Cinnaminson, New Jersey
March 13, 2005
The palace and gardens were built by the count of Wallenstein, who was a famous warrior in his time who tried to build a palace that would outshine the Prague castle. You can easily reach it on foot, as it is within a 3-minute walk from the metro Malostranska. Now this building houses the Czech senate, and only part of the building is shown to the public on the weekends.
But the part that is shown is truly beautiful and well maintained. All of the decoration is by Italian architects. The main hall can easily accommodate 200 people. This very large hall has a ceiling fresco of battle scene, with Wallenstein in the middle portrayed as Mars. The room is lit by beautiful crystal chandeliers and made to look even larger by mirror windows on the second level. The decor of the ceiling is stucco with weaponry. Knight’s Hall is another well-maintained room with leather fabric with birds and fruit, a ceiling fresco of Athena, and huge, beautiful crystal chandelier. The waiting room has amazing carvings above the doors. Audience Hall is typical baroque ,with white plaster walls covered in flowers and gods and frescoes in between. And then there is the Mythological Passage, where Greek mythology scenes are painted on the ceiling and you can enjoy beautiful carved bureau and furniture along the walls. Each room has beautiful wooden doors with intricate locks. I was told by the lady who works there that the chandeliers were recently changed to light bulbs, so it’s much lighter now than it used to be inside.
The palace also has beautiful, well-maintained gardens with a large terrace, Sala Terrena, with frescoes on the ceiling reminiscent of Italian villas in Rome. But the best part of the gardens is most definitely the grottos – dripstone walls that were a mysterious area with artificial and living intermingled during Wallenstein’s days, a typical example of mannerist baroque. The gardens have several alleys lined with groomed bushes, a square pool with a statue of Hercules in the middle, and a pavilion with frescoes of the Argonauts.
From journal Travels in Czech Republic - Prague, Part II