Hrzánský Palace is a complex of adjoining buildings, which runs along the edge of the Hradčany (Prague Castle) promontory. Currently the palace is used for official functions by the Prime Minister of the Czech Republic.
Neither the exact date of its construction nor the name of its architect are known. In 1359 it was purchased by Petr Parléř, the sculptor and principal builder of St. Vitus’ Cathedral. The Meissen burgrave and Supreme Chancellor of Bohemia Jindřich of Plavno build another section which was acquired from his heirs by Jindřich Mikuláš of Lobkovice, but it was its next owner, Adam the Elder of Šternberk, who refurbished it between 1588 and 1600. Further improvements were made by the Supreme Gentleman of the Chamber Oldřich Desiderius Pruskovský of Pruskov, who had it remodelled in Renaissance style and one storey added, facing Loretánská Street.
Count Kolovrat-Krakovský († 1688) annexed another plot of land (in Úvoz Street) to it in 1657, and between 1658 and 1659 expended a large amount of money on building a five-storey house on its back side and a connecting western wing. In 1688 Albrecht’s son Jan František († 1723) linked it up with the adjoining structure in his possession, today referred to as Dietrichštejnský (Dietrichstein) Palace. In 1708 Kolovrat conceded the resultant set of buildings to his creditor Zikmund Valentin, Count Hrzán of Harasov († 1726), as settlement of his many debts. But four years later the new owner had to divide the two houses again; Dietrichštejnský Palace went to Kolovrat’s sister Anna Polyxena, free lady of Písnice, as her inheritance share. The interior staircase – the only connecting element between the “upper” and the “lower” houses - thus became a part of Dietrichštejnský Palace and Count Hrzán had to build his own - steep spindle-shaped staircase of close to one hundred steps, which today belongs to the chief attractions of the palace.
Zikmund Hrzán died a man sunk deep in debt. Following complicated negotiations, the ownership of the mortgaged house passed in 1756 to the Metropolitan Chapter of St. Vitus. It was at this time, after it became the seat of the Chapter provostry, that Hrzánský Palace assumed its present-day appearance.
In 1915, the “upper” house was purchased by the painter Ferdinand Engelmüller, a pupil of Julius Mařák, who used the rear wing as his studio. His commemorative plaque with a bust can be found in the courtyard. The new owner was fascinated by the palace and decided to have it thoroughly renovated. After his death in 1924 the studio passed to another outstanding Czech painter Jan Slavíček.
From 1949 till 1954 the whole palace underwent a radical conversion, according to a project of Vilém Lorenz, to be used by the Ministry of Culture and later on by the Government Presidium for official functions.An exquisite relic of the Baroque period is the charming fountain with a statue of Hercules.
- Hrzánský Palace
- Loretánská 177/9
- 118 00 Praha 1