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Wallenstein Palace and Gardens

this Sight was last updated on 26 Nov 04

The palace (Valdstejnsky Palac in Czech) is Mala Strana's, and therefore Prague's, first non-religious building built in the Baroque style. The first baroque building in Prague was the Church of Our Lady Victorious, which houses the Infant Jesus of Prague statue.

This palace and garden complex belonged to Albrecht von Wallenstein, a commander in Emperor Ferdinand's army in the early-mid 17th century. Wallenstein became power hungry and eventually began to independently negotitate with Ferdinand's enemies, a bad decision that led to his assassination by Irish mercenaries carrying out a direct order from Ferdinand himself.

He built this palace complex at the height of his fame and power in an attempt to rival even Prague Castle. The key architect, Andrea Spezza, and almost all the artists who worked on the palace were Italians. The complex Wallenstein envisaged was so massive that he had to purchase 23 houses and 2 gardens to build it. Perhaps the most distinctive testament to Wallenstein's megalomania is the fresco of himself as Mars (the god of war) adorning a two-story high ceiling in the main hall. Today the palace serves as the seat of the Czech Senate.

The gardens are rather spectacular, with their ornamental ponds, formal beds and bronze statues. A most unusual feature of the gardens is the Grotesquery, or dripstone wall, that stands along one side. It is intended to represent the inside of a limestone cave. Lookout for the creatures hiding in its crevices! Nearby, there is an aviary that is home to a number of owls. At the opposite end of the gardens from the palace, is the old riding school, which has a very large ornamental pond in front of it, that is stocked with some enormous carp. This is a very pleasant place to spend some leisure time, especially on a warm sunny afternoon.

The palace and gardens are open to the public but the times are subject to change, so do check before your visit

 Address
Valdstejnske Náměstí 4
Mala Strana  show me everything in Mala Strana
Prague 1
Czech Republic
(google maps)
Need a cab/taxi?
Taxi

 Opening Hours
Palace: 10 to 4 weekends (subject to change). Gardens: May to Sept 9 to 7 daily, Apr, Oct 10 to 6

 Languages
Czech

 Getting there - public transport
Metro A (Green) to Malostranska. One entrance on Valdstejnske Namesti and the other on Letanska

 Detailed info
Guided tours available?: Unknown
Entrance free?: No
Type of landmark: Building, Gardens
Available for hire as: No info at present
Romantic Location?: A few good places
Wallenstein Palace and Gardens
Palace from the gardens

Wallenstein Palace and Gardens
Grotesquery or Dripstone wall)
Wallenstein Palace and Gardens
The palace's main hall
Wallenstein Palace and Gardens
Old Riding School

 Ratings (1-10)
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Do go! You won't be disapointed.
Harris, 17 Sep 05



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