Wallenstein Palace

Wallenstein Palace

Wallenstein Palace is the first of Prague Baroque buildings. The owner of this palace intented to overshadow all Prague palaces, even competing with Prague Castle. The Imperial Generalissimo Albrecht of Wallenstein, one of the most famous citizens of Bohemia in the 17th century, had built a great residence in the Prague Lesser Town.

 

Construction

Wallenstein palace was built between 1623 and 1630. Before the work started,  23 houses, the town wall gate called Písecká, 3 gardens and a brickyard had to be torn down in order to get the required space for such a monumental project. The Italian architect Andrea Spezza almost finished all planned building work before his death in 1628. The whole construction was completed by his successor, Nicollo Sebregondi in 1630. Wallenstein Palace or in Czech Valdštejnský Palác is considered to be the first large-scale example of Prague Baroque secular architecture. This beautiful complex involves the Wallenstein Garden along with the Wallenstein Riding Hall. A lot of people were involved in the work – Czechs, Germans and Italians, and when insufficient, soldiers were drafted in. Many of them participated in the construction as suppliers. Once when Wallenstein realized that he had run out of lime he sent 200 musketeers to the Jewish Town to confiscate all necessary materials. But instead of lime the soldiers started to plunder and confiscate all the Jewish properties. Their behaviour led to a revolt by the local inhabitants so serious, that such a prominent ruler could not afford to ignore it leading him to deal with the plundering soldiers decisively.The inhabitants rewarded Wallenstein for his action and voluntarily gave him lime for construction of the building free of charge.

 

Maxmilian Of Wallenstein

When Wallenstein was not in Prague he entrusted his nephew Maximilian to take care of the Wallenstein palace. After Wallenstein’s death Maximilian became the owner of the palace. The construction works on the palace continued in several phases and this is the why it is possible to find renaissance features as well as features of Baroque art which came to Bohemia from Italy where it had been developed at that time. The palace was the property of the Wallenstein family up until 1945, after which the state took over the possession of the palace. Today it is used as a seat of the Senate of the Czech Republic.

 

Interiors

The interior has remained in the original Italian style. The ceremonial Knights’ Hall is decorated by a fresco painted by the well known Baccio del Bianco. This fresco represents Wallenstein as Mars, the god of war, riding a triumphal chariot. This beautiful hall rises to a height of two floors. Baccio del Bianca is also responsible for other great frescoes and stuccoes in other parts of the palace including the Wallenstein’s office, the Audience chamber and the Astronomical-astrological hallway.

 

Wallenstein Palace is only 5 minutes walk from our hostel, book one of our lovely apartments!


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