Lobkowicz Palace in Prague Castle

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Lobkowicz Palace in Prague Castle

Lobkowicz Palace, located within the Prague Castle complex, is a significant historical and cultural site in Prague, Czech Republic. 

It stands out as the only privately owned building there, belonging to the Lobkowicz family, a noble Czech family with deep historical roots.

Its collection includes works by famous artists such as Canaletto, Brueghel the Elder, and Velázquez, as well as original manuscripts by Beethoven and Mozart. 

The palace also features a concert hall that hosts regular classical music performances, a café and a gift shop, providing a comprehensive cultural experience for visitors. 

This article will tell you everything about Lobkowicz Palace in Prague, including its history, facts, things to see and how to get there. 

Quick Overview

Must Attend: Classical Concerts

Opening Hours: 10 am to 6 pm 

Concerts: Daily at 1 pm

Dress Code:

There is no specific dress code for concerts. We recommend you dress casually. 

🧑‍🦽Wheelchair access:

There is an elevator or lift available at the venue.

Tickets Price: €8

Location:

Lobkowicz Palace at Prague Castle, Jirska 3, Castle District, Prague 1, Czechia

The Lobkowicz Palace History: From Royal Drama to Private Treasure Trove

Lobkowicz Palace History
Image: Facebook.com/LobkowiczPalace

A powerful Czech nobleman built the Lobkowicz Palace. It’s like a time capsule, witnessing key events that shaped the country.

It sees a story intertwined with the Lobkowicz family’s lineage, one of the oldest and most distinguished Bohemian noble families. 

Historical Origins

The Lobkowicz Palace was established in the mid-16th century by the Bohemian nobleman Jaroslav of Pernstein (1528–1569). 

His brother Vratislav’s wife, Maria Manrique de Lara y Mendoza (1538–1608), brought the famous Infant Jesus of Prague statue from Spain to the palace. 

This statue, known for its supposed miraculous healing powers, was later given to their daughter, Polyxena of Pernstein (1566–1642). 

Polyxena then donated it to the Church of Our Lady Victorious in Prague.

The palace became part of the Lobkowicz family’s heritage when Polyxena married Zdenko Adalbert Popel, the first Prince Lobkowicz (1568–1628), in 1603. 

A significant event in the palace’s history occurred in 1618 with the Defenestration of Prague, during which Protestant rebels threw Catholic officials from the windows of the Royal Palace. 

The survivors found sanctuary in the adjacent Lobkowicz Palace, protected by Polyxena.

For 300 years, the palace remained a key possession of the Lobkowicz princes. 

Their formal residence in Prague was essential for political and ceremonial engagements within the Bohemian kingdom.

Originally built for the Pernštejn family, the palace came into the Lobkowicz family’s possession through marriage in the 16th century. 

Over the Years…

Over the centuries, it underwent several renovations and expansions, reflecting various architectural styles and the family’s evolving tastes and requirements. 

The palace’s significance is not only architectural but also historical and cultural, having been a center of political, social, and artistic life in Bohemia.

The Lobkowicz family was a patron of the arts. 

They amassed many artworks, musical instruments, and manuscripts, including works by masters such as Canaletto, Velázquez, and Brueghel the Elder and original scores by Beethoven and Mozart. 

They were hidden away under the Communist regime in Czechoslovakia but have since been repatriated and are now displayed at the Lobkowicz Palace Museum.

The palace’s history is also marked by its resilience and the family’s determination to reclaim their heritage. 

The Nazis seized the palace during World War II, and the Communists followed suit after the war.

Finally, with the Velvet Revolution and Czechoslovakia’s liberation in the early 1990s, the Lobkowicz family reclaimed their rightful home.

Significant Architectural Features

The palace underwent notable architectural transformations after the Thirty Years’ War (1618–1648). 

The mid-17th century brought Baroque modifications under Wenzel Eusebius, the 2nd Prince Lobkowicz (1609–1677), who redesigned the Palace with Italian flair.

Key modifications included the palace’s chapel and the Imperial Hall, with its frescoes of emperors set against geometric and floral motifs.

