Sternberg Palace is one of the noble residences, surrounding the Prague Castle. Its outstanding architecture and rich decoration makes it an important example of the High Baroque style. National Gallery in Prague uses the Sternberg Palace for exhibitions at the present. The palace can be approached from the Castle Square.
Vaclav Vojtech Count of Sternberg had the palace built around 1698. The architect is uncertain, but it could be K. Dienzenhofer, G. B. Alliprandi or D. Martinelli.
Sternberg Palace is a two-storey building with four tracts around a courtyard. There is a monumental staircase inside, which runs through all the floors. The French roof of the palace was a new architectural feature at the time.
Facades of the tracts oriented to the courtyard are beautifully decorated. Windows of the second floor are adorned with medallions of Roman imperators and with reliefs, representing legends about Hercules. There is a bronze statue of a lion killing an anaconda in the middle of the courtyard.
Interior of the Sternberg Palace
Interior of the Sternberg Palace is decorated with stuccoes. There are two halls with rounded mirrors on the ceilings, filled with paintings representing suicide of Carthaginian Queen and an unhappy Queen of Halicarnassus. An interesting mythological painting is in the neighbouring hall. The Chinese Hall is embellished with pictures in Chinese style.
European art exhibition of the National Gallery in Prague
The Sternberg Palace was sold to the Society of Patriotic Friends of the Arts in 1811. The institute´s picture gallery was placed there for some time. At the end of the 19 th century, the palace became an asylum for mentally deficient people. It was used by the army during the World War II. and it became a barracks of Prague Castle Guard in 1945.
Sternberg Palace finally became an exhibition space of the National Gallery in Prague. You can see European art since the antique era to the end of Baroque period there.