The Imperial Stables, a two-wing building situated in the Northern section of the Castle, was built by Rudolph II at the end of the 16th century.
Emperor Rudolph II liked horses, and to satisfy his collector’s passion, he had a part of the ramparts demolished, building spectacular stables in their place around 1583. At the time, it was necessary to demolish the corner of a Romanesque rampart, as well as the Old Vicarage, for which the emperor donated a compensatory building to the St. Vitus canonry. A long space was built here, arched over via a semi-circular vault with sectors, furnished with a network of false stucco ribs. During the 20th century, the space in the Eastern part was divided and used as a corridor, a gym, and a varnishing workshop. A reconstruction started to be planned in the 1980s by the Office of the President of the Republic, and so the Prague Castle Picture Gallery was established in one part of these premises, and the Imperial Stables in the second wing were modified to suit the needs of graphic art expositions in 1993. The auditorium’s capacity is up to 350 sitting visitors for any eventual concert productions.
At present, the Stables are used for exhibition purposes. Entrance is from the Prašný most Bridge via Pacassi Gate and a passage, where the remains of a Renaissance gate made of huge, roughly processed blocks can be seen.