Wallenstein palace is situated in the very center of the Lesser town in close vicinity of the Lesser Town square and the Charles bridge - see map 2. The origin of the settlement in the Lesser Town is directly linked to Prague castle, which was founded around 880 A.C. The oldest settlement of the future city named Prague was concentrated just to places below the castle. In this area the second town of Prague was later formed: the space between the river Vltava and Prague Castle was fortified in 13th century and the Lesser town was founded in 1257 by the Czech King Premysl Otakar II.
The Wallenstein palace was built from 1624 to 1630 as a seat of the Imperial generalissimo, Admiral of the Atlantic Ocean and the Baltic Sea, Albrecht Eusebius of Valdstein (Wallenstein) who was one of the most important figures of the Thirty Year's War. Apart from being famous as a very influential soldier (Commander-in-Chief of the Imperial Army), Wallenstein is also known for his belief in the influence of the stars. It is a very interesting experience to read personal characterisation of the Wallenstein in the horoscope written for him personally by Johannes Kepler. This link is not the only one which connects Wallenstein palace with atronomy and physics: inside the palace there is the astronomical-astrological corridor with allegories of the seven planets, the leading architect who designed Wallenstein palace and its sala terrena in the huge baroque garden was Italian Giovanni Battisto Pieronni, the student of Galileo Galilei. When designing the huge palace complex of the Wallenstein palace, Pieronni (together with two other Italian architects A. Spezza and N. Sebregondi) combined elements of the Late Renaissance with those of the Early Baroque. He also hired the most renowned artists to participate on the art works and decoration of the palace. This resulted in the the first baroque palace complex in Prague, which became a really representative and up to date as for fashion seat of Albrecht Wallenstein. By this palace the idea of Wallenstein to express his power and glory by building a magnificant palace whose size and decoration even surpassed those of Prague Castle, was fullfiled.
To imagine the size of the Wallenstein palace we can remind the fact that Wallenstein purchased twenty three houses, three gardens and the municipal brick-kiln to gain the place for his palace. The palace complex has a perimeter of almost 750 metres. It is completely separated from the outside world by walls and concentrated around a landscaped garden and five courtyards. The huge garden is famous for its monumental baroque sala terrena with three open archs as well as for a number of bronze statues of ancient gods by Adriano de Vries. As for the palace rooms, the most famous place there is the Main Hall (Hall of Knights). This hall reaches to the height of two floor and its dimensions are further enlarged optically by mirror windows.
The Wallenstein pallace is nowdays the seat of the Senate of the Parliament of the Czech republic
Here, you can find the plan of the Wallenstein palace and some more information about the Wallenstein palace.
The audio guide through the Wallenstein palace and photographs of the Main Hall, the garden of the Wallenstein palace and its Sala Terena, the places in which the conference will take place, you can find here: the multimedia presentation of the Wallenstein palace.