With the distinction of being the only privately owned building in the sprawling Prague Castle complex, Lobkowicz Palace is home to one of the city’s finest art collections. A masterpiece of Baroque architecture, the palace stands next to the Royal Palace and was built in the mid-16th century for Czech nobleman Jaroslav of Pernštejn. The aristocratic Lobkowicz family took over the palace through a dynastic marriage in 1603, lost it under Communist occupation following World War II and regained control of it only in 2002.
The Lobkowicz private art collection is the biggest in the Czech Republic and has been augmented over 600 years of family history. The highlights are displayed in 22 ornate Baroque apartments and include a master class in European painting, with outstanding works by Pieter Brueghel the Elder, Cranach, Velázquez, Canaletto and Rubens. The priceless collection also encompasses one of Central Europe’s finest libraries of rare books and a musical archive that includes scores by Mozart, Beethoven and Gluck. Suits of medieval armor compete for attention with remarkable 16th-century lutes and early 18th-century silver trumpets, as well as a superb cache of 17th-century porcelain and delicate decorative arts.
The palace is also well known for its acclaimed Midday Classical Concerts, held in the elegant Baroque Concert Hall—don’t miss the action-packed ceiling frescoes—and featuring the likes of Mozart, Bach, Dvořák and Smetana. The balcony of the Lobkowicz Palace Café is the perfect spot for gazing out over the red rooftops of Prague spread out below.