Where you can see original Mozart and Beethoven manuscripts in PragueIn Prague, the name “Lobcowicz” elicits comparisons to the houses of Vanderbilt and J.P. Morgan.
The palace, the city’s only private building and collection in the Prague castle complex, has a marvelous amalgamation of the work of some of the best painters, musicians and sculptors of the day. Prague had its Golden Age in the 1500s, when the newly-crowned King of Bohemia (Ferdinand I) was as much a cheerleader for culture as the Medici Family was during the Renaissance.
The Lobcowicz family lineage can be traced back to 1435 to the present supervisors of the collection, Alexandra and William Lobcowicz. If you visit this palace as I did one rather cold, misty morning when every Gothic sculpture looked more menacing than scenes from Dan Brown’s “Angels and Demons,” it is hard not to escape the grandeur of its beautifully-appointed 22 rooms.
Chandelier-lit salons flow into large rooms fit for ballroom dancing, into rococo-style rooms that lead into terraces from where one can see the city of spires and its countless red-tiled roofs. Highlights include Mozart’s re-orchestration of Handel’s Messiah, Beethoven's Fourth and Fifth symphony scores, as well as Velazquez’s famous “Infanta Margarita.”
In the end, rooms filled with medieval armor, period furniture and paintings that include Antonio Canaletto’s “London: The Thames on Lord Mayor’s Day,” make you realize that this palace has a collection that surprises by a fine excess.