Friday, 8 January 2010

Místodržitelský letohrádek

Windows of Místodržitelský letohrádek (Governor's Summer Palace), Stromovka. The original building is mentioned in historical records from 1495-1502, from which date survives a staircase in the tower culminating in a column on which sits a stone sculpture of a lion with shield bearing the initials of King Vladislav Jagiello. The royal hunting park of Stromovka (Czech strom = tree) was founded in 1268 by Czech king Premysl Otakar II. In the mid sixteenth century it was newly planted and a large pond was created. Emperor Rudolf II (1552-1612) had a tunnel drilled under Letna to supply the pond with enough water, created another pond and brought exotic animals and plants to the park.
In 1804 Stromovka park was opened to the public, after Czech nobles saved the grounds from complete destruction under the reign of Maria Theresa who had ordered everything be felled and burned, and in the same year the summer palace was rebuilt in neo-Gothic style. It was used as a summer residence for royal governors. Today it houses a library of magazines and newspapers of the National Museum.

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