20.2.14

Wallenstein Palace (valdštejnský palác)

Wallenstein Palace is late Renaissance style.  It is now the seat of the Czech Senate and sprawls over a whole city block at the foot of the castle. Built between 1624 and 1630 it is Mala Strana's most ostentatious monument reflecting the ambition of its builder, Albrecht von Wallenstein. He was a minor nobleman from northern Bohemia.  He married an old but immensely rich widow, rose to the commander of the Catholic forces and became the country's greatest landowner by acquiring the estates of exiled Protestant aristocrats at unbelievable cheap price. His ambitions caused suspicion and he was killed by a mob of soldiers with a halberd.
In the center of the main façade is the three-arched Sala terrena.  It links the place to the parterres and statuary of its high walled formal garden.  Standing in front is an avenue of muscular bronze statues, masterpieces of sculptor Adrien de Vries.  They are copies and the real ones stay in Stockholm.




















Don't miss the charming statue of Venus.  It adorns the Sala terrena.  Inside are rich ceiling paintings.












 

8.2.14

vrtbovská zahrada (Vrtba Garden)

Vrtba Garden is a beautiful Baroque garden in Prague and listed at UNESCO. It is at the lower slope of Petrin Hill, hidden behind a modest doorway on Karmelitska street.

We first visited the John Lennon Wall and ascended a bit upward, passing through charmingly beautiful buildings containing embassies to reach the tucked away  entrance.

You will easily notice a figure carrying a globe on its shoulder.  The garden is structured in 3 levels of terraces, green flowery and pleasant.

A small pond with numerous huge golden fish swimming freely, never mind the traffic of tourists.  A salon housing frescoes of Venus and Adonis by Vaclav Vavrinec Reiner is located at the ground level. The second terrace can be accessed through a butterfly shaped staircase. The third terrace is full of statues and one can have a wonderful view of Prague's skyline including the St. Nicolas Church and Prague Castle.
 
 
video
http://www.vrtbovska.cz/img/virtualni-prohlidka/index.html