The mysterious, hidden Belveder near Kutná Hora

Photo: Markéta Vejvodová, Czech Radio

The summer palace Belveder, near Kutná Hora in central Bohemia, was once an architectural gem. Although it is now in ruins it has a powerful presence and many visitors say they feel a special energy within its ancient stone walls.

Most people, who are familiar with the Czech capital, associate the name Belveder with the beautiful Renaissance building in the Royal Gardens of Prague Castle. The summer palace which Ferdinand I built for his wife Anna Jagiellon between 1538 and 1560 , now serves as an exhibition space for fine art and is visited by millions of people every year.

But, away from the beaten tourist tracks, hidden in a forest on Vysoká Hill near Kutná Hora in Central Bohemia you can come across another Belveder – the Belveder Summer Palace which Count František Antonín Špork built on his estate at the end of the 17th century.

The monumental building, which hosted the nobility and artists of the time, eventually went to ruin, but its impressive octagonal shape, reminiscent of one-time grandeur, and its Chapel of St. John the Baptist bespeak of a fascinating past.

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Authors: Daniela Lazarová, Markéta Vejvodová, Source:Český rozhlas