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SOUTH GARDENS OF THE PRAGUE CASTLE

Hradcany - Prague 1

GPS: 50°5'22.92"N, 14°24'6.1200000000001"E

   In front of the face of the Prague Castle there spread three gardens: Paradise Garden, Garden on Ramparts and Hartig Garden. Their shapes are works of Slovenian architect Josip Plečnik (1872-1957). He was called for their reconstruction soon after origin of the Czechoslovak Republic.
   We may enter them through gate in opening of the Castle Stairs into area of the Hradčanské Square. First we get through the wide stairs into the Paradise Garden. Large part of its area is taken by lawn in the shape of trapezoid, lined with high granite edge stone. There is a dominant feature of huge decorative bowl of one piece of Mrákotín granite, placed on three blocks. Its weight is 40 tons. On the edge between Paradise Garden and Garden on Ramparts there is standing Matthias arbour from 1617, sometimes it is incorrectly called Trumpeters’ Tower. There is sculpture Good Shepherd by Josef Kalvoda from 1922 neighbouring with the arbour.
   Further to the east there is long and narrow Garden on Ramparts. Architect Josip Plečnik enriched it with several pavilions and terraces, which are at the same time ideal view points to the city, either it is pavilion of Little Belvedere or a semicircular terrace with thin marl pyramid. It is also possible to go down on the stairs into Hartig garden to the Musical pavilion.
   In Garden on Ramparts we meet history. Under Ludvík’s Wing, which protrudes transversely out of the Old Royal Palace, we can find two baroque obelisks, which remind defenestration of imperial governors Vilém Slavata of Chlum and Jaroslav Bořita of Martinice, which happened on 23rd May 1618. The biggest building in Garden on Ramparts is Bellevue pavilion below the previous palace of Institute of Noblewomen. We must not omit Moravian Citadel. There is a thin granite monolith, 11m high, standing on that. On the top there is a sandstone Ionic capital carrying a gilded ball with flashes.
   It is possible to enter the gardens, which are open to public at certain time, even from the area of Opyš, or through so-called Bull Stairs from castle courtyard III.