Royal Garden


in Prague Castle & Hradčany

A gate on the northern side of Prague Castle leads to the Powder Bridge (Prašný most; 1540), which spans the Stag Moat and leads to the Royal Garden, which started life as a Renaissance garden built by Ferdinand I in 1534. It is graced by several gorgeous Renaissance structures.

The most beautiful of the garden’s buildings is the 1569 Ball-Game House, a masterpiece of Renaissance sgraffito where the Habsburgs once played a primitive version of badminton. To the east is the Summer Palace, or Belvedere (1538–60), the most authentic Italian Renaissance building outside Italy, while to the west is the former Riding School (1695). All three are used as occasional venues for temporary exhibitions on various subjects.