Letenská 123/4, Malá Strana, 118 00
The garden was created in the style of an Italian manneristic park, and as surviving letters by the sculptor Adrian de Vries show, Albrecht Wallenstein himself actively participated in its shaping through his proposals and comments.
The Wallenstein Garden is divided into two geometrically distinct parts. In the larger part you can see the largest Sala Terrena in Prague and in front of it a fountain with a sculpture of Venus and Cupid. In 1910, the fountain was placed in a marble pond which had previously been a separate fountain. Also in this part of the Wallenstein Garden you can see the mysterious, artificial stalactite wall. If visitors take a careful look at the stalactite wall, they may recognize hidden silhouettes of animals such as frogs and snakes or grimacing faces. In the second, smaller part of the Wallenstein Garden you will find, for example, a large pond with an artificial island where a sculpture of Hercules with a club in his hand stands, ready to strike the dragon at his feet. There is also a glasshouse and the Riding Hall here.
The dominant feature of the Wallenstein Garden is the monumental Sala Terrena, which was not originally just an open building in the Wallenstein Garden, but a sort of continuation of the palace’s residential rooms and which was mainly used for admiring the garden. At the time it was built, no other palace had a building like it in its garden.
Most of the sculptures that you can see in the Wallenstein Garden are the work of the renowned Dutch sculptor, Adrian de Vries, who also worked at the court of Emperor Rudolf II. He learnt his craft in Italy and worked for the Duke of Waldstein probably from 1622 until his death in 1626. The last sculptures that Waldstein ordered were then completed by de Vries’s assistants.
De Vries’s bronze sculptures line the main path of the Waldstein Garden in front of the Sala Terrena. Among them, for example, you will find Neptune the god of the sea, Bacchus the god of wine, the oracle Laocoon and his sons, a walking horse, and a horse with a snake. As well as a set of bronze statues of ancient gods, goddesses and horses, de Vries also made a sculpture for Waldstein of Hercules fighting with a centaur that wants to kidnap his wife, Deianeira. The statue adorns the fountain in the middle of the small pond in the east part of the Wallenstein Garden. Another statue of Hercules by de Vries, this time fighting a dragon, can be found on the artificial island in the largest pond in the garden.
Supporting programme at the venue