In Prague you won’t find better example of the true Italian Renaissance than Queen Annes Summerhouse. Belveder, also known as Summerhouse, is located in the charming Royal Garden of Prague Castle. In front of the Summerhouse we find the beautiful Singing Fountain, which was designed by Francesco Terzi, and made from bells and bronze by the moulder Tomáš Jaroš.
Firstly in 1538 Ferdinand I had the Summerhouse built for his wife Anna Jagellon. Unfortunately, neither of them saw Summerhouse before the construction was finished. Anna died and Ferdinand I left Prague for the fire in 1541.
Several architects and builders took part in the building, but the most important to mention are names like Paolo Della Stela and Bonifác Wohlmut. Paolo della Stela built the lower part of the Summerhouse, and Bonifác Wohlmut added first floor with a beautiful keel roof. Both of them were involved in decorating the summer house.
On the ground floor of the Summerhouse we would have found an arcade gallery that surrounded the entire ground floor. Upstairs there was a dance hall and a gallery.
The Summerhouse was used the most by Rudolf II., who set up an astronomical observatory on the first floor, which Tycho de Brahe or Johannes Kepler visited. At that time, the Summerhouse was called the Observatory. After the death of Rudolf II. construction began to fall. Unfortunately, in 1648, Queen Annes Summerhouse, as well as many other monuments, didn’t avoid the devastation by Swedish troops during Thirty Year War.
During the reign of Emperor Joseph II. the Summerhouse was brought to the hands of the army, and an artillery laboratory had been set up there. This Summerhouse operated until 1836 when Count Karel Chotek let the artillery evict. Reconstruction of the Summerhouse was provided by Bernard Gruber and Petr Nobile and they organised the gallery of Patriotic Friends of Art. Between 1851 and 1865, the walls of the first floor received new painting. The walls adorned a cycle of scenes with historical moments of Czech history, made based on designs of Kristian Ruben.
In the fifties of the 20th century there was reconstruction of the Summerhouse and especially the restoration of the whole building. Since then, the Summerhouse has found usage as a showroom. Further refurbishment took place between 1988 and 1991.
Nowadays, the Summerhouse serves art and craft exhibitions. It is located in the beautiful Royal Garden. If you are looking for Renaissance splendor, do not forget to walk through this beautiful garden. In the garden area you will find another Renaissance gem, Ballroom. If you are quite aware of this, when you look at the sights of Míčovna in detail, you will also find something that does not easily fit between Renaissance figurative and ornamental scenes, a small reminder of the previous regime, namely the illustration of a sickle and a hammer. Throughout the garden you can see the Prague Castle, so when you are near such a monument, it would be a pity not visiting it.
Mariánské hradby 52/1, 119 08 Praha 1, Czechia
+420 224 372 327
Now Open Now Closed Monday: 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM
Tuesday: 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM
Wednesday: 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM
Thursday: 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM
Friday: 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM
Saturday: 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM
Sunday: 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM
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