Vrtba Garden

2nd Prize:
Vrtba Garden (Czech Republic)

Vrtba Garden in Prague is one of several baroque gardens in the Czech capital.

The garden was created in 1720 as an Italian style terraced garden by František Maximilán Kaňka. Situated on a hill, the garden is divided into several terraces, connected to each other by staircases. The lowest part is enclosed on three sides by the palace. At the centre stands a small fountain decorated with a sculpture of a putto and a dragon. On the south side of the lower terrace is the Sala Terrena, a hall connecting the palace with the garden. The wing opposite the Sala Terrena houses an aviary.

The lower terrace is connected to the middle terrace by two staircases. Here beautifully designed flower beds flank a small circular pool. A Baroque wall decorated with eight statues divides the middle and upper terrace, which can be reached via an ornamented staircase with two wings. The upper terrace leads to yet another staircase which culminates in a small building fronted by a blind arch, which is decorated with reliefs of water gods.

Between 1990 and 1998 the Vrtba garden underwent structural conservation and extensive replanting and was reopened for public in June 1998. It is listed for its historic cultural values by UNESCO.