Lobkowicz Palace – Prague Castle
Lobkowicz Palace is next to the former Institute for Noble Women. There used to be two large Gothic houses in this place. The palace was built instead of them in two stages. In the first half of the 16th century, Wolf Krajíř of Krajk began the construction, to be succeeded by the lords of Pernštejn in 1554, namely Jaroslav and Vratislav of Pernštejn in the years 1554 – 1562 and again in 1570 – 1577. The original Renaissance palace had four wings around a courtyard, and was richly decorated with architectural elements from burnt clay, often used by the Pernštejns on their buildings. The Northern wing with a chapel was only built in 1576 – 1577 by Vratislav of Pernštejn. Back then, the palace was called the Pernštejn Palace. In 1627 it became the property of Polyxena of Lobkowicz. The Lobkowicz family had it rebuilt in a rather austere early-Baroque style after the fire in 1625. Václav Eusebius of Lobkowicz had the palace rebuilt by Carlo Luragho in 1651 – 68. The two-storey palace with simple, smooth frontispiece extends around two courtyards with the remains of sgraffiti and remains of Renaissance constructional details from burnt clay. There are two early-Baroque portals on the frontispiece into the Jiřská Street. There is a large hall in the South-Eastern wing towards the town, two storeys high, decorated with illusive wall paintings of the 17th century architectures and sculptures. During the palace adaptation in 1861 – 62, this hall was damaged by inserted ceiling and partitions, and it was finally renewed during the overall reconstruction in the 1970s and 1980s. On the first floor, there is the St. Václav Chapel preserved in the original form, and two halls from the third quarter of the 17th century, with fireplaces. They are richly decorated by extremely fine ceiling stucco realized in the terracotta technique by Domenico Galli, with painted canvas fillings by Fabian Václav Harovník from 1665 – 69. The paintings include Caesar’s Triumph, Gods’ Feast, Apollon under Parnas, Muses, allegory of seasons and continents, and smaller mythological scenes, such as Ganymed, Apollon and Daphne, Kidnapping of Europe and Venus. In the chapel, there are round medallions with scenes from the Legend of St. Václav. On the altar in the chapel, there is a painting of St. Václav by Petr Brandl from 1723.
The Lobkowicz Palace complex has gone through extensive reconstruction since 1973 for the purposes of the National Museum. Reconstruction was completed in 1986 and from 1987 to 2006 it housed the National Museum´s historic collections. In 2002, the Lobkowicz family once again became the rightful owner of its palace. On April 2, 2007, after more than four years of planning, restoration and refurbishment, the palace was opened to the public for the first time as the Lobkowicz Palace Museum, home to one part of The Lobkowicz Collections.
Prague Castle has been a National Cultural Monument since 1962.