Kanovnická 70/4

According to archaeological findings, the origins of the settlement the site, where the Baroque palace is located today, can be dated back  to the 9th century. The first record of the building is from the year 1370. The houses on the site where present building stands have been destroyed by fires several times throughout history and have often changed owners. In 1685 Albrecht Václav Knight Hložek of Žampach, the burgrave of Prague Castle bought it. He had rebuilt then Renaissance palace into its present Baroque appearance.
The coat of arms of the Hložek family from Žampach is still above the main portal of the palace. On a silver base there is a black hunting trumpet with gold fittings and a black and white cord.

After the death of Albrecht Václav, the building again had several owners and number of changes. At the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries,  the publisher of the Prager Tagblatt daily Heinrich Mercy bought it and in 1923 ownership passed to his granddaughter, Elisabeth Kunigunde Mercy and her husband banker Edgar Morawitz.
The Morawitz family made extensive adjustments according to plans of architect Viktor Kafka.

The palace was adapted, during which the gable of the house was repaired, the original painted wooden ceilings from 17th century were restored and the stone elements were preserved. An attic with roof dormers and new garages were built. The retaining wall of the garden above the moat was also rebuilt. The garden below the palace is large, well organized and connected to the house by a monumental staircase. All rooms on the ground floor in the main building and in the wings are vaulted, as well as the cellars. Elisabeth married for the second time in 1928 and in 1942 the house was transferred to her husband František Antonín Count Nostitz-Reineck.
In 1946 the building became the residence of the Austrian Embassy, which is still here today.
In 1947, according to the decree of the President of the Republic of May 19th 1945, the palace was transferred to the national administration and in 1950 the Czechoslovak State became the owner of it. In 1955 The Diplomