While a number of Praguers will be hitting the town in costume tonight or bundling up for a long evening of trick-or-treating or even just staying in with a good horror film, another option exists for those who’d like to spend their Halloween night haunting the historic Malá Strana quarter.
Twice a year Prague’s high-Baroque Vrtba garden, located on the slope of Petřín Hill, and dating to the 18th century, opens to the public for a “special evening of lights” that sees its stunning grounds illuminated from 5pm to 9pm.
The garden, designed by František Maxmilián Kaňka for Jan Josef, Count of Vrtba, is one of four Baroque gardens in the Czech capital (the others are Vratislav, Schönborn, and Lobkowicz) and is considered “the most charming garden of its type north of the Alps.”
Laid out across three terraced levels with an irregular steep slope more characteristic of Italian garden sites, the garden is listed by UNESCO for its historic cultural values and is considered a masterpiece for its use of space.
Despite extensive renovations throughout the years, it has retained its original statuary, enchanting flowerbeds, and sculptural decor by Matyáš Bernard Braun.
A fresco by Václav Vavřinec Reiner adorns the sala terrena and the gloriette viewpoint offers a complete panorama of the garden as well as vistas of Prague Castle, St. Nicholas, Malá Strana, and the whole of the city.
The garden can be entered from its base at Karmelitská Street.
The lighting of the gardens has become an annual October 31 event that marks the opening and closing of the season. A guided tour (in Czech) takes place from 6pm. For more details see here.