Royal Summer Palace
The Royal Summer Palace, also called Queen Anne's Summer Palace, was built to the order of Ferdinand I from 1538 to 1560 on the eastern edge of the Royal Garden. The gallery, provided with an arcade and rich relief decoration, is the work of Italian stonemasons and the superstructure of the first floor and its unique roofing were built by Hans Tirol and Bonifaz Wohlmut. The Summer Palace was intended to serve as a scene of events organized for the entertainment of the court and also as a feature enhancing the pleasure of a sojourn in the garden.
In the late 18th century the Summer Palace was placed at the disposal of the Austrian army and after its stay here its reconstruction had to be started in 1836. In the course of its realization a monumental staircase originated as well as the decoration of a hall on the first floor in the form of wall paintings portraying themes from Czech history.
The Royal Summer Palace now serves mainly for exhibitions of creative art and artistic crafts.
The Italian source of inspiration of the Summer Palace is also illustrated by the way in which the adjoining part of the garden is laid out as a giardinetto with a regular composition of flower beds. The bronze Singing Fountain is the work of Tomas Jaros of 1564 to 1568. The special sound of the falling drops of water, bringing the ringing of bells to mind, can best be heard directly under the wide lower bowl of the fountain.