The National Gallery in Prague – Šternberg Palace

Photos: Vladimír Lacena (OHP)

Address: Hradčanské náměstí 15, Praha 1
Year: 1698–1707; 1811–1814; 1835–1842
Architects: Giovanni Battista Alliprandi (estimated); František Pavíček; Jan Novotný

The High Baroque palace standing on the home of Christopher Popel of Lobkowicz was founded by Václav Vojtěch of Šternberg in the late 17th century. The original design was proposed by Viennese architect Domenico Martinelli, but the building was actually designed by Giovanni Battista Alliprandi and most likely also by Jan Blažej Santini.

The residence was originally oriented in the Deer moat, which was socially a much more important area than Hradčany Square at that time. That is why the palace is best seen in its full glory from the north side.

The palace was built on a closed ground plan with an inner quadrangle. Its distinct oval hall is at a height of two floors. Its high projection is clearly visible from a composed garden, which is adjacent to the palace from the west side.

Only the northern part of the building plan was built in the beginning of the 18th century, whereas the southern wing of the palace, constructed with a baroque-looking entrance façade, was completed in the first half of the 19th century. The palace housed the National Museum in the beginning of the 19th century, and later housed other authorities also. The building was adapted for the needs of the National Gallery in Prague from 1945–1948, and its interiors were continuously adjusted according to the location changes of the collections. The old workshops were reconstructed in the coffee shop designed by architect Petr Malínský at the end of the nineties.