Šternberský palace - Hradčany

Hradčany, Hradčanské náměstí 15

The in-town garden palace was built for Vaclav Vojtěch of Sternberg after the year 1698. It was one of the most important buildings of the non-sacral architecture of the high baroque style in the Czech Countries. We don´t know its architect for sure - Domenico Martinelli, Viennese architect, is known as the author of the original project, but for the later project, which was finaly built, there are several options. Most ofter the names of Giovanni Battista Alliprandi and Jan Blažej Santini are quoted, but some of the sources also name Kryštof Dienzenhofer or even Johan Bernhard Fischer of Erlach. The important palace was built at the place of older Gothic and renaissance houses, where at the end of 16th century was rennaisance palace of Kryštof Popel of Lobkowitz. The Sternberg palace has four two-floored wings which surround the quarter-shape courtyard with the cylindric back facade facing to the small garden at the western side of the palace. The interiour decoration is as fabulous as the overall design of the palace. One of the inheritors sold the palace to the "Society of the Patriotic Art-Lovers" in 1811, which moved to the palace recently opened public picture gallery from the Černin Palace (Černin Palace was used for the army hospital afterwards). In the years 1821 - 1847 the palace was rented to the National Museum. The location of Sternberg Palace was not considered central enough for the public gallery and therefor the "Society of the Patriotic Art-Lovers" sold it in 1871. One year after the Society of Ladies and Maidens of st. Anne opened a mental hospital here - the hospital was called Ernestinum, in honour of the society president and patron Ernestina Auersperg. The hospital moved outside Prague in 1918, the palace was then used for army college, during the WW2 there was the seat of the government army and in the year 1945 there were the barracks of the Castle Guards. In 1946 - 47 the building was adapted for the usage of National Gallery which uses it till now for its collection of European Arts.

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Updated 01-01-1970 01:00