Colloredo-Mansfeldský Palác: Prague’s Hidden Secret of a Noble Palace
Imagine there is a beautiful palace located along one of Europe's busiest tourist streets and just across from one of its most famous bridges but when you visit you are virtually all on your own. What sounds like a castle hunter's wildest dreams, actually comes true when you visit the Colloredo-Mansfeld Palace - or Colloredo-Mansfeldský Palác in Czech - in Prague. Situated right next to the Charles' Bridge along Karlova Street, it is overlooked by most tourists and if you are as lucky as me, you will end up there all on your own.
The Colloredo-Mansfeld Palace in Prague was built during the 18th century for Prince Heinrich Paul of Mansfeld-Fondi. Considered one of the prime examples of Prague palace architecture, it combines elements from the High Baroque period with Rococo style. The most beautiful and perhaps the best preserved room of the palace is its Ball Room, which you can see in the picture above. Completed between 1736 and 1737, the ceiling fresco with the assembled Olympian gods was created by Pietro Scotti and Giovanni Battista Zeist. Sadly history hasn’t been too kind to much of the other rooms of the palace with many of them empty and their original decoration either in distress or completely lost. Today home to the Prague City Gallery, wandering through the noble apartments makes you imagine the days gone by when this palace was the buzzing home to an array of Czech and Austrian noble families.