Prague Castle's Deer Moat is opening to the public for two weekends this autumn

A last-minute weekend outing idea: The wooded area beneath Prague Castle beckons with autumn splendor and history this weekend and one weekend in November. Staff

Written by Staff Published on 29.10.2022 11:38:00 (updated on 14.07.2023) Reading time: 2 minutes

Prague Castle has announced that it will open the Deer Moat (Jelení příkop) forested area beneath the castle grounds to the general public on the weekend of Oct. 29-30.

Castle officials say the area will be open permanently for the 2023 spring season.

"We continue to make Prague Castle accessible. On Oct. 29 and 30, I invite citizens to take a walk through the entire moat, which is one of the most interesting and peaceful parts of the area," said the head of the Office of the President of the Republic, Vratislav Mynář in a press release.

After extensive construction, the upper part of the moat re-opened this year. There is still a construction area on the lower part of the moat with its views of the preserved walls and several towers.

In the 17th century, deer roamed in the moat, and during the First Republic, it housed bears that Czechoslovak legionaries in Russia gave President T. G. Masaryk as a gift.

Castle representatives say they want the complex to be more accessible to the general public. "We would like visitors return to the Castle after the difficult times of the pandemic," added Mynář.

The Castle adds that the paths leading to the Deer Moat from the Klárov side and from New World (Nový svět) are a bit more strenuous and not barrier-free. The suggested entrance is from the Powder Bridge (Prašný Most).

In addition to making more of its grounds open to the public, the Castle would also like to ease security checks for visitors but says the decision depends on input from the Czech police.

"We are negotiating with the police on how to modify the inspection regime. We want to ensure that people do not have to go through a check when they go to the Deer Moat or even to the Royal Garden," Jan Novák, director of the Administrative Section of the President's Office, said.

Since 2002, the Moat’s lower and upper parts have been interconnected by a brick tunnel for pedestrians, designed by architect Josef Pleskot.

The entrance to the moat is near Klarov square and the visitor route ends at U Brusnice street.

Spreading below Prague Castle along the Brusnice stream, the Deer Moat has an area of over eight hectares. Game was kept in the most during the ear of the Holy Roman Emperor Rudolph II (1578-1612).

In the communist period, the Moat was closed to the public, as were other Prague Castle premises. It was opened only under Václav Havel, the first post-communist president from 1989-2003.

The Moat will also be opened on Nov. 16 and 17. More information can be found on the Prague Castle website.

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