• Prague’s Beautiful Parks and Gardens

    by  • June 18, 2014 • Art, City Breaks, Nature, Prague

    Seek out peace and tranquility in the heart of Prague.

    Prague is blessed with numerous parks and gardens so there is always a peaceful place nearby to escape the crowds and noise of the city. With its continental climate Prague can experience extremes of heat in midsummer just as it can be very cold in winter, and for the city break tourist it’s well worth knowing that there are oases of green in the city centre in which to enjoy a relaxing break.

    One small oasis of calm is the charming Franciscan Garden which lies tucked between busy streets close to Wenceslas   Square in the heart of the New Town. It is a lovely setting right next to the Church of Virgin Mary of the Snows.  The garden is only small but contains a number of welcome benches and is attractively laid out with trees and rose bushes.

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    Another green space worth visiting is Petřín Hill.  Formerly one of King Charles’ vineyards, Petřín Hill offers beautiful views of Prague as well as several attractions for adults and children alike. You can climb up the TV tower which stands on the hill’s summit to enjoy some wonderful views. You can’t mistake the TV tower as it is a miniature of the EiffelTower in Paris.  You can reach the top of the hill by walking along a wooded path or by taking the funicular which starts on Újezd Street.  Also on the hill there is a mirror maze, an observatory and a beautiful fragrant rose garden.

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    Any tourists looking for a haven of peace in the very centre of Prague would do well to head for the small but delightful Kampa Island.  The island, formed by a branch of the Vltava River, lies on the Prague Castle side of the river.  It is accessible from steps on the side of Charles Bridge and offers a park, riverside cafes and a museum of Modern Art. Before the 17th Century the island was a collection of gardens and working watermills and many small and squalid houses occupied by some of the city’s poorest inhabitants.  During the 17th century nobles began to build their homes on the island. The most impressive house still standing is the LichtensteinPalace, which is now home to the music faculty of the Academy of Performing Arts.  TheMuseum Kampa is a gallery for modern Czech and Eastern art. The museum is housed in the historical Sovas Mills complex, the oldest water mill in Prague.  A six metre high sculpture of a wooden chair sits at the water’s edge and marks the entrance to the museum. Other pieces of modern art around the grounds of the museum include a line of yellow plastic penguins and sculptures of giant crawling babies.

    A blog about parks and gardens in Prague has to mention the Palace Gardens, some of the most beautiful the city of a hundred spires has to offer. The gardens on the southern slope under Prague Castle were created gradually from the Middle Ages until the 19th century. The five most beautiful gardens were renovated at great cost in recent years and connected into one harmonious whole..  This has created an ideal place to relax undisturbed or look out over the roofs and spires of the city below