The Southern Gardens

There are three beautiful gardens around the southern front of Prague Castle – Paradise Garden, Na Valech Garden and Hartig Garden.

Their current appearance was designed in the 1920s by Slovenian architect Josip Plečnik, upon the wish of the first President of Czechoslovakia, T. G. Masaryk. It is possible to enter the gardens from Opyš or via the Bull’s Staircase from the 3rd castle courtyard; the exit leads to Hradčanské náměstí. Originally, Paradise Garden was a private garden of Rudolph II. It is dominated by a huge granite bowl weighing 40 tons, made of a single piece of granite. There is probably the oldest woody plant within Prague Castle in this garden; particularly, it is a yew tree and its age is estimated at 400 years. Further on to the East, there is the adjoining narrow and long garden named Na Valech, taking pride in a terrace offering a wonderful view of Prague, where T. G. Masaryk liked to sit. There is a staircase leading down to Hartig Garden with a music pavilion from the semi-circular terrace with an arenaceous pyramid. Hartig Garden was only included in the Southern Gardens later, in the 1960s. It is the smallest of the Southern Gardens.

The Southern Gardens offer breath-taking panoramic views of the city from several places. The gardens have recently gone through reconstruction, which returned their original appearance, according to the designs of Josip Plečnik.

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