance of a guard site (probably due to a superior guard system of the fortified settlement in Úbočí) and started to be used as a feud. Feud in the Middle Age represented lands, privileges or things conferred according to the special rules of a so called feudal law. The feudal lord was the king and the feud user was called vassal, feudal tenant or feofee ( „Man“ in Czech language). Hence the name Manský dvůr, in German Lehnhof.
During the centuries the surroundings of the manor was changing. New fortified settlements were being created, but also settlements and seclusions. Some of them, however, also were disappearing and new were arising from not entirely squalid ones. All that was firmly linked with economical and political development in the region. Such development did not avoid Manský dvůr either. Consequently the original stone building changed into a closed, nearly square manor. As early as in the 17th century Manský dvůr belonged to the dominion of Kynžvart. The Roll of Assessment from 1654 mentions 4 employees at Manský dvůr.
Manský dvůr after creation of Czechoslovakia
Nor in the last century Manský dvůr escaped the changes. Until the First World War the manor belonged to the Kynžvart dominion of the Duke Metternich. After the First World War it became, within the land reform, a so called residual manor. At the beginning of the 30th it was acquired, by an exchange and purchase of further lands, by the family of a prominent Prague architect Prof. Arch. Dr. Ing. Milan Babuška. He was elevating the devastated manor and weedy lands until the Second World War. To that time belongs the construction of the system of water reservoirs in the valley under the manor and creation of the new cottage next to the manor.
Manský dvůr became so beautiful, that after occupation of the borderlands by Germans it passed into a possession of the leader of the Sudeten Germans, K.Henlein. A smaller wing was built during the War that closed the second courtyard. After the war the former owner had come back but he stayed here only till 1948. The manor was then nationalized. During that period the manor changed its owners in the frame of various re-organisations, the last of them being Agrokombinát Dolní Žandov. Originally striving manor had been considerably ruined, which is documented for example by the expert evidence of Ing. Arch. Vystyd from 1992: „Altogether it can be stated that the building state is at the edge of possible restoration.“