Out in the third courtyard of Prague Castle.
|Statue of St George and the 1928 obelisk (originally taller but broke|
when delivered!) celebrating the 10th anniversary of Czechoslovakia
and commemorating soldiers who fought for independence (KSS)
|New Royal Palace with offices of the president of the Czech Republic,|
approached by many autos with tinted glass windows
|Bull Staircase/Býcí schodište (1929-1931, by Jože|
Plečnik; influenced by ancient Minoan architecture)
leading to the Garden of the Ramparts/Zahrada
Na Valech, site of the 1618 Defenestration landing
|Close-up of Bull Staircase|
|Here you could see the original sgraffito|
of Lobkowicz Palace
|Old Royal Palace/Starý Královský Palác, built in layers with|
the Romanesque (after 1135) premises on the bottom, then the
Gothic palace of Charles IV, topped by the palace
(1486-1502) built for Vladislav Jagiello
|So is this the Eagle Fountain/Orlí fontána (1661)?|
Yes, little remains of the original Baroque
fountain, only the name!
|Oops! No photos in the Old Royal Palace!|
The Bohemian Chancellery office with a 17C Dutch-style stove in room, was site of the 1618 Defenestration. Over 100 Protestant nobles, led by Count Thurn, marched to the palace to protest succession to throne of the intolerant Habsburg Archduke Ferdinand. Ferdinand's appointed governors, Jaroslav Martinic and Vilém Slavat, were confronted, then thrown out the window with secretary Philipp Fabricius, falling 15 m/50' into a dung heap. They survived, but the event set off the Thirty Years' War. An old law actually allowed for defenestration (being thrown out the window) as a way of dealing with bad politicians!
The Riders' Staircase is shallow and wide enough to allow mounted knights to ride up to jousts in Vladislav Hall. The staircase is also where Czech presidents are inaugurated.
|From the terrace we can see the actual window of|
defenestration (second down on the far left);,
below the window and also to the left you can
see small obelisks marking the spots of landing
|View southwest from the Old Royal Palace terrace with gardens immediately below and Lesser Town|
|View southeast from the Old Royal Palace terrace|
|Kohl Fountain and the Church of the Holy Cross (in 19C rebuilt for|
Emperor Ferdinand I in Classicist style) that became
the home of the treasury of St Vitus Cathedral
From the second courtyard, we exited to the north into the Royal Garden/Krávloská zahrada, dating back to 1535.
|From across the Stag Moat/Jelení příkop (actually a natural ravine|
with the Brusnice stream, where deer were bred in the 17C), we see the
Powder Tower and the Prague Castle dominated by St Vitus Cathedral
|The Ball Game Pavilion/Míčovna (1567-1569, by Bonifác Wohlmut)|
covered with Renaissance sgraffito; originally the arches were open
and, yes, they played ball games there
|The Allegory of Night (1734, by Matyáš Bernard Braun);|
Day was destroyed in a 1757 Prussian siege
|In the distance is the Žižkov TV Tower/Žižkovský vysílač|
(1985-1992, by Václav Aulický), said to be the second ugliest
building in the world; which begs the question: what is the first?
|The Belvedere or Queen Anne's Summerhouse/Letohrádek Královny Anny|
(1538-1564, by Paolo della Stella), said to be one of the finest
Italian Renaissance buildings north of the Alps
|Kent, Beth and Peter with the Singing Fountain/|
Zpívající fontána (1568, cast by Tomáš Jaroš
who lived in Powder Tower)
|Evidence of thousands of tulips,|
which were first acclimatized to Europe here in Prague
Next: Prague 2f.