Pruhonice Park

The Zámek/Chateau at Prohonice © Ricky Yates

Monday each week, is meant to be my ‘day-off’. But when I live on-the-job with the office next door to my bedroom, it is very difficult to have a proper day-off unless I get completely away from the Chaplaincy Flat. So I’m determined during these coming summer weeks, to take a proper day-off and get out and about to see more of Prague and the surrounding Czech countryside.

Therefore last Monday 18th June, Sybille and I made a start in making that determination a reality. We went out for the day to visit a place that has been on our ‘to visit list’ for quite some time – Pruhonice Park.

Pruhonice Park lies south-east of Prague, a little beyond the city boundary in the Central Bohemia Region. It was still very easy to get there by public transport – a combination of tram, metro and bus. But because our final destination Pruhonice, lies just beyond the city boundary, we were obliged to pay an additional CZK 12/£0.36 each because our ‘Open Cards’ for the integrated Prague public transport system, only cover us when travelling within the city boundary. However, one has to say that this hardly breaks the bank 🙂

The park itself was founded by Count Arnošt Emanuel Silva-Tarouca in 1885. He took advantage of the existing small river valleys to create a series of lakes and introduced an amazing variety of trees, some native to Central Europe but with others from elsewhere in the world. The result is, ‘a masterpiece of garden landscape architecture that is of worldwide importance’, to quote the publicity leaflet we were given.

The entrance to the park, which is spread out over 250 hectares, is alongside an amazing Zámek/Chateau which you can see in the photograph at the beginning of this post. The Zámek/Chateau itself is not open to the public as it is the HQ of the Botanical Institute of the Czech Academy of Sciences. But it is still possible to enjoy the exterior of the building which is beautifully decorated as you can see in these two photographs.

Exterior decoration on the Zámek/Chateau at Pruhonice © Ricky Yates

St. George defeating the dragon as depicted on the outside wall of the Zámek/Chateau at Pruhonice © Ricky Yates

Path through Pruhonice Park © Ricky Yates

Our visit coincided with the hottest day so far of the 2012 summer so we were glad to be able to enjoy walking along gravel tracks which were frequently well shaded by the many magnificent trees. One of numerous things that Pruhonice Park is famous for is its collection of rhododendrons. These bloom during May so our visit was a little late to enjoy what is apparently a spectacular sight when they are all flowering. We only got to see the very last of the blooms in a few sheltered spots.

What did surprise us was how few other visitors there were. Apparently a lot of Czech families do visit at weekends but on a hot, sunny Monday in June, we shared the park with only a handful of other people.

Another surprise was the complete absence of anywhere within the park grounds where it was possible to buy a ‘cool glass of something’. We were therefore most thankful that we had thought to pack a two litre bottle of sparling mineral water in my rucksack, before setting out for the day.

On this visit, we only got to see about a quarter of the area of the park so we shall certainly return to explore some more. I’m also sure that it must look magnificent in the Autumn with the changing colours of the leaves and I’ve already made a mental note to visit next May to see the rhododendrons in bloom.

Below are two more images of Pruhonice Park which I hope will illustrate the beauty and peace of this delightful location in the Czech Republic.

A peaceful spot within Pruhonice Park © Ricky Yates

Trees in various shades of green © Ricky Yates

9 comments to Pruhonice Park

  • Heather & Fred

    What a beautiful place! Yes you must stick to your days off resolution and see more of the city and surroundings. Any hope yet of getting the car on the road again so you can get further afield?

    • Ricky

      Hi Heather & Fred – It certainly is a beautiful place & one to which we will return in different seasons. The car was finally towed to the Renault Garage last Wednesday & should be ready to be collected on Monday. Looking forward to it being mobile again but not to the accompanying invoice!

  • This park looks divine! I always wanted to go and see the rhododendrons too. How fun that you and Sybille had your own private park that day too. Another gorgeous château and grounds I recommend near Plzen is Kozel Castle. Sublime!

    • Ricky

      Karen – the park is divine! Certainly visiting for the rhododendrons is on the agenda for next May. And whilst having Monday as my day-off does sometimes present problems, (many galleries & museums are closed on Mondays), it does also mean that when places are open, their are far fewer people around! Thanks also for the additional recommendation.

  • Heather & Fred

    That’s good news about the car. Life is easier when you have wheels, although more expensive. We are getting really good mileage out of our new eco friendly car. Enjoy your day off 🙂 Heather

  • Yet another glorious Prague park and a lovely post, Ricky. As you know, the wonderful parks are an important part of what made my visits to Prague so special and it has been interesting to learn about another of them. Many thanks.

    • Ricky

      It’s a pity you didn’t get to Pruhonice Park Perpetua, during one of your two previous visits – you surely would have loved it. But then it’s taken us over three & a half years to get there & we live here all the time 🙂

  • That’s a beautiful picture of the Zámek/Château! What year was it constructed? The ornate designs on the outside are gorgeous. I wonder what the inside looks like…Do you ever have it open to the public for special occasions or anything?

    Have fun on your retreats to parks! Why not just pitch a tent and camp out? You could even hang a sign on the flag saying: “The Vicar is IN!” 😉

    • Ricky

      In the 1880s Pearl, the same time as the park was established. I’m not aware of the Zámek/Château being open to the public at all though there was an art exhibition in a very small section of it when we visited. I like your idea of pitching a tent but firstly, it isn’t allowed & secondly, we have to get back in the evening to feed Oscar.