Hradcany Square

A long time ago this square was surrounded by small houses of Hradcany residents. Perhaps it would have looked like this until now if a terrible fire had not happened in 1541. Most of the houses then burned down. Wealthy aristocrats began to buy free land and set up their magnificent palaces in Hradcany. Everyone wanted to have a residence close to Prague Castle.

Opposite the Prague Castle is the Tuscany palace. Count Michal Oswald Thum ordered to build this palace in 1690. And in 1718 it was sold to Anna Maria Francesca Medici, the wife of the last Tuscany duke. This is where the name of the building comes from. Baroque sculptures behind the balustrade are the work of Jan Brockoff and the sculpture of St. Michael at the corner of the building was created by Ottavio Mosto.

Tuscany Palace, Hradcany square, Prague

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic is using the Tuscany palace today.

Martinic Palace, Hradcany square, Prague

One of the most beautiful Renaissance palaces in Prague is located at the end of Kanovnitskaya Street, to the right of the Tuscany Palace. At first glance, it seems that the building is small. But just imagine that at the beginning of the 19th century, the walls of the Martinic Palace were hiding 4 stairs, 2 stables for 32 horses, five courtyards, 2 fountains, 1 well, and many-many rooms. It was the second biggest house in Hradcany after the Cerninsky Palace.

At the end of the 18th century, the palace was divided into apartments. After a large restoration in the 70s of the 20th century, the palace is used for concerts, conferences, and weddings.

We can see the Church of St. Benedict (17th century) and the Barefoot Carmelite Monastery to the left of the Tuscany Palace. Do not miss the preserved masonry of the Gradchan walls from the 14th century.

Barefoot Carmelite Monastery, Hradcany square, Prague

Near the church is the Renaissance Schwarzenberg Palace. The whole building, including gables, and chimneys, is covered by sgraffitos. The palace was built by Italian craftsmen in the second half of the 16th century by the order of Jan Popel from Lobkowicz. Therefore, it is sometimes called Lobkowicz Palace.

Schwarzenberg Palace, Hradcany square, Prague

It belonged to the Schwarzenberg family since 1719. But as the royal court was located in Vienna at that time, Czech aristocrats tended to move there also in order to be closer to the rulers. Prague palaces were often empty. The Schwarzenberg family provided their palace for free to the Technical Museum in 1908. During the Prague uprising of 1945, the palace was badly damaged and underwent a lengthy reconstruction. After that, the Military Museum used the building for a few decades. Now Schwarzenberg Palace belongs to the National Gallery.

To the left of the Schwarzenberg Palace, we see the Salmov Palace, built in the early 19th century in the style of Classicism. This building is also an exhibition venue of the National Galery. On the corner of the palace, there is a monument to the first president of the Czechoslovak Republic, Tomas Garik Masaryk.

To the left of Prague Castle is the Archbishop's Palace. The richly decorated rococo facade is the work of the architect Jan Josef Virch (mid-18th century). The sculptures decorating the palace were created by Joseph Platzer, one of the main baroque sculptors. From the 16th century to the present, this palace has been the seat of the Archbishop of Prague.

Archbishop's Palace, Hradcany square, Prague

The plague pillar on Hradcanska Square was made in the 18th century in memory of the epidemics that befell the city in 1713 and 1714, as well as a request to the saints that Emperor Charles VI had a son - heir to the throne (this request was not heard, Maria Theresia became the heiress).

The Plague Pillar, Hradcany square, Prague

The sculptures were created by Ferdinand Maximilian Brockoff. At the top of the column is the Virgin Mary with a height of 206 cm. Below are the Czech patrons: St. Vitus, St. Wenceslas and St. Vojtech. A little lower are St. Karl Baromeysky, St. Ian of Nepomuk, St. Algeria Dyurinskaya, St. Peter Florian and St. Pavel. There should have been St. Norbert as well, but the abbot of the Premonstrian monastery did not give money for the plague pillar.

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