14 August 2013

Waldstein Gardens Prague

During my recents stay in prague i also visit the Gardens of Waldstein Palais. The Palais was build from 1623-1830 by Albrecht of Wallenstein (from the noble Family Waldstein) who was Commander In Chief of the Imperial Troops during the 30 years War. He however only lived in it for a short time and after his death it was sold to another member of the Waldstein Family who owned it until 1945. It then become czecian Strate Property and since 1992 the Palais houses the Senate. Therefore the Palais itself an not be visited.
However the Gardens can be visited. Albrecht of Wallenstein led them design by italien architects as he had travelled in italy before. Four courtyards are created by the palace layout. Its complex includes period gardens, the Avenue of Sculptures, stables and the large Riding School. The monumental conception of the loggia with three arcades on doubled columns recalls the Baroque style. The Italian style garden includes an aviary, a grotto, and a fountain by Adrian de Vries. After years of neglect after the war, the gardens have been reconstructed. Wallenstein would have dined in the huge sala terrena (garden pavilion) that looks out over fountain and rows of bronze statues. The sala terenna and its rich stucco decoration were modeled after the portico of a Livornese church. Today, these are copies of the Netherlander sculptor Adriaen de Vries’ works. The originals were looted by the Swedish army in 1648, and they can be seen today at Drottningholm Palace.

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