The Nostitz Palace in the Lesser Town in Prague was a residence of the noble family of Nostitz-Rieneck for centuries. It is an Early Baroque building, built between 1662 and 1675 for supreme chamberlain Count Jan Hartvik Nostitz-Rieneck. It is situated in the Maltese Square in the historical centre of Prague. The Ministry of Culture is situated in the building nowadays.
Architecture of the Nostitz Palace
The entrusted architect to build the noble residence was probably Francesco Caratti, because the Nostitz Palace resembles some of his other buildings, such as the Cernin Palace in Prague. The frontage of the Nostitz Palace has a stucco decoration and there are statues of imperators on the balustrade. The statues were made by M. J. Brokoff, but the present ones are replicas from 1887.
The Nostitz Palace was rebuilt in 1760 and it was given an ostentatious Rococo portal. The halls and salons were decorated with paintings representing scenes from antique mythology.
The Nostitz family contributed significantly to the cultural life in Prague. Count Frantisek Antonin Nostitz founded and financed building of the present Estates Theater (called “Nostitz Theater” at the time), where important musicians such as W. A. Mozart performed. There was the renowned Nostitz Picture Gallery in the Nostitz Palace since 1736 and it became a part of the National Gallery in Prague after 1945.
Library in the Nostitz Palace
The Nostitz Palace has also a large library with about 15 000 titles, administered by the National Museum.
The Nostitz family supported young talented artists. One of the musicians, financed by the family, was for example Frederic Chopin.
The Nostitz Palace was a residence of the noble family till 1945. It is the seat of the Ministry of Culture of the Czech Republic nowadays.