Prague Petrin Hill
The Petrin Hill on the Mala Strana side of Prague is a 300-meter-high hill next to the castle towering over the city. On Sunday we decided to go inspect the hill and maybe try and find the Royal Gardens, which we couldn't find from the castle itself.
Before the climb we needed to get some snacks, of course. Proper energy bombs like crisps, chocolate and cider. Some strawberries as well to keep things healthy...
The climb itself wasn't that bad but I wouldn't recommend it to the elderly or people with heart problems. At some stages the path was so steep that your pulse rises to surprising levels. Instead of climbing you can take the Funicular up the hill. On the hill you will find lovely parks and an Eiffel tower-inspired viewing tower. You can climb all the way to the top of the tower but we weren't interested in queueing.
Walking down the hill we wandered off the main road and came to a little square with a huge palace on the right and a small cathedral on the left. The cathedral turned out to be a Loreta. There are several Loretas all over Europe and basically they have been built in honour of Virgin Mary. The little house in the inside yard of the cathedral is a copy of the original house where Virgin Mary was born. According to the legend the house was carried from Nazareth to Italy by angels. The whole complex was under construction so it was closed and covered in scaffolding... Brillz.
The palace-like building opposite the Loreta turned out to be the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. We wandered around it into the back yard... And I decided that if I ever get married this garden area was my plan B where the wedding was going to be held. Gorgeous place!
From the palace we kept walking to the direction we thought was the right one to finding the Royal gardens. Thank goodness we did because we found these super cute little allies snaking towards the castle. The area was lovely and calm and apparently favoured by artists.
|Ministry of Foreign Affairs|
On the way we also came across this little hidden wine garden on top of a small hill. Beautiful little find, even though a guy totally stoned smoking some proper stinking weed on the stairs sort of ruined the scene.
|Hidden Wine Garden|
Even though we were wandering all over the place in the little paths we managed to find our way to the castle and from there, finally, to the gardens. I don't know if they were under some sort of maintenance work but there wasn't much to see; no fancy flower arrangements, no fancy fountains, just pretty basic views. Things you would expect from an English-style garden. Pretty, but I would recommend the Lednice castle in Eastern Czech Republic if interested in exotic flowers and spectacular gardens.
Petrin Hill is the perfect way to spend a relaxed day away from the tourist crowds. It's locals' favourite and it was actually the only place (in addition to the shopping mall) where we didn't hear English everywhere. Grab a book, some snacks and take a day off from all the touristy things, it's a holiday after all ;)