The romantic Baroque chateau of Troja is located by a lovely bend in the Vltava River, surrounded by lovely gardens and an old vineyard. This wonderful chateau or villa was designed by Jean Baptiste Mathey upon the request of the glorious Sternberg family after Wenzel Adalbert von Sternberg embarked on his essential Grand Tour and returned to Bohemia with visions of Roman residential splendor in his mind (the chateau is inspired by the spacious 16th and 17th century villas Sternberg witnessed outside of Rome in the Frascati area). The work of Jean Baptiste Mathey is important as it marks a transition period from northern Italian Early Baroque to High Roman Baroque. Troja chateau was built from 1678 to 1695, with a halt in 1685 due to the feared and deadly Plague, which spread its evil fingers across central Europe. During the second construction process, focus on the interior became the priority. Abraham and Issac Godyn from Antwerp decorated the main hall, with a massive gorgeous fresco depicting legendary scenes from the Habsburg dynasty and their victory over the Turks; Carpoforo Tencalla, Francesco Marchetti and Giovanni Francesco painted the other splendid rooms. The staircase leading to the garden is magnificent, the oval staircase is lined with stone giants depicting the dueling Olympian gods and the Titans by the Saxon sculptors Paul and Georg Heermann. The surrounding Baroque garden is lovely with sculptures, apple trees, fountains and geometrically patterned hedges. The chateau is used by the City Gallery of Prague, which includes a collection of old paintings, books and maps. The cellar of the chateau houses an intimate wine museum where you can sample and purchase Czech wine.
U Trojskeho Zamku 1, Praha 7, +420-283-851-614, www.ghmp.cz | How to get there: take tram 5, 17, or 25 from the metro station Holesovice to the tram stop Trojska, or take bus number 112 to the Zoologicka Zahrada stop.