Also, the exquisite Concert and Balcony Halls feature ceilings decorated with intricate stucco and frescoes by Fabián Václav Harovník.

In the 18th century, Franz Joseph Maximilian, the 7th Prince Lobkowicz (1772–1816), a major patron of Beethoven, commissioned the current exterior design for Emperor Leopold II’s coronation as King of Bohemia in 1791. 

This redesign introduced the panoramic balconies that remain a highlight for visitors. Original 16th-century murals and sgraffito work are preserved in the interior courtyards.

Recent History

After World War I and the 1918 abolishment of hereditary titles, Maximilian Lobkowicz (1888–1967), the son of Ferdinand Zdenko, and the 10th Prince Lobkowicz (1858–1938).

The four offered several palace rooms for the government to use, led by President Tomas G. Masaryk, to support the new First Czechoslovak Republic.

In 1939, Nazi forces seized the Palace and all Lobkowicz properties. 

It was returned in 1945 but confiscated again by the Communist regime in 1948, serving various purposes.

This includes state offices and a museum of Czech history over the next forty years.

Following the 1989 Velvet Revolution and the fall of Communism, President Václav Havel introduced laws to restate confiscated properties. 

After twelve years, the Lobkowicz family reclaimed palace ownership in 2002.

In April 2007, following extensive planning and restoration, the family opened the palace and its collections to the public.

This reopening breathed new life into a key European cultural landmark and continued the family’s mission to share their collections with Czech and international visitors.

How to Get to Lobkowicz Palace

There are various methods to reach Lobkowicz Palace in Prague, Czech Republic. 

Visitors can take the metro to Malostranska station (line A), then walk up Stare Zamecke Schody (Old Castle Steps).

Or you can take Trams 22 or 23 to Prazsky Hrad and walk through the castle complex to get to the palace.

Alternatively, travelers can walk from Prague Castle to Lobkowicz Palace in 10–15 minutes.

The palace is perched at the top of the hill, and the terrace offers a stunning city view.

Small tour groups are also available for individuals who prefer a more structured experience.

Visitors can purchase tickets online or at the ticket office, and it is recommended to do it online to avoid long lines.

Lobkowicz Palace Tickets

Lobkowicz Palace Tickets
Image: Lobkowicz.cz

When planning your visit, you can choose from various ticket options to explore this fascinating cultural and historical site.

You can purchase an entry ticket to Lobkowicz Palace for €8 and get an audio guide to enjoy a self-guided tour of the palace.

If you want your full day planned, we recommend you combine your visit with Prague Castle and explore it at your own pace.

By booking this self-guided tour, you’ll visit five of Prague’s most important sites: St. Vitus Cathedral, Golden Lane, the Old Royal Palace, and St. Georg’s Basilica.

Also, get priority access to the private museum in Lobkowicz Palace and a 10% discount in its cafe.

Lobkowicz Palace Concert in Prague 

The Lobkowicz Palace in Prague hosts daily classical music concerts in its intimate setting, providing visitors with a unique blend of history and music. 

The concerts are held daily from 1 pm to 2 pm and feature works by great Baroque composers such as Bach and Vivaldi and classical champions like Mozart and Beethoven.

And the great 19th-century Czech composers such as Dvořák and Smetana. 

The concerts are performed by an accomplished trio consisting of flute, violin, and piano, and the program includes pieces such as Badinerie by J.S. Bach, Allegro by A. Vivaldi, and For Elise by L. van Beethoven. 

The Lobkowicz Palace concerts are a must-see attraction for those who appreciate classical music and want to experience it in a unique and historic setting

Some upcoming concerts at Lobkowicz Palace include:

  • February 7, 2024, at 1 pm: Midday Classic Concert in Lobkowicz Palace.
  • February 8, 2024, at 11 pm: Classical Concert at Prague Castle, Music Walking Tour, and Local Cuisine Tour in French.
  • February 27, 2024, at 1 pm: Pearls of Classical Music in Prague Castle – Lobkowicz Palace.

These concerts feature a repertoire of works by great Baroque composers, classical champions, and 19th-century Czech composers.

They are performed by an accomplished trio consisting of flute, violin, and piano. 

