Gardens are open at Prague Castle

The summer season has started already but the official opening is May 13

The gardens around Prague Castle, including the Stag Moat (Jelení příkop) re-opened April 1 and will be accessible until Oct. 31. They are closed in the winter months.

The ceremonial opening will take place May 13, which is the 300th anniversary of the birth of Empress Maria Theresa, but events will take place at the castle before that date, as the gardens will have been open for more than a month.

On May 13, the main attractions of Prague Castle will be open to the public for free. These will include St Vitus' Cathedral, the Golden Lane, the Old Royal Palace including the Story of Prague Castle exhibition, St George's Basilica and the Rosenberg Palace.

The Southern Gardens (Jižní zahrady) were designed in the 1920s by Slovenian architect Josip Plečnik on the site of the former Castle fortifications as part of the renovations of Prague Castle authorized by President Tomáš Garrigue Masaryk. They were restored to their 1920s appearance in 2012. They can be entered from inside Prague Castle through a stairway. The group has three gardens: the Garden of Eden (Rajská zahrada), Garden on the Ramparts (Zahrada Na Valech) and Hartig Garden (Hartigovská zahrada).

The Royal Garden (Královská zahrada) can be entered from near Prašný most near the side Castle entrance. The Royal Garden dates to 1534 and is on the site of medieval vineyards. The current appearance comes from the 19th century, but many Renaissance and Baroque elements have been preserved.

The Stag Moat was used to breed game until the 18th century, and even into the 20th century a bear was kept there. Between 2001 and '07 a tunnel was built to connect the parts of the moat. A raised walkway lets people traverse much of the moat without damaging to plant life underneath.

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