Gardens of Prague Castle (map)
Prague Castle is surrounded by six gardens that are all definitely worth visiting. Founded in the 16th century by Ferdinand of Hapsburg, Royal Garden is historically the most significant of them. Its current appearance is a result of the changes that the park underwent in the middle of the 19th century; however some of its baroque features, such as the ornamental flower beds, have also been preserved. Apart from abundant greenery, there are several significant buildings – Míčovna (“Ball Game Pavilion”), the Royal Summer House and the new orangery designed by architect Eva Jiřičná
in a hi-tech style.
Despite being small, the Na Baště garden (“Garden on the Bastion”) in the Italian and Japanese style is also significant. As in the case of the southern gardens, whose architect was Josip Plečnik from Slovakia. You might also want to visit the remaining Na Valech garden (“Garden on the Ramparts”)
, Hartig Garden
with a music pavilion, and the Garden on the Terrace of the Riding School
This French garden is especially attractive for those interested in decorative and artfully shaped greenery. The strictly symmetrical garden was designed for counts of the Colorado-Mansfeld Family. It stretches over five terraces, of which the lowest is regularly planted with cut box trees hiding two groups of sculptures depicting animal battles. The garden is dominated by a terraced fountain with a sculpture group called “Feeding of Helios’ Horses” by Ignác František Platzer from 1760–1765. The carefully maintained flower ornaments and woods are complemented by an orangery, behind which you will find an English-style park from the early 19th century stretching into the countryside.
Veltrusy Park used to serve as a place for relaxation and playing the various parlour games of nobility. Therefore, there are many well-preserved romantic and Antique-like buildings and pavilions. The originally French garden was not renewed after the floods at the end of the 18th century and was replaced by the current landscape park in the “ferme ornée” style stretching across more than 250 hectares. The decorative parts are masterfully interweaved with utility patches, so there are perennial beds, meadows, pastures, orchards as well as fields. You may also visit a fallow deer game park or greenhouses in the utility section of the garden with a preserved original system of heating the patches.