Thursday, October 13, 2016

The Royal Gardens Below Prague Castle

Once known as the Royal Vineyards together with five palace gardens, the beautiful terraced Castle Gardens on the steep southern slopes below Prague Castle date from the 17th and 18th-centuries when they were created for the owners of the adjoining aristocratic palaces. Individually, the gardens are named after the families which owned them: the Ledeburska Garden, the Small Palffy Garden, the Large Palffy Garden, the Kolowratska Garden and the Small Furstenberska Garden. All of the historic gardens are interconnected and the steep terrain has been refashioned into picturesque ensembles of almost 30 garden terraces levels which include vineyards, small parterres, fruit trees and herb gardens enhanced with rich architectural decoration including ornamental staircases, carved stone balustrades, lookout terraces, garden-houses and small pavilions. With spectacular views over the red brick rooftops, iconic domes and towering spires of Prague, the terrace gardens offer a quiet oasis in the centre of the Malá Strana district and one of the most beautiful gardens in Prague.

17th-century Fürstenberg Garden Rococo 'gloriette' with allegorical ceiling fresco

Beautiful blue Plumbago with a backdrop of Prague's picturesque red tile rooftops 

Canopied staircase to the fruit garden terrace of Prague Castle Gardens

As the climb increased to the uppermost gardens, so did the spectacular views over Prague

The small arbour tower with lookout at the top of the Fürstenberg Terraced Gardens 
with stone carved balustrades 

The precipitous slope, articulated into ten terraces, is planted with roses, lavender and other traditional plants

Plaque commemorating the restoration of the Prague Castle Gardens

The upper terrace of Ledburska Gardens with sensational views over Prague's Mala Strana
and the iconic dome of St Nicholas

View over the Prague and the Vltava River to the Old Town

Portal onto a secret garden 

Ledeburska Garden with parterre and ornamental 18th-century Sala Terrane

Sala Terrane with murals depicting ancient mythology and scenes from the excavation in Pompeii by František Maxmilián Kaňka in the 18th-century

Triton Fountain in Big Palffy Garden

The upper terrace of the Royal Gardens

The leafy park entrance to the Royal Gardens below Prague Castle

Café Mánes overlooking the Vltava River is the perfect spot for a cold beer, 
and just steps to the Four Seasons Prague

A satisfying cold Pilsner Urquell after the steep climb through the Royal Gardens

With fabulous views of Prague Castle and the Royal Gardens nestled beneath, 
Café Manes became our favourite quiet haven for a cold Czech beer in the late afternoon

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