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Prague: ARTĚL Style

Expert recommendations and insider tips for first-time visitors and locals alike from ARTĚL’s founder, Karen Feldman, who has lived in Prague since 1994. Click on the links below for detailed reviews – from Feldman’s own unique perspective – of all the best that Prague has to offer...

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Exploring Prague’s Most Enchanted Forests

Published on October 12th, 2016 in Sights

  • Star Summer Palace Postcard, 1970 (Photo: http://homolinka2.blog.cz/)

  • Pruhonice Park

  • Stromovka Park footbridge

  • The Czech film Three Nuts for Cinderella was filmed at Pruhonice Chateau (Photo: http://movies.film-cine.com/)

  • Wooden cottage, Pruhonice park (Photo: http://itras.cz/)

  • Stromovka by Kamil Lhoták, 1942

Despite its cosmopolitan feel, those of us who live in the Czech capital do not want for green spaces and wooded escapes. Historically home to a number of royal hunting grounds and game preserves, the Bohemian tradition of hunting was for many years alive and well in what is today modern Prague. These forest parks are easily accessible from the city center and worth a visit especially in the autumn when the foliage is ablaze (tips for refreshment included)!

Průhonice Park

A central pond, surrounded by rare plant and tree species, with a Neo-Renaissance chateau as its backdrop, makes Průhonice Park a completely worthy day trip. So enchanting, in fact, is this UNESCO World Heritage site that it’s a frequent shooting location for Czech Television’s live-action fairy tales.

This UNESCO World Heritage Site and Czech National Historic Landmark should be on every castle (and forest) lover’s radar. Hike to the Gloriette and climb to the top to admire the fall-fantasy views.

 
L-R Průhonice Park, Babiččina zahrada duck and cabbage (photos: Czech Tourism/Facebook)

 

Stop off at nearby Babiččina zahrada (Grandma’s Garden) for a meal; this culinary oasis situated among the stately homes of Průhonice has made a name for itself with rustic dishes of Czech tradition (veal schnitzel, potato croquettes) paired with more Continental fare (stuffed quail, lamb roulade) and desserts (rhubarb dumplings, Bundt cake) that are off-the-charts good. The real draw is the lush green garden with tables tucked into trellised gazebos—open through late fall, blankets are provided in case of a chill!



Průhonice Park, Zámek 1, Průhonice
www.parkpruhonice.cz
Metro Opatov, then bus 363 or 358 (the ride takes about 15 minutes) by car D1 motorway (exit 6)
Note: There is a 50 CZK entry fee.

 

Stromovka Park


Prague’s largest park has a forest feel, with a network of walking trails and paved paths cutting through a mixed 250 acres of towering trees and English garden landscaping. The area was once a royal deer preserve that dates back to the 14th century, though today you will more commonly spot rollerbladers, dog walkers, and picnickers dotting its plentiful meadows.

 

 


L-R: Stromovka Royal Hunting Lodge, Vozovna restaurant (photos: WikiCommons/Facebook)

 

The park’s Restaurace Vozovna is a great spot to dine amidst the arcadian splendor of Stromovka. They specialize in big salads and baked potatoes with a variety of gourmet toppings—chorizo, sour cream, and sun-dried tomatoes were recently a big hit—as well as grill specialities. The restaurant also has outdoor seating next to its wonderful tram-themed playground that is popular with local parents. 



Stromovka, Prague 7, Bubeneč
www.stromovka.cz
Metro Hradčanská
Tram 12, 17, 24 to Výstaviště; 1, 5, 12, 25, 26, to Letenské náměstí

 

Star Summer Palace


A Renaissance chateau shaped like a six-pointed star, the Star Summer Palace (Letohrádek hvězda) is tucked into a densely wooded area that was formerly a royal hunting grounds. It is accessed via a wide tree-lined boulevard reminiscent of Versailles. A truly ideal place for fall frolics (it regularly hosts fairy-tale-themed treasure hunts for families).
 
If you visit make sure to peek inside the chateau for its stucco-work and ongoing exhibit devoted to the Battle of White Mountain which took place nearby.

 


Star summer palace and interior stuccowork (all photos: http://homolinka2.blog.cz/)


Café Letohrádek is a simple yet cozy cafe located within the chateau that will not win any points for stylishness but that is perfectly fine for its generous slices of cake, traditional czech baked goods and selection of beer, wine, and coffee.


Obora Hvězda, Prague 6
www.en.pamatniknarodnihopisemnictvi.cz/
Tram 25 to Obora Hvězda

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