Royal Garden (Kralovská Zahrada)

Royal Garden (Kralovská Zahrada) (35)

The Royal Garden offers you the possibility of not only having a relaxing stroll along its paths but also of admiring the castle from the other side of the moat.

If your trip to Prague coincides with spring, you will be able to enjoy the sight of beautiful clumps of tulips. A curious bit of information is that it is this garden where the tulip became acclimatised to Europe for the first time.

It was Ferdinand I who initiated the creation of this large garden in 1534. Everything inside it, including the Belvedere Palace and the Ball Game Pavilion, has a certain Italian air. Architects and horticulturists worked jointly on the project to make the place a beautiful and calm spot.

This calmness has been disturbed on occasions throughout history, such as its destruction at the hands of the Swedish, Saxons and French or the devastation it experienced under the bombs of the Prussian attack in 1757.

In the 19th century, the Royal Garden was restored to recover its splendour, although it later fell into a sad state of abandon, from which it recovered thanks to the efforts of the architect Janák in 1918.

The Ball Game Pavilion is a 16th-century construction that is covered with delicate sgrafitto. The sculptural group adorning it was placed later, in the 18th century, under the name of “The statues of the night”. 

The Belvedere, also called the Summer Royal Palace, was a gift from Ferdinand I for his beloved wife Anna. To achieve an authentic Renaissance style he contacted the architect Paolo della Stella. The works were delayed almost 30 years, after which a fire held them back further in 1541. The front part is presided over by a succession of Ionic columns. The palace is crowned by a roof in the form of an inverted boat hull covered in copper.

This palace was also affected by turbulent events in history such as the sacking by the Swedes in 1648. The bronze statue of “Mercury and Psyche”, by Adriaen de Vries, also disappeared from this garden and can now be seen in the Museum of the Louvre in Paris.

The Belvedere was restored between 1952 and 1955 and currently houses an art collection.

In the garden facing you there is a beautiful fountain built in 1568 by the founder Tomás Jaros following a design by Francesco Terzio. It is called the Singing Fountain and, although at first sight the name may seem to be coincidental or inappropriate, you just have to approach it to hear the delicate sound the water makes on hitting the bronze tray, as if it was the fountain singing with a fresh murmur.

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