Wallenstein palace (Valdstejnsky palac) is the first large secular palace of the Baroque era surrounded by the Wallenstein Garden with the Wallenstein Riding school. Its glory was supposed to overshadow even the Prague Castle. That was at least the intention of Albrecht von Wallenstein, a nobleman and an imperial military commander, who found a good place for his plans – near Vltava river in the northern part of Lesser Town.
Constructions of the palace started in 1624. 22 houses, the town gate called Písecká, the municipal brick kiln and 3 gardens had to be purchased and destroyed to get the required site for the project. Andre Spezza, the Italian architect, managed to finish almost all planed buildings until his death in 1628. The construction was finished by his successor Nicollo Sebregondi in 1630.
The character of interiors is Italian. The ceremonial Knights’ hall is decorated by a fresco painting by Baccio del Bianca representing Wallenstein as Mars, the god of war, riding a triumphal chariot. This magnificent hall rises to a height of two floors. Baccio del Bianca is the author of other great frescoes and stuccoes in other parts of the palace; the Wallenstein’s office, the Audience chamber or the Astronomical-astrological hallway.
Albert von Wallenstein spent only 12 month in this palace before he was killed in 1634 on emperor’s orders. Nevertheless he spent a lot of money on palace decoration, such as carpets, tapestries and furniture, especially brought from Italy and the Netherlands. But almost nothing is left there, because nearly all values were taken by Swedish in 1648 as war booty.
The house remained in the ownership of the Wallenstein family until 1945. After that it belonged to Czechoslovak state. Nowadays it is used as a seat of the Senate of the Czech Republic.
It’s said that in front of the Wallenstein Palace a headless ghost of bellman appears. He used to wake up Albert at night, which made Albert so angry that he cut off bellman’s head. Sometimes a fat man can be seen – a fat man who refused to give a beggar a slice of bread.
Address: Vadštejnské náměstí 4
Palace open: 10am – 4pm Sat&Sun
How to get there:
Go by metro green line A, station Malostranská