The Kinsky Palace was built between 1755 and 1765 and is located on a site overlooking the Old Town Square. It is not the first building to have been constructed on the site and there are records of several previous buildings having been located here. Part of a 12th century building still remains and can be viewed in the palace's basement.
Its façade is stunning. The exterior plasterwork (stucco) is pink and white and fashioned in rococo style, though most of the building is strongly influenced by Baroque architecture. The rooms are ornately decorated with painting, sculptures, frescos and furnishings.
At one point it was home to Count Goltz, who joined the northern and southern parts of the building together and carried out extensive renovations. After his death it was sold to the Kinsky family who once again remodeled it in a classical style. The building is often referred to as the Goltz-Kinsky Palace.
The palace has had several different functions throughout its history. At one stage it became a Grammar School, attended by one of the Czech Republic's most internationally famous writers, Franz Kafka. Berta Suttnerova, the very first person to win the Nobel Peace Prize, was born here in 1843.
Several historical events have also taken place at Kinsky Palace. In 1948 the communist leader Klement Gottwald made a memorable speech from the palace, which began the communist era in Czechoslovakia. Ironically, some several decades later, another speech was made from the same place heralding the end of communism in Czechoslovakia.
The palace is now part of the National Gallery of Prague and it houses an extensive collection of prints and drawings from the middle-ages.
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