One of the prettiest, and probably most overlooked, sights in Prague is the Troja chateau. It is a 17th century building in the north of the city, but very easy to get to. Take the metro to Holešovice and then the bus to the zoo. It is well sign-posted which bus to take. When you alight at the entrance to the zoo, Troja is immediately opposite the zoo entrance.

Troja Chateau

It now houses a gallery of 19th century Czech art, which is interesting in itself, but, for me, the main attraction is in the building itself and the fabulous murals. The chateau, or zámek in Czech, has been splendidly restored, a restoration which has included the outbuildings and the gardens, and certainly merits a visit.

The Czech Republic has many castles and chateaux - many of which are deservedly on the 'tourist trail', such as Karlstejn and Konopiště, but considering that Troja is so easy to visit, it is a pity it is not more widely known.

Another view of Troja

The beautiful chateau and its grounds were damaged in the terrible flood of 2002, and I have not been back as yet to see if it has re-opened. The photographs here were taken before the flood.

The Grand Hall alone is well worth the price of admission, the mural paintings are nothing short of phenomenal! Painted by Abraham Godyn in the 1690's, they cover every inch of the walls and ceiling! There are scenes from the history of the House of Hapsburg, and allegorical paintings, which took a total of six years to complete. It would appear that this was completed by October 1697.

Troja Zámek

When we visited the zámek, we were sorely tempted to lie down on the floor in the Grand Hall - it seemed to us the best way to really appreciate the wonderful painted ceiling! At each end of the hall the paintings reproduce tapestries, a fascinating 'painting within a painting' technique, and incredibly effective.

Other rooms in the chateau contain paintings by Francesco and Giovanni Marchetti dating around 1689-90. Many of the rooms have ceilings and walls decorated by their paintings., and one room has delightful Chinese landscapes decorating the walls.

The grand entrance at Troja

The photographs on this page show the beautiful exterior of the zámek. Unfortunately, photography within the building was not permitted, but you can purchase an interesting brochure showing many of the paintings, and which makes a good souvenir.