Renovation of Baroque gem underway in Stromovka Park

Šlechta restaurant covered in scaffolding, photo: Filip Jandourek

Šlechtova restuarace or Šlechta restaurant is a Baroque summer palace located in Prague’s Stromovka Park which has been in disrepair and ruins since the 1960s. Since then the building weathered fire and floods and remained standing. Now, renovation of the historic gem has begun.

Šlechta restaurant covered in scaffolding,  photo: Filip Jandourek
I spoke to Zdeněk Lukeš, the architectural historian at Prague Castle, asking how integral the building is to the park.

“It is a very important part of Stromovka: it was built during the early Baroque period and the interior decorations was done by Jakub Steinfels with Baroque frescoes on the ceiling and also plaster decorations and grottos. In the mid-19th century the building was then totally rebuilt in the style of Romantic Gothic by architect Bernard Grebauer.

“Of course, later the building was devastated by fire and by floods, especially the big flood inn 2002. Luckily, a sensitive restoration process has now begun.”

The interiors, however badly damaged, are very grand even now: it will be incredible once it is restored...

“The space will be wonderful and hopefully it will serve multiple cultural purposes, for concerts and meetings and so on, and will be part of a restaurant, which will serve a big role because of the location of the building which really is at a central point of Stromovka Park.”

The building is an important piece of the puzzle but not the only one: all of Stromovka has been improved and upgraded in recent years and I know that is something which you feel strongly about. Now, the restoration of the building will fill in another piece.

Stromovka,  photo: Štěpánka Budková
“What is really wonderful is the system of small ponds in the park, which are supported by water from the Vltava River. And it is just a wonderful piece of Nature.”

How much of a draw for new visitors do you think the new restaurant and the historic building will be?

“Prague City Hall estimates it could attract as many as three times as many people once the restoration of Šlechta restaurant is complete.”

If all goes according to plan, the renovation of the site should be complete by the spring of 2019.