Petrin Park

Malá Strana, Hradčany

Petrin Hill (elevation 320 - 328 meters) and the gardens on its slopes above the Vltava between the Lesser Town and Strahov is one of the largest areas of the city covered with greenery. The name "Petrin" probably came into existence as late as the 17th century and it may have been derived from the Latin word "petrus" (rock). In the 14th century, Charles IV had the Hungry Wall built on a hillside. It is 1178 meters long, 7,5 - 8 meters high and 1,7 meters thick on the average. The Petrin slopes were always rich in water springs and that was why a water supply system was once built here. It was a network of tunnels which brought water to the Strahov Monastery, to Pohorelec and to the Lesser Town. As the centuries went by, the Petrin area was divided into several gardens which were mostly cultivated in the 1830s. The biggest one, Kinsky Gardens, was established outside of the city walls as a separate complex. The other Petrin gardens are called: Lobkowitz Garden, Nebozizek, Rose Garden, Park at the Lookout Tower and Seminar Garden.

The terraced Lobkowitz Garden is the oldest one and it covers the grounds of the Lobkowitz Palace which is the seat of the German Embassy and the garden is consequently closed to the public. The Nebozizek Garden is situated between Ujezd, the Hungry Wall and the funicular railway. It spreads from the foot of the hill right up to the top and to the upper station of the funicular. The Lesser Town "Sokol" branch had its building built in the lower part of it at the end of the 19th century. The so - called Dahlia Garden, which was built on the site of the former Ujezd barracks, the birthplace of Jan Neruda, was added to it in the 20th century. There is a number of statues that decorate the park. The most popular one is the monument of poet Karel Hynek Macha created in 1911 according to the project of Antonin Balsanek by Josef Vaclav Myslbek. The Rose Garden or Rosarium (area 5,6 hectars) covers the plateau on the hilltop of Petrin and it is described by a perimeter wall of the former Baroque fortification of the city from the 17th - 18th century. The Rosarium came into existence from 1932 to 1934 as the newest Petrin landscaping project on former military property. The "U Rozhledny" (At the Lookout Tower) Garden is located under the Petrin Lookout Tower inside the ramparts and is surrounded by the Great Strahov Garden, Lobkowitz Garden, Seminary Garden and Rose Garden. The Seminary (originally Gryspekovsky) Garden was turned into the Carmelite monastery garden at Our Lady Victorious in the first half of the 17th century and the monks carved out the small caves in the sandstone rocks in the uppermost part of the garden. After the monastery was abolished in 1784, the garden was turned into the garden of the Archbishop Seminary (located then in Clementinum). A great number of fruit trees were planted there from 1912 to 1914.

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Updated 01-01-1970 01:00