The Franciscan Garden is a little oasis of greenery in the city centre and, especially in the summer months, a favourite place for Praguers to meet and relax. Surrounded by a wall of tall buildings, the space provides a peaceful retreat for those wanting to escape the bustle of the city for at least a little while.
Close to the Church of Our Lady of the Snows, the garden is in a concealed courtyard between Wenceslas Square and Jungmannnovo náměstí. Back in the 14th century, monks from the adjacent monastery used the space mostly to grow crops and flowers. Although the garden is mainly used for recreational purposes today, you can still see, besides the ornamental plants, some fruit trees and herb borders, planted here perhaps as a reminder of the bygone age.
As well as being full of natural beauties, the garden is of architectural and cultural interest. Dominating the space is the Early Baroque former chapel, today a yellow gazebo housing a shop selling designer products. The sculptures, the work of Czech artists, are also worth mentioning. Boy Holding a Shell is the work of Stanislav Hanzík, and the sculptural pair Wood Nymphs and Flying Squirrels is by Josef Klimeš. It features a drinking fountain, so you can refill your water bottle on a hot day and refresh your body.
Thanks to its location, the garden also forms an attractive pedestrian shortcut between two adjacent squares. Bear in mind, therefore, that you’ll almost never be alone in the Franciscan Garden. On the other hand, with many benches, the space offers a welcome place to unwind and take a short break during a busy day. Many locals and tourists come here to sit for a while under the fragrant rose trellises or in the shade of the mature trees.
To help you relax even more, why not have a seat while enjoying an excellent ice cream from Světozor, in the arcade leading off the garden.Ana, Avantgarde Prague