Belvedere seen from Královská Zahrada parcThe Royal Summer Palace is a monument to love. It was built by Ferdinand I for his adored wife Anna Jagello. The Palace, also known as “Queen Anna’s Palace” and “The Belvedere” from the Italian for “beautiful view”, is gorgeous to look at and has a view over Prague and is set in the equally gorgeous Royal Garden with the Singing Fountain right in front of it. Built by Italian architects, it is supposed to be the most perfect example of Italian Renaissance architecture outside Italy. BelvedereThe design is by Paolo della Stella, an Italian stonemason and architect. Construction was interrupted by a fire at Prague Castle in 1541 and was not resumed until 1556, by which time Paolo della Stella had died. His work was completed by Bonifác Wohlmut.

The Renaissance was a period of the celebration of the joy of life and beauty for its own sake. The relief work on the BelvederePalace is classic Renaissance in this respect, with allegories, nature scenes and stories from mythology. Unfortunately, Anna did not live to see its completion, having died in 1547, and Ferdinand himself died only six months after it was built. They are immortalised in the decorations, however, where you can see Ferdinand presenting Anna with a flower.

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