Posted by: LM | May 12, 2008

Wallenstein Gardens

If any of you have seen the movie Amadeus, the picture above should look a little bit familiar to you. Amadeus was filmed mostly in the Czech Republic, which is the home of the director of the film, Milos Foreman. Yes, Milos Foreman IS Czech. Oh, and if you’re unsure of who exactly Milos Foreman is… he’s the guy who directed movies like One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest with Jack Nicholson and that movie about Andy Kaufman with Jim Carrey, Man on the Moon. Anyway, I’m digressing. Although Amadeus and Milos Foreman and all that are very interesting topics, the topic on the agenda for today has to do with the Wallenstein Gardens in Prague.

The Wallenstein Gardens make up the grounds of the Wallenstein Palace which was built for the Wallenstein family back in 1630. The Czechs call this place Valdstejnska zahrada. Today it serves as the seat of the Czech senate. Both the palace and the garden were modeled after the Baroque style. It was built by Albrecht von Wallenstein, a Czech nobleman of the time whose intention was to outshine even Prague Castle by creating the most glorious building in the entire country. The palace has a great location right on the Vltava River near the top of Mala Strana (the “lesser town”). Although Wallenstein’s palace was built in Prague, it’s architecture is extremely Italian as it was designed by an Italian architect.

The Wallenstein Gardens was one of the first places I got to see in Prague. It was one of the many places my boss took us on our weekend rompings. I think I’d been in Prague for about two weeks when I first saw it. I remember standing in the gardens just marveling at the fact that this was somebody’s house once. Someone actually lived in this fabulous buildings and got to walk in these beautiful gardens every day. I didn’t recognize the setting as being from Amadeus until much later. I knew that much of the film had been shot in Prague, but it wasn’t until about six months after my first venture into the gardens that I happened to watch Amadeus and recognize the location. It’s always fun to me to say to people, “Have you seen the movie Amadeus? Do you remember the scene of the concert being played in a garden? I’ve been there.”

I took my parents there when they came to visit and I’d definitely recommend stopping by even if you’re only in Prague for a short time. The entrance to the gardens is right outside of the Hradcany metro stop on the red line and if you’re on your way up to the castle (which requires hopping onto a tram to take you up the hill because I would definitely NOT recommend doing it on foot) it’s a worth-while stop. There are lots of interesting statues to look at (ya, like that one up there) and if you’re there in the spring or summer the plants and flowers are gorgeous. An added bonus is that there are actually peacocks waddling around. My friends and I had a good time chasing those around the grounds.

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Responses

  1. WOW, I had no IDEA that eastern Europe had so much to offer! Thanks for the tips, your blog is incredible!

  2. […] into the Wallerstein Gardens while you’re in the neighborhood. Pretty and so […]


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