Wallenstein Palace is the current home of the parliament’s upper chamber, the Senate of Czechia. However, there’s more to this palace than that. Its interesting history, architectural marvels, and glorious flora and fauna make it worthy of that spot in your Prague itinerary.
A Quick Peek at Wallenstein’s Past
Constructed from 1624 to 1630, Wallenstein Palace is the first secular building in Prague in the early Baroque style. It was built for the overly ambitious Albrecht von Wallenstein, a powerful Czech nobleman who wanted to have a palace that rivaled the Prague Castle.
Over 20 houses, six gardens, two brickworks, and a sizable plot of land were razed to make way for the construction of the palace. The sheer size of the property made it monumental. However, it suffered considerable damage when the Swedes confiscated items such as artworks and sculptures in 1648. Since then, the palace has been modified several times but has kept its historic appeal.
Why It’s Worth Visiting
The Wallenstein Palace is a massive complex with two-story buildings, residential areas, courtyards, gardens, a lake, an aviary, and other structures. While there are many reasons to visit this place, the following will be more than enough to get you heading there:
Art and Architecture
Built in early Baroque style, the palace is an architectural marvel. Wallenstein commissioned architects and craftsmen from Italy and other countries to work on the façade and interiors. The ceilings and walls are adorned with frescoes and stuccos inspired by ancient mythology. You’ll see a fresco of Vulcan in his fiery forge at the Audience Hall. A fresco of Wallenstein portrayed as a warrior in deft control of chariot reins suggests his haughty self-image. The palace also holds magnificent architectural elements from the Renaissance period.
Wallenstein Riding School
Although this area was once modified to be a riding school, you won’t be able to see horses here today. The Wallenstein Riding School has seen major changes over the years and even served as an automobile workshop. Today, it houses the meeting room and the National Gallery. It hosts various exhibitions of both Czech and international artists throughout the year.
Open to the public during the summer season, Wallenstein Garden offers locals and tourists a wonderful place to relax and enjoy nature. Manicured lawns and well-maintained trees provide respite from the busy city life. A pond with koi, pike, and other ornamental fish creates a romantic vibe. Crowned and white peacocks playfully run around.
Aside from the diverse flora and fauna, this garden is also popular as an arts and culture center. During the summer season, the public can watch live concerts and performances here.
The Best Time to Visit Wallenstein
From April to October, the whole Wallenstein complex is open to visitors every weekend. You can go on a self-guided tour from 10 am to 6 pm. During the rest of the year, it’s only open every first weekend of the month, and tours are allowed only up to 4 pm during winter.
Aside from the longer visiting hours, events are frequently held at the Wallenstein Garden during summer. So this might be the best time to visit and enjoy all that it has to offer.