ENVIRONMENT > Prague Nature and City Greenery > Prague Forests
The Game Reserve Hvězda (Obora Hvězda)
The Game Reserve Hvězda was established by Ferdinand I Habsburg in 1534. He purchased the forest called Malejov from the Břevnov Monastery and used it for the founding of the Royal Game Reserve. The Game Reserve, established for hunting sports of the lords, was originally fenced by means of a slat fence yet the game was able to escape and make damage to the nearby gardens and vineyards and thus a couple-kilometre-long enclosing wall was built, which had two gates – the Břevnov’s Gate and the Liboc’s Gate (nowadays, there are three gates to the Game Reserve).
In 1556 Ferdinand of Tyrol let build a summer palace according to his own project design in the form of six- star in the middle of the Game Reserve.
The Game Reserve was the ideal place for foreign troops to settle camps there. This happened for the first time in 1608 and three years later Passau troops had their camp here. The most important military event, which occurred in this location, was undoubtedly the Battle at Bílá Hora (White Mountain) in 1620 which the troops of the Bohemian Estates lost to the armada of Austrian Emperor. In 1636 a powerful stronghold was constructed and armed with cannons atop the White Mountain to halt the advancement of Swedish troops. Troops set their camp in Hvězda also in the course of the Thirty-Year War. Last time the troops of Fridrich II were having their base here in 1757 during the Seven-Year War when the soldiers almost clear cut the whole Game Reserve area.
In the Game Reserve game was bred for the hunting sport of Kings of Bohemia till the time of Empress Maria-Theresa. Emperor Joseph I turned the Summer Palace into a powder storage, which it served till the end of 18th century. At the beginning of 19th century the Game Reserve was changed into a nature park and over some time it became a popular place for trip making among the Prague inhabitants. The Game Reserve has been used for recreational purposes and various cultural as well as sports events have been arranged there.
At present the Game Reserve has the form of an irregular rectangle, two thirds of the area are on a plain, which is cut through by three beams of roads. The vast forest growth makes home to many rare animals. Nowadays, the Game Reserve is used, in economic terms, for random felling connected to the new plantation.
In 2005 the reconstruction of the floorscape in front of the Summer Palace was completed. At present, a huge reconstruction of the Reserve wall has been undergoing, the first stage thereof was started as early as in 1988.
In May 2005 the construction of a new lake was completed. The lake was established on the location of a historic lake, which vanished in the course of 17th century.
City District Prague 6
May be visited freely
Access by public transport and by walk:
- Břevnov‘s (Prague‘s) Gate: stop "Vypich" - tramway lines Nos. 15, 22, 25, bus lines Nos. 174, 180
- Liboc‘s Gate: stop "Libocká" - bus line No. 179
- White Mountain’s Gate: stop "Malý Břevnov" - tramway lines Nos. 22, 25, bus lines Nos. 108, 347
The Game Reserve Hvězda and its surroundings:
The Prague City Hall, Environmental protection department, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org, phone: ++420 236004246
Points of interest: 1 Summer Palace Hvězda, 2 ball-game house, 3 former gamekeeper‘s lodge, 4 House of the Steward, 5 Liboc`s gate, 6 statue of Jan Roháč from Dubá (Bohemian knight and warrior), 7 Břevnov‘s (Prague‘s) Gate, 8 White Mountain’s Gate, 9 Světlička (Little Lantern), 10 meadow, 11 Lake Hvězda
Summer Palace Hvězda
The Summer Palace Hvězda was built by Ferdinand of Tyrol the Emperor’s governor to Bohemia (the second son of the Game Reserve founder Ferdinand I Habsburg) according to his own project design in the form of six-point star and in June 1555 he, in person, dug the hole for its cornerstone. The Summer Palace construction was completed in autumn 1556.
The Summer Palace is a Renaissance building of 40 metres in diameter. On the ground floor there is a central hall surrounded by five rooms in the points and with abundant ornaments and other beautifying on its ceiling. At the first floor there are former residential rooms and at the second floor there is a former banquet hall. The roof used to be originally higher topped with a small tower bearing a gold plated star. During the Prague siege in 1648 the roof was clad with copper, which was then very precious, and thus the Swedes dismantled and stole it. The current flatter resemblance of the roof originates from the time of Emperor Joseph II.
In 1986 through 2000 the Summer Palace underwent capital reconstruction and in May 2000 it was opened to the public again after the fourteen-year break. In 2005 the renewal of the floorscape in front of the Summer Palace was finished.
In the Summer Palace areas there is a permanent exhibition of “The past and the present - construction development of the Summer Palace since its founding till present days”. In the basement there is a model of the Battle at Bílá Hora (White Mountain) installed.
Opening hours of the Summer Palace Hvězda (2007):
from May to September: 10:00 - 18:00 o‘clock (open daily, closed on Mondays)
April, October: 10:00 - 17:00 o‘clock (open daily, closed on Mondays)
Admission (in 2005) - 30 CZK; children, pensioners, students - 15 CZK; children under the age of 6 - free of charge
In May 2005 a new lake was constructed in the Game Reserve Hvězda, which is not merely a place of pleasant stay in nature, yet the locality history is also interesting. The lake development project was created on the basis of a historical study on the territory, which discovered that in the Game Reserve there were several water bodies, which were created and vanished again over times. The present lake is located on the place of its predecessor that vanished in the course of 17th century. Before the reconstruction was launched remnants of the original dam were still visible. The lake is fed by water from a creek having its head in the Spring Světluška (Firefly). Downstream the spring there is a new distributing structure built, which provides for the uniform supply of water into the lake as well as into the existing growth of alders and wetland where a number of rare animals and plants occur. This territory was proposed to become a part of Natura 2000, the system of localities of natural value. The Světluška (Firefly) Creek, which is the water source to the lake, is from 90 % fed by water from underground shafts and tunnels and therefore the lake shall be one of the cleanest water bodies in Prague