At first sight, green space is rare in the historic centre of Prague. But three green secrets are waiting to be discoveredamong the Baroque palaces, ancient churches and twisting lanes. Despite being located in the heart of Prague, all are oases of peace amidst the bustle of city life, and are located near our Bohemia Prague Apartments.
Waldstein Gardens (Valdštejnská zahrada), Letenská Street, Lesser Quarter
The grandest of the trio, the Waldstein Gardens are a huge surprise. You could easily walk past them and never know they existed, hidden as they are behind a long blank wall close to Malostranská metro station. But once you step through the wooden door on Letenská, you’re transported back a few centuries into a world of formal layouts, neat hedges, strutting peacocks and fountains. In the 17th century the infamous warlord Albrecht von Waldstein had several palaces demolished to make way for the gardens and the palace named after him.
At the heart of the Waldstein Gardens is the huge SalaTerrena, an Italianate loggia, in front of which stretches an avenue of statues, the originals of which were stolen by the Swedes in 1648. Look out for the mock grotto along the southern wall, with fake stalactites, and a small aviary. Open April-October only.
Vojan Gardens (Vojanovy sady), U lužického semináře, Lesser Quarter
Close to the Waldstein Gardens are the Vojanovysady, which are also hidden behind a long wall. They used to be a monastic garden belonging to the Carmelite order, but today they’re a favourite spot place to relax on a sunny day. As they are more informal than the Waldstein Gardens, you can sit on the grass, under the shade of one of the many trees. Open all year.
Franciscan Gardens (Františkanská zahrada), accessed from Václavské nám (via Pasáž Alfa) or from Vodičkova (via PasážSvětozor), New Town
Just a few metres away from Wenceslas Square, very close to our residences Bohemia Apartments Prague Centre and Bohemia Apartments Prague Wenceslas Square, is the modestly-sized but beautiful square of the Fransiscan Gardens, enclosed by an interesting mix of old and relatively new architecture. The soaring Gothic church of Our Lady of the Snows (Panna Maria Sněžná) is Prague’s second tallest after St Vitus Cathedral and towers over the northern side of the gardens. It contrasts with the other structures around the gardens. In summer, the park benches of the gardens are a favourite spot to enjoy an ice cream from the nearby Světozor sweet shop. Open all year.