Reconstruction of Stromovka Park’s Lower Summer Palace, affectionately known as Šlechtovka by locals, is due to commence in spring of next year. As city officials finalize the details of its restoration, Prague 7 has announced that it will add a proper English garden to the reparations, reports Lidovky.cz.
“We would like to focus also on the adjacent land, which in the nineteenth century boasted a beautiful English garden,” Prague 7 councilwoman Lenka Burgerová told Lidovky.
Originally an early Baroque hunting lodge constructed in 1689-1692, in 1803 the Royal Meadow was opened to the public and became a popular place for Praguers.
A cafe opened in the lower house in 1882; in 1885 it was rebuilt in Neo-Gothic style. In 1882 Václav Steinitzsi converted it to a restaurant bearing the name Šlechta (“nobility” in Czech) which served customers through the Second World War.
Following nationalization, the building fell into disrepair, plagued by fires in the 1970’s and 80’s and, in 2002, the Prague floods. It is a protected cultural monument and one of Prague’s most endangered buildings—the neglect of its stunning interior plasterwork a source of national shame for nearly half a century.
The proposed garden would recapture the spirit of the original nineteenth-century public space, Prague 7 Deputy Mayor Kamil Vavřinec Mareš told Lidovky.
“We are very interested in ensuring that Šlechtovka again becomes a lively and popular place for all Praguers,” he said.
(2008 photo from Wikimedia Commons)