Prague Castle – Ball Game Hall – a garden building with a rich history

A large ball game hall is located in the Royal Garden of the Prague Castle. The building is situated on the south side, just above the slope of the Deer Moat, and it was built in 1567 – 69. The building exists thanks to the architects Boniface Wohlmuth and Ulrike Aostalli de Sala. Originally, a shooting- range was situated at these places.


Which building exactly we are talking about Ball Game Hall
The ball game hall was built in Renaissance style and its rich decoration captivates every visitor. The building had undergone an extensive historical development. From its origination until the seventeenth century it was used for ball games, as well as for a riding school and stables. During the reign of Emperor Joseph II. it had changed in a military warehouse, as well as other historic buildings.

Prague Royal Garden
During the reign of Emperor Ferdinand I. very rare flowers and exotic plants were cultivated in the Royal garden. It is interesting that for the very first time tulips were blooming in the territory of Europe exactly here, and then from Prague, thanks to the Habsburgs they got to Holland. There is the Lion Courtyard, which originally served as the menagerie from the time of Emperor Rudolf II., where wild animals were kept such as lions and many other. During the French occupation in the eighteenth century, all the animals and all the trees were cut down by the troops.


Ball Game Hall Difficult past
An adverse period occurred in the twentieth

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century, when the whole building was damaged by static disturbances and gunfire. Then, a fire broke out here and as a result of it only the building’s perimeter walls remained. A fire blazed in here three times in the history of the building.

Reconstruction in the spirit of socialism
After that an extensive reconstruction was started here, which was conducted by P. Janak and it was completed in 1952. A proof for that Socialist adjustment is the graffiti with a sign of „Five-Year Plan“, which was placed between the Renaissance graffiti decoration with antique motifs. The Five-Year Plan’s characters were replaced by undocumented allegorical figures. It is interesting that this is the only one preserved element of socialist realism in the Prague Castle.


The Present
The building was hidden in the Royal garden, and it was made available to the public after 1989. At present it is used for various fine art’s exhibitions, concerts and important social events. When you walk through the Royal Gardens don’t forget to see this building.

Ball Game Hall  is currently closed to the public

Mariánské hradby 52/1
Praha 1 – Hradčany 118 00

GPS: N 50° 05′ 33.19″E 14° 24′ 05.46″

Public transport:
tram: number 1,8,15,18,20,22,26,
subway station , underground stop  –  Line A – Malostranská

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