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THE CZERNIN PALACE

Hradcany - Prague 1

GPS: 50°5'17.88"N, 14°23'27.96"E

   Builder of the palace was Humprecht Jan count of Czernin of Chudenice. Work was then continued by Heřman count of Czernin and grandson of the founder, František Josef count of Czernin. Main part of the building realization passed during 1669-1682 according to design by Francesco Caratti. The prominent artists of that period were invited for artistic decoration. After its completion the Czernin Palace no. 101 became the largest baroque palace in Prague. Magnificent eastern front is articulated by thirty continuous semi-columns. A wonderful garden was constructed in the northern side of the complex.
   The palace was destroyed during war events twice; in 1742 by Bavarian and French armies and in 1757 during Prussian artillery fire. Since 1777 the building had not been occupied and it had become desolate. For a short time in revived in 1791 during Prague coronation of Emperor Leopold II. Later on the palace was bought by military government. The contract was signed by Emperor Franz Joseph I on 11th April 1851. Modifications to barracks underwent pursuant to designs by arch. Achill Wolf. Terrace was changed into a training field. Rehabilitation came to the Czernin Palace in 1923, when the government of the Czech Republic got the building for its Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Main phase of reconstruction work underwent during 1929-1934 with crucial attendance of arch. Pavel Janák. Huge modifications were realized in the garden and terrace in front of the central front.
   During 1939-1945 a flag with swastika waved above the palace as it had become residence of the protector for Bohemia and Moravia and the associated Nazi offices. After end of World War II the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Czechoslovak Republic had its seat in the Czernin Palace again. On 10th March 1948, life of executive minister in that bureau, Jan Masaryk, ended tragically there by fall out of a window under unexplained circumstances. The military treaty, Warsaw Pact, was officially cancelled in the great hall on 1st July 1991.