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STAR SUMMER PALACE

GPS: 50°4'59.16"N, 14°19'36.84"E

   The previous royal summer palace, Star, is standing in a preserve, which was established in 1534 by Ferdinand I, in Malejov Forest, which had belonged to Benedictine cloister in Břevnov since 10th century. During 1541-1563 it was fenced by a wall of quarry-stone. At the same time two gates, Břevnovská and Libocká, were established there.
   Construction of the summer palace was instigated and financed by archduke Ferdinand of Tyrol. Designs for the central Renaissance building on the six-point-star floor plan are said to have been made by the archduke himself. It has been known that he was a talented artist and that he was an amateur-architect, but let’s say the facts. The designs were elaborated, no his request and his ideas, by builders of the Prague royal court, Giovanni Maria Avostalis and Giovanni Lucchese, commanded by Hans Tirol, at first and then by Bonifác Wohlmut. Construction was realized during 1555-1556. The simpler was the summer palace facade, the more magnificent was the stucco decoration of interiors, made by Italian artists during 1556-1560.
   Close to the Star summer palace and the preserve, there had been fought a short but important Battle of the White Mountain on 8th November 1620, which definitely decided on end of the estates rebellion.
   In 19th century, the preserve was opened to the public and it has been a popular tourist place till nowadays. The summer palace was used for many various purposes, even as a gun-powder storage.
   After building modifications, Museum of writer Alois Jirásek was opened in the summer palace in 1951 and in 1964 exhibition of work by painter Mikoláš Aleš was joined there as a part of the Museum of National Literature. But all of that was in the past.
   Despite, the Star summer palace is opened in the main tourist season. There are fixed exhibitions of building development of the summer palace, model of the battle of the White Mountain and there are exhibited subjects with a star symbol. In the top floor, in so-called Banquet Hall, concerts take place.