The program includes pieces such as Badinerie by J.S. Bach, Allegro by A. Vivaldi, and For Elise by L. van Beethoven.

The Lobkowicz Palace Museum at Prague Castle 

The Lobkowicz Palace Museum in the Prague Castle complex offers visitors a compelling and immersive experience. 

The museum in the Lobkowicz Palace is most likely its biggest draw. 

It has the Czech Republic’s oldest and biggest private artwork and building design collection.

The museum is open daily from 10 am to 6 pm, and admission tickets will cost you 8 euros. 

Here are some reasons why you should visit the museum:

1. Stunning Art Collection: 

The museum is renowned for its stunning art collection, which includes masterpieces by renowned artists like Canaletto, Bruegel, and Veronese. 

The vast range of artworks spanning different periods and styles offers a fascinating glimpse into the world of art history.

2. Musical Instruments and Historical Artifacts: 

The museum proudly displays the family’s priceless collection of artworks, musical instruments, and other historical artifacts.

Visitors can look at remarkable paintings, admire delicate sculptures, and discover rare instruments from centuries ago.

3. Rich History and Cultural Heritage: 

Each piece in the collection tells a unique story, immersing visitors in the rich history and cultural heritage preserved within the palace’s walls. 

The palace served as a royal residence during the reign of Czech kings and queens and later became a prominent noble residence.

4. Architectural Splendor: 

The palace showcases a splendid blend of Renaissance, Baroque, and Classical architectural styles, creating a visually stunning masterpiece. 

The palace’s rich history is reflected in its ornate decorations, intricate details, and grand halls that exude elegance and grandeur.

5. Lobkowicz Music Collection: 

The palace is home to the renowned Lobkowicz Music Collection, which is globally recognized as one of the most significant in the world. 

Visitors can enjoy pearls of classical music performed in the beautiful Baroque Concert Hall.

Visiting the Lobkowicz Palace Museum is an opportunity to immerse oneself in Prague’s rich history and vibrant culture. 

Lobkowicz Palace Cafe Restaurant

Lobkowicz Palace Cafe Restaurant
Image: Lobkowicz.cz

If you happen to be hungry or simply want to have a delicious cup of coffee, we highly suggest stopping by the ground floor of Lobkowicz Palace Cafe Prague. 

Along with an excellent assortment of soups, salads, sandwiches, pasta, and desserts, it also serves excellent coffee and Lobkowicz beer.

Although the three-course menu is only 13 euros, it’s still reasonable. 

The restaurant is open from 10 am to 6 pm every day. The menu for food and beverages is available online.

The Lobkowicz Collections

The Lobkowicz Collections are really special because they show us a lot about the life of Central Europe over many years. 

They have famous paintings, old and fancy weapons and armor, and beautiful ceramics. 

The private library is the oldest, biggest, and best in Central Europe, with really old and rare books. 

There are also many old musical instruments and handwritten music by famous composers like Mozart and Beethoven.

World-renowned paintings by Bruegel, Canaletto, Cranach, Rubens, and Velázquez, as well as remarkable weapons and armor and Renaissance and Medieval artwork.

And ceramics—including the world’s biggest surviving 17th-century Delft dinner service—are among the highlights.

The Collections also house the best, biggest, and oldest private library in Central Europe, which is home to rare artifacts like a gospel from the ninth century.

Also included is a 15th-century copy of The Apocalypse with beautiful woodcut illustrations by Albrecht Dürer. 

A unique assortment of 17th–19th century printed editions of scores, parts, and libretti, manuscripts, and musical instruments.

Additionally, it is topped with hand-annotated compositions by some of the greatest composers and musicians in history, such as Mozart and Beethoven.

The Lobkowicz Collections also contain hundreds of mounted trophies from the 18th to early 20th centuries, commemorating hunting parties and participants.

Religious Objects

During the conquest of Czechoslovakia by the Nazis and the subsequent Communist regime, private chapels and family belongings were desecrated.

A 12th-century reliquary cross made of rock crystal and gilded copper is among the important surviving objects.

Lobkowicz Music Archive

Imagine a hidden library brimming with 4,500 musical gems carefully collected by a family passionate about music for generations. 

That’s the magic of the Lobkowicz Music Archive, now situated within the Lobkowicz Library.

This impressive collection started with Ferdinand August, a music lover himself, and grew over 300 years. 

The Lobkowicz family weren’t just patrons, collectors, performers, and true music champions.

The archive boasts over 500 composers, including a rare collection of lute, mandolin, and guitar scores from the 17th and 18th centuries. 

Think French composers like E. and D. Gaultier, J. de Saint-Luc, and Ch. Mouton is the world’s largest private collection of Baroque music for these instruments!

But the real stars of the show are the late 18th and early 19th-century treasures. 

Works by Handel, Mozart, Haydn, and Beethoven grace the shelves, waiting to be rediscovered.

So, if you’re a music enthusiast or simply love unique historical gems, the Lobkowicz Music Archive is a must-visit. 

It’s a place where passion, history, and melody intertwine, creating an unforgettable experience.

FAQs about Lobkowicz Palace in Prague

What is Lobkowicz Palace, and why is it significant?

Lobkowicz Palace is a vital part of Prague’s cultural heritage.

It is known for its rich history, unique architecture, extensive art collection, original music manuscripts by famous composers, and historical artifacts it houses. 

It is a testament to the Lobkowicz family’s enduring legacy in Europe.

Can I visit the Lobkowicz Palace Museum? What will I see there?

Yes, visitors can explore the Lobkowicz Palace Museum, which displays centuries of European art, including paintings by Canaletto, Velázquez, and Brueghel.

As well as manuscripts by Beethoven and Mozart, and much more, offering a deep dive into the family’s history and contributions to the arts.

Are there guided tours available at Lobkowicz Palace?

Lobkowicz Palace offers guided tours that provide insightful commentary on the palace’s history, its architectural evolution, and detailed information about the artworks and exhibits within the museum.

What are the opening hours of Lobkowicz Palace?

The opening hours of Lobkowicz Palace are 10 am to 6 pm throughout the year. 

It’s generally open daily, but checking the official website for the most current information before your visit is recommended.

Is there an entrance fee to visit Lobkowicz Palace?

Yes, there is an entrance fee for Lobkowicz Palace, including access to the museum. 

Prices may vary for adults, students, children, and families, and there are options for guided tours at an additional cost.

How do I get to Lobkowicz Palace?

Lobkowicz Palace is located within the Prague Castle complex. 

It’s accessible on foot, by tram, or by metro, with the nearest stops being Malostranská (metro and tram) and Prague Castle (tram).

From there, it’s a short walk to the palace.

Can I host a private event or wedding at Lobkowicz Palace?

Lobkowicz Palace offers stunning rooms and terraces for private events, weddings, and corporate functions. 

Contact the palace directly for more details and arrangements.

Is photography allowed inside Lobkowicz Palace?

Photography for personal use may be allowed in certain areas of the palace and museum. 

Still, it’s best to check the current policy on the official website or inquire at the entrance, as restrictions may apply.

Are there dining options within Lobkowicz Palace?

Yes, visitors can enjoy the Palace Café, which offers a selection of refreshments and meals along with breathtaking views of Prague. 

There might also be special dining events or concerts held in the palace, so check the website for upcoming events.

Does Lobkowicz Palace have a gift shop?

The palace features a gift shop where visitors can purchase souvenirs, books, music recordings, and reproductions of some of the artwork found within the Lobkowicz Collections.

What is the distance between Lobkowicz Palace and Prague Castle?

The distance between Lobkowicz Palace and Prague Castle is approximately 1.1 kilometers or 0.7 miles. 

This can be covered by a leisurely walk, allowing visitors to enjoy the beautiful surroundings as they make their way between these two iconic landmarks in Prague.

What is the best way to travel from Lobkowicz Palace to Prague Castle?

Visitors can take a self-guided tour, including Lobkowicz Palace and Prague Castle or purchase separate tickets for each attraction. 

Small tour groups are also available for those who prefer a guided experience. 

Featured Image: Lobkowicz.cz

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