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Valdštejnská Zahrada

July 27th, 2007

prague valdtejnska park_2

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You will more easily find the Valdtejnská Zahrada (Wellenstein) Garden listed in Prague guidebooks than you will be able to locate the garden itself. It has two entrances: one through a Medieval-type wooden door cut into a 20-foot-high wall along a nondescript street; the other through a back-door courtyard off the ever more obscure Wellenstein Square. Bonus, right? Yes, actually. You’ve found a garden worthy of royalty, and one that I think is more interesting than Versailles. Shhhh! Don’t tell on me.

prague valdtejnska park_7Valdtenjnská Garden is the garden of Ledebour Palace and Count Wellenstein, a Czech military commander. It dates from the 18th century and is one of a series of gardens (owned by counts, bishops, and other court officials) built as a ring around the base of castle hill.

If you get to Vald Garden before noon, the sun is in a perfect location for a unique photo perspective of Prague Castle. The castle walls are draped in green, and St. Vitus’ twin spires jut upwards behind the park’s colonnade stage that hosts concert and theater productions during summertime schedules.

Valdtejnská Zahrada Garden is another chill-out spot, but a destination, too. Park devotees will find the gardens a real treat. The high hedges towards the pond block broad views from one end to the other. Behind these live wild peacocks that caw, strut, or generally chill-out with you. Rose bushes ornament the front of the reflecting pool, in the middle of which an island shows off bronzed statues in the ancient Roman style.

The garden is a great statue park. Photographers and artists will enjoy the variety of statues that depict Roman mythological figures in various stages of action. Oddly, they seemed to have been cleaned and polished over the last few years. They were once glazed in verdigris, and showed quite dramatically on color photography. No less dramatic for black & white digital today, though. Snap away.

Vald Garden has the most unique feature to any garden I’ve seen. A grotto along the southwest wall has artificial stalagmites and stalactites.

Food and Drinks in Valdtejnská Garden
Vald Garden has no food or drinks for purchase. But the park does have toilets. The park allows picnics, so plan to bring something from one of the markets or shops along Mostecká Street as you come off Charles Bridge. Behind the northeast wall is the Malostranska metro stop (green line), which has snack carts and a fresh fruit stand along the sidewalk.

(read more about Valdštejnská Zahrada highlights here)

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