The large building lining the street U Prasneho mostu by the Prague Castle is the Riding School. It was built in the 17 th century, because the existing royal riding school wasn´t good enough and even the nobleman Albrecht of Waldstein had more impressive one. The Riding School became an exhibition space in the 20 th century.
History of the Riding School
A small riding school was in the area since 1572. The president of Czech Chamber, Count Frantisek J. Slik, enforced the building of the new one, although the Court Chamber of Habsburg monarchy in Vienna disagreed with it. The Riding School was built at the end of the 17 th century according to plans made by archbishop´s architect Jean Baptist Mathey.
Theater performances in the Summer Riding School
Another tract of the building, a narrow one, was added several years later and it became a gallery of the inner courtyard (called Summer Riding School). Theatre performances took place there since 1723. For example, the opera Constanza e Fortezza by J. J. Fux was staged there on the occasion of coronation of Charles VI. The Prague Castle Riding School was damaged by fire in 1760, but it was restored soon.
Reliefs on the facade
The facade at the entrance of the building is decorated with stucco reliefs of jumping horses, weapons, a Moor and a Turkish man. There also used to be a relief of the imperial eagle, a symbol of the Habsburg monarchy, but it was removed in 1918, when the independent Czechoslovakia was established.
Long term exhibitions of important artists take place in the Prague Castle Riding School nowadays.