The Kinský Garden form part of a green belt of parks and gardens stretching below Petřín Hill, from Holečkova Street in the Smíchov district to Prague Castle. They are named after the princely Kinský family, which began to purchase local farmhouses and vineyards in the first half of the 19th century to build its summer residence and a large park.
Today, you can see both the summer house and the former ancillary buildings (porter’s lodge and coach house). You’ll also see original decorative elements (ponds, waterfalls, rocks, etc.) that have been joined over time by several new items, such as the statue of Czech actress Hana Kvapilová and the sculpture of a sea lion, a feature of one of the ponds.
While walking, you’re bound to come across the Gothic Hunger Wall, which separates the Kinský Gardens from the gardens at Petřín and Nebozízek. The structure is not the work of the Kinský family but of Charles IV, who had it built to strengthen the fortifications of the Lesser Town of Prague (Malá Strana). And why “Hunger”? Legend has it that the sovereign employed the poor to construct the wall; they earned their living from this work during a famine. Although this story is only mythical, the name continues to be used today.
Another interesting sight in the gardens is the all-wooden Orthodox Church of St Michael. In the late 1920s, it was dismantled and transferred from Carpathian Ruthenia, and rebuilt in Prague. The church, dating back to the 17th century, was a gift from Ruthenians living in the region to Prague (at time the capital of Carpathian Ruthenia). It was presented as an example of typical folk building.
It’s no exaggeration to say that the park is very picturesque and romantic. Like other gardens on a hilly site in Prague, the Kinský Gardens afford many beautiful views of the city and the river. On warm days, you can also enjoy the pleasant environment of shrubs and mature trees, and the fresh air by the cascades and waterfall.
Don’t miss the opportunity to take a stroll to the Petřín lookout tower. In clear weather, you can admire Prague in all its beauty, as well as the highest mountains in the Czech Republic, the Krkonoše.Marek