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Franciscan Garden (Františkánská zahrada)

This unique natural oasis in the city center is furnished with a number of benches, over which span metal arches laden with roses in the summer. Lawn areas are separated by low yew hedges, and the garden is completed with several interesting sculptures, fountains, a gazebo, a playground, fruit trees and herb beds, which harken back to the former owners, the Carmelites and the Franciscans, who once grew herbs and spices here.

Franciscan Garden (Františkánská zahrada), Jungmannovo náměstí, Praha 1 - Nové Město, 110 00
tel.: +420221097231

Opening hours

October – April

Whole week
08.00 – 19.00

April – September

Whole week
07.00 – 22.00

September – October

Whole week
07.00 – 20.00

Object history

A small garden by the Church of Virgin Mary of the Snow between the squares Václavské náměstí and Jungmannovo náměstí was originally a much greater medieval garden of the Carmelitan Monastery after 1348 within the framework of the early development of the New Town (Nové město). Since 1604 it has already been the property of the Order of the Discalced Franciscans, who have restored it several times. The garden had a strong utility function with herbal, flower and vegetable beds and fruit trees; the Franciscans even grew spices here. When the monastery and the neighbouring church were plundered by the Prague scum and country robber gangs, it was re-established in the 18th century and the central pavilion was renewed with a ceiling decorated by frescoes realized by monk Benedict. There used to be a summer refectory in the western wing, and the monastery pharmacy, and a well was trenched by the Northern wall. Later on a decorative fountain was built with statues of the saints situated around it.

During the World War II, German occupants excavated two fire reservoirs, which greatly disturbed the character of the historical garden. They were gradually filled up only during the years 1980 and 1985. The garden was opened for public when the Franciscans were expelled by the communists in 1950 and used as a connection between Václavské náměstí and Jungmannovo náměstí. In 1989 - 1992, the garden was closed in order to carry out a general reconstruction according to a design of architect Josef Kuča with the help of architect Ivana Tichá. Graphic decorations were supplied by academic sculptors Stanislav Hanzík (fountain Boy with a Shell and sculpture of Ezop) and Josef Klimeš (fountain Wild Girls or also Wild Nymphs). When the modifications were completed, the entrance from the passage Alfa from Václavské náměstí was equipped with a gate with 16 plastic scenes from St. Francis life from an academic sculptor Karel Císařovský. The current ground plan of the garden is the same as the early-Baroque segmentation. The garden’s axis is formed by a wide, comfortable connecting path around the early-Baroque pavilion, originally probably a chapel from the turn of the 17th and the 18th centuries, with a fenced herbal garden nearby. Alongside the convent house, there is a separated band of the private area of a surface belonging to the Monastery of the Franciscan Order, to whom the monastery areas were returned within the framework of restitutions. There is also a children’s playground, separated from the other areas by a wall with climbing plants. A greater part of the garden is relaxing, peaceful, equipped with benches. Its different vegetative fields are fenced via a cut hedge. It is a unique natural oasis in the very centre of the city.

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