The geometric early-Baroque garden by the Wallenstein Palace was built in Italian style in 1620s. There is a sala terrena, a stalactite grotto, an aviary for keeping exotic birds and an artificial lake with an island. The garden is decorated with numerous sculptures.
Sala terrena – where concerts take place
The sala terrena was built in 1627 by Andrea Spezza. It is 30 metres high and it has three arcades. There are fresco paintings and stuccoes by Baccio Bianco, depicting scenes from the Trojan War. The play “Wallenstein” by Friedrich Schiller was staged there in 1859 and an exhibition “Prague Baroque” took place there in 1938. Since then, the sala terrena is a place, where dramatic performances and concerts are held.
A small salon by the sala terrena is painted with a fresco, depicting the legend of Argonauts and the Golden Fleece. The stalactite grotto is sometimes incorrectly called Wallenstein´s Bathroom.
The artificial lake was used for sailing. The inventor Josef Bozek made experiments there with his model of a steamship in 1816.
Sculptures in Wallenstein Garden
The important Dutch sculptor Adriaen de Vries made a series of sculptures for the Wallenstein Garden in 1626. The sculptures represent figures from Greek mythology and they are valuable Mannerist works of art. These sculptures were took away as a war booty by the Swedish army in 1648 and they can still be seen in the garden of Drootningholm castle in Sweden. You can see replicas of these sculptures in the Wallenstein Garden.
The only sculpture given back to Prague is Venus with Amor and a dolphin by Benedikt Wurzelbauer from 1599. It is placed in the Prague Castle Gallery and there is a replica in the Wallenstein Garden. You can see it at the bronze fountain in front of the sala terrena.
A former Riding Hall is situated at the end of the Wallenstein Garden. It is an exhibition space of the National Gallery in Prague at the present time.