If you want a practical example of a hidden gem, it is the Vrtba Garden. You can find it close by the Charles Bridge, but you need to find a secret entrance. Believe me; this UNESCO site is worthwhile to discover.
Why is Vrtba Garden So Unique
Vrtbovská zahrada (Czech name) has three main highlights – hidden location, view of Prague, and UNESCO membership. It sounds superb, right?
Vrtba Garden is just a few steps away from Charles Bridge and Lesser Town Square. You need to find Karmelitská street and then pay attention to the signposts. Once you find it, you can enjoy a calm sanctuary with amazing views. It’s relatively small, about 3,000 m2, but it takes you three floors up on the hill of Petřín.
The lowest terrace has a splendid sala terrena with lovely statues and frescos, definitely a popular photographic spot. Then, you walk up to the middle level by a staircase with statues of Matyas Braun, the author of several statues at the Charles Bridge as well. At the top level, there is a magnificent view from the terrace. Here you can enjoy a splendid panorama over the garden, Lesser Town and the Cathedral of St. Nicholas as well as Prague Castle.
Vrtba Garden is considered one of the most beautiful gardens in Europe. It was listed on the UNESCO list as one of the specific Prague landmarks.
Story of Vrtba Garden
This hidden gem was designed by our Baroque architect František Maximilian Kaňka in 1720. He is also the author of the famous Astronomical Tower in Klementinum. The garden was built together with Vrtbovsky Palace for the chancellor of Prague castle, Jan Josef from Vrtba. It has a glorious history, but it deteriorated during the Communist period, common development with most of our historical sights. Beginning 1990s, the whole garden underwent an extensive renovation that took about eight years. It was finally open to the public in 1998, and we can now benefit from it.
Gardens are always a great idea, especially if you want to stay outside or when all other cultural places are closed down. In Prague, two parks are included on the UNESCO list, Vrtba Garden and Průhonice Park, which you can find on the outskirts of Prague. If you like a Baroque-style garden like this one, I would recommend you to explore the Troja Garden and Chateau. If you like to go with locals, I would recommend the Letna district with Stromovka, the largest park in Prague, and nearby Letna Park. Of course, I should not forget Petřín, which is just above the Vrtba Garden. You have definitely a great choice in Prague.
Vrtba Garden Practical Info
The Garden is open every day, 10.00 – 18.00, from April until October. There is an entry fee, 100 CZK for adults.