Archbishop’s Palace in Prague
A large late baroque palace, located right in front the Prague Castle, is the current seat of Prague’s archbishopry. Even though the palace looks quite recent (if we can call 18th century recent), it’s history goes far deeper.
The very first seat of the archbishop of Prague’s was located on the Lesser Side under the Prague Castle. According to the legends that was a Romanesque palace, built in 13th century at the command of bishop Ondrej (1214-1224), so perfectly, that even a king was jealous of its beauty. Unfortunately, this palace burned down during the Hussite wars and was never rebuilt.
After 140 years of Prague without an archbishop, a new one was elected in year 1561. King Ferdinand I. decided to donate an empty palace in front of the Prague Castle, for his new residence. The very first reconstruction turned this palace from gothic style to renaissance.
A great new reconstruction (and so far the most important one) was carried out between 1674-1694 by an Italian architect from Rome called J.B. Mathey. He expanded the palace and rebuilt it in baroque style. The very last architectural changes were done between years 1764-93 by J. Wirch, who applied currently popular rococo decorations..
Throughout the modern history of the 19th and 20th centuries, the palace was maintained just as it was. The last major reconstruction (1995-1998) was necessary, because underground works beneath the Castle had damaged the structure of the Archbishop’s palace. Reconstruction successfully secured it and the palace continues to be used as the seat of Prague’s archbishop to this day.
Archbishop’s Palace info:
Address: Hradčanské nám. 16, Prague
Map. Ref.: 50.0902472, 14.3973028