Thursday, 19 February 2009

Seminářská zahrada

This eastern side of Petřín hill formerly comprised orchards belonging to the Carmelites of Kostel Panny Marie Vítězné [Church of Our Lady Victorious], built as the Holy Trinity by Giovanni Maria Filippi in 1613 for the German Lutherans. After the battle of the Bila Hora [White Mountain] in 1620 the church was given by Ferdinand II to the Carmelites in gratitude for their part in the victory. (Father Dominic blessed the Catholic army with a painting by Johanites in Strakonic of the Adoration of Christ. This had the effect of swinging the luck away from the Protestants, who up until then had the upper hand, back to the Catholics. The Virgin received due acknowledgement in the church's dedication in 1624. Father Dominic had rescued the damaged painting —the Virgin Mary, St. Joseph and the shepherds had had their eyes poked out from a confiscated monastery.) The church was renamed the Infant Jesus upon donation of the latter (in the form of a Spanish wax effigy) in 1628 by Polyxena of Lobkovic. The white friars held on to their church, and their orchard, despite the Swedes, from the Thirty Years War until the decree of Joseph II ordering that the Discalced Carmelites leave the Church in 1784. The church parish came under the care of the Knights of Malta. Cardinal Miloslav Vlk invited the Carmelites to return in 1993.

More fruit trees were planted in the Seminary Garden in the early twentieth century and the gardens opened to the public in 1930. The alleyways of trees are good for sledding...

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