Near the main entrance to Prague Castle is the intricately-frescoed Schwarzenberg Palace.
Schwarzenberg Palace exterior
The whole exterior, including both sides of the courtyard walls, is covered in an intricate pattern, made by applying plaster to a wall, and then scratching it away before it sets. I later learned this is called sgraffito – many buildings in Prague use this decorative style, but none I saw did so on such a grand scale as this building:
(click any image below for a larger version)
Our interest piqued by it’s impressive sgraffito exterior, we decided to check it out and take a break from the tourist-heavy grounds of the castle proper.
Schwarzenberg Palace houses the Old Masters collection of the Czech National Gallery, and it was nearly empty when we visited. Note though that although photography is permitted, I had to leave my camera bag, and Sarah her purse, in a locker at the front desk, which I wasn’t thrilled about.
The collection was only of moderate interest to me, as I can only look at so much medieval Christian art before my eyes start to glaze over. It was all obviously of good quality, though, and we enjoyed walking around the lovely building itself.
More interesting was the collection, downstairs, of textiles and silver, comprised of gowns, fans, serving ware, and the like.
An early spork!
It’s interesting how very different the clothing fashions were then, but how similar the utensils are to now. I guess a fork & spoon are pretty hard to improve on. Unless you’re using chopsticks, of course.
St. Peter(?) painting
After a few more galleries of stern-looking saints and cherubic, um, cherubs, we’d seen our fill (and most of the collection).
The interior collection of Schwarzenberg Palace can be skipped unless you have a particular interest in 16-18th century art (in which case you should definitely go), but it was inexpensive, and a nice break from the much-more-crowded buildings of the Prague Castle complex.
- Part 1: Vysehrad
- Part 2: Vysehradsky hrbitov (Vysehrad cemetery)
- Part 3: Karluv Most (Charles Bridge)
- Part 4: Vaclavske namesti (Wenceslas Square)
- Part 5: Letecke Muzeum Kbely (Czech Air Force Museum)
- Part 6: Stare Mesto (Old Town)
- Part 7: Staromestske namesti (Old Town Square)
- Part 8: Prazsky orloj (Astronomical Clock)
- Part 9: Josefov (Jewish Quarter)
- Part 10: Vltava River
- Part 11: St. Nicholas Cathedral (Chram sv. Mikulase)
- Part 12: Wallenstein Palace (Valdstejnsky palac)
- Part 13: Kampa Island
- Part 14: Mala Strana street art
- Part 15: Petrin Hill
- Part 16: Mala Strana
- Part 17: Mala Strana house signs
- Part 18: Strahovský klášter (Strahov Monastery)
- Part 19: Schwarzenberský palác (Schwarzenberg Palace) <– You are here
- Part 20: Toy Musuem
- Part 21: St. Vitus Cathedral gargoyles
- Part 22: St. Vitus Cathedral (exterior)
- Part 23: St. Vitus Cathedral (interior)
- Part 24: Prazky Hrad (Prague Castle), I
- Part 25: Prazky Hrad (Prague Castle), II