Historical interiors of Colloredo-Mansfeld Palace long-term exhibition

The Colloredo-Mansfeld Palace ranks among outstanding examples of Prague’s palace architecture, with a highly varied history combining elements of the high Baroque style with later Rococo and Second-Rococo additions.

The Baroque edifice, located at one of the most exposed sites of old Prague, close to Charles Bridge, was erected on the foundations of earlier Romanesque and Gothic buildings, and its immediate predecessor, a house in the Renaissance style. The list of its former proprietors includes more than a few notable figures, ranging from Count Jáchym Ondřej Šlik (Joachim Andreas von Schlick), executed for his involvement in the Prague uprising of the Protestant estates, to the Jesuit Order, the Elector of Saxony, the infamously ruthless Count Karl Joachim von Breda, to Heinrich Franz von Mansfeld, Prince of Fondi. The last of these had the original palace building, probably designed by Giovanni Battista Alliprandi, reconstructed in the high Baroque style, by the architect Franz Ignaz Prée. The palace interiors received their definitive neo-Rococo appearance during the 1860s, when the premises were owned by the Auersperg family who later, around the year 1900, had a large section of the palace converted to a luxury block of flats. The palace’s finest and arguably best-preserved interior space is the grand ballroom whose definitive decoration was likely finished between 1736 and 1737. Its ceiling fresco, depicting the assembly of Olympian gods, was made by muralist Pietro Scotti and quadratura painter Giovanni Battista Zeist. The palace’s history has been associated with prominent noble families, as well as with major cultural and political events, such as the last session of the privy council of the “Winter King” Frederick, Elector Palatine, after the Battle of the White Mountain in 1620. After the Second World War, the palace was used by the Czechoslovak Academy of Sciences. It is currently administered by Prague City Gallery.