Even after having lived in Prague for nearly 6 years, there are still those magical moments when I discover a brand new place and just think: “Wow! Why have I never been here before?”. I was lucky enough to experience one of those glorious moments last weekend. My parents were in town and I decided to take them to Pruhonicky Park and Castle, which had been recommended to me by several friends, but was a place that I had never been to myself.
The castle at Pruhonice is one of the most beautiful and ornately decorated castles that I have come across during my time in the Czech Republic. I had seen pictures of it on the internet but to see it in person was really something to behold. I’m a big fan of castles, so I was left wondering why on earth it had taken me so long to pay this one a visit.
My most exciting discovery of the day was not the beautiful new castle, but the 240 hectares of landscaped park land surrounding it. Although we didn’t get anywhere close to seeing the whole park (owing to its sheer size, this simply wouldn’t be possible in one afternoon), I saw enough to be spellbound and I will certainly return here.
There are 3 well marked trails that you can take through the park, depending how much time you have to spare. Whichever trail you choose, you’re in for a treat. At this time of year, the park is just alive with the colour of flowers, some of which were quite unusual species that you just wouldn’t see on your average countryside walk. The park is especially well-known for its exceptional collection of rhododendron bushes. Our selected trail lead us through dense forests, full of towering, mature trees, through open sunny meadows, around vast lakes, teaming with fish and alongside babbling brooks and streams. We were even lucky enough to spot a water vole lurking by a rocky waterfall.
Pruhonicky Park and Castle is clearly (and understandably) a popular wedding location and we saw 3 separate wedding parties taking photographs in the area immediately surrounding the castle. Aside from this, the park was relatively quiet for a Saturday afternoon and I certainly got the impression that we were the only none-Czech visitors. I would thoroughly recommend a visit here to anybody looking for a quiet and peaceful afternoon walk in really unique surroundings.
Although Pruhonicky Park and Castle is just outside Prague, it’s quick and easy to get here. I travelled by car with my parents and the journey was only 20 minutes from the city centre. If you don’t have access to a car, don’t worry, as it’s very easily accessible by public transport. Simply make your way to Opatov Metro Station (C Line) and then take bus 363 or 385 to stop Pruhonice. The bus ride should only take around 15 minutes. See the route details on Google Maps.
If you are coming by car, be aware that the car park is relatively small and there is a charge of 30 CZK an hour to park in it. There is also a small 80 CZK fee to enter the park but I was more than happy to pay this considering the care, love and attention which is clearly put into carefully maintaining the park land.
For more information about the park and castle, have a look at the website.
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