Cyril and Methodius Route – Cultural Route of the Council of Europe

Flower Garden

During the reconstruction of the town, destroyed by the Thirty Years’ War, the Italian architects F. Luchese and P. G. Tencalla built a charming late Renaissance garden on the barren and marshy land behind the walls. The garden is used for exhibitions, concerts, festivals, walks and leisure activities. On 16 hectares in Kroměříž, an Italian garden was built with paths in high espaliers, with a 244 m long gallery of statues of ancient gods and figures from history and myth, with a central Rotunda in the geometric centre celebrating the water element with its decoration and the art of plasterers, sculptors and fresco artists. The new entrance, built in the first half of the 19th century, forms a Classical Court of Honour, enclosed on the sides by large greenhouses (the Rough and Tropical Greenhouses).

An octagonal centrally-oriented pavilion – the Rotunda – was built in the heart of the Maypole between 1666 and 1668 to a design by Giovanni Pietro Tencalla. Its interior is richly and ingeniously decorated not only with mythological scenes with themes from Ovid’s Metamorphoses, but also with details creating a strong illusory and emotional atmosphere – windows with multicoloured glass, a mosaic floor made of small pebbles and, above all, a grotto decorated with tufa and shells. The central space of the pavilion is complemented by Foucault’s pendulum, which was installed in 1908 on the initiative of Kromeriz gymnasium professor František Nábělek, and whose movement demonstrates the earth’s rotation.

The Garden of Flowers and UNESCO
The entire complex was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1998 for its preserved historical and stylistic authenticity of architecture, landscaping and gardens of exceptional stylistic quality and purity as an exemplary ensemble influencing the development of landscape architecture in Europe. The Garden of Flowers in Kroměříž can be reached from Náměstí Míru, along Generál Svoboda Street and after about 300 m you will reach the current main entrance.

Colonnade with a viewing bridge
The colonnade, or more precisely the arcade gallery, was completed in 1671 to a design by Giovanni Pietro Tencalla. With its length of 244 metres, it occupied one entire wall of the garden. The colonnade had several functions – it was an entrance building and at the same time it was conceived as a gallery of sculptures – 22 female and 22 male figures. Bishop Charles II of Lichtenstein – Castelkorn found inspiration in the gardens of distant Italy, when originals from ancient excavations were common. However, there were no such finds in our country, so a special set of statues was created for this garden. Michael Mandík worked on the sculptures together with Michael Zürn Jr. and they are copies of famous ancient works from Roman collections.

The inner side walls of the Colonnade were originally decorated with the Neptune and Venus fountains, of which only the rest of the stucco decoration has survived. The garden façade of the Colonnade is decorated with 46 busts depicting ancient gods and goddesses, mythological creatures and heroes as well as personalities from the history of ancient Greece and Rome. In the 1980s, a walkway was built on the roof of the Colonnade, which allows visitors to see the planting of flowers in the so-called Janák’s parterre from above. The Colonnade thus took over the function of the main vantage point of the garden. The Colonnade, including the viewing footbridge, was renovated in 2022 and reopened at the end of May 2023.