Prague – Cernin Palace and Garden

The Count of Cernin of Chudenice was working in Venice as an imperial ambassador when he had the desire to build a palace in Prague.  His idea of grandeur was rarely seen and even residents came to see the immense construction that started in 1669.  He imported Italian art work to exhibit in one of the rooms. 

The building is 150 meters (almost 500ft) long and has 30 Corinthian half-columns.

Unfortunately, the palace was vastly damaged by attacks over the years.  The reconstruction cost was significant for the family so they had to reconsider the purpose of keeping the building. For a while, part of it was rented to help financially. The rooms were subdivided to allow for other functions including a silk factory, a military hospital, and a home for the homeless, but the palace was eventually sold to the state.  With the different activities and needs, it was revamped to some degree to restore some of its original features and since 1923 the Ministry of Foreign Affairs selected this place as their main location. Even after this new adaptation, the building was the target of other events during the war.

It is on this site that Jan Masaryk, the son of the 1st Czechoslovak president, fell from his bathroom window in 1948.  It is an unsolved case and it is unknown if he committed suicide or was murdered but the coincidence with the Communism coup d’etat a few weeks or days before have brought some questioning.

The building is not open to the public.

The Garden

Next to the palace you will find a quiet garden with a pool and a small cascade. There is also a small pavilion on the grounds.