Franciscan Garden Peaceful Park in the Centre of Prague
Franciscan Garden is an oasis of peace right in the centre of Prague close to Wenceslas Square. The garden dates back to the fourteenth century and is furnished with fountains, sculptures, a large number of benches and a children’s playground. Fruit trees and herb gardens reflect the former owners, the Franciscan friars, who once cultivated herbs and spices here. In the middle of the garden is a fashion boutique.
Franciscan Garden and Fashion Boutique
Franciscan Garden is located on site of an old Franciscan monastery and was a police station during the communist days. Today it is the perfect place to relax after a shopping spree in Prague. The garden features leafy trees and trellises laden with roses in summer. In the centre of the garden is a small pavilion home to Tribu, an attractive fashion boutique brimming with handmade products designed by young Czech designers.
The Garden and the Friars
This beautiful garden sits next to the Church of Our Lady of the Snows. A church that should have been larger than the St Vitus Cathedral but was never completed and consists of a choir and choir stalls only. From the seventeenth century onward, the Franciscan friars cultivated herbs, flowers and trees. They dug a well, built a fountain and used the herbs to make drugs which they sold in they sold in the monastic pharmacy. The Franciscans were expelled by the Communist regime but the area was returned to the friars after the Velvet Revolution of 1989.
Sculptures in the Franciscan Garden
The Franciscans are followers of Francis of Assisi. Francis came from Umbria (Italy) and together with his followers he donated all his possessions to the poor in order to continue living in pure poverty. It is therefore very fitting that the metal entrance door to the garden depicts scenes from the life of St. Francis of Assisi, a work of art (1991) by Czech artist Petr Císařovský.
Two fountains attract attention. One with a boy with a shell, by Stanislav Hanzík (1931-2021) and the other is a group of sculptures Divoženka a Poletuchy by Josef Klimeš (1928-2018).
Divoženka (wild women of the forest) is a creature from Slavic mythology, a dangerous demon that can be found in mountain regions. Unmarried mothers, old maids or women who died before the child delivery become a divoženka after death. Poletucha is an archaic word and meant a woman of loose morals. In the sculpture they accompany the mythical Divoženka. That’s why they represent wind-fairies or sylphs.
Franciscan Garden and a Place to Relax
Sandwiched between Wenceslas Square and Jungmannovo Street, Franciscan Garden is an oasis of peace and serenity amid crowded, touristy shopping streets. It is a popular place for office staff to have a take-away lunch al fresco, for mothers with children who play in the playground and for tourists to rest from an exhausting day in Prague. Yet, it is always possible to find an empty seat in the garden. The Franciscan Garden is a wonderful place to relax and do some people watching. It is open all year and only closes at night.
October – April: 08.00-19.00
April – September: 07.00-22.00
September – October: 07.00-20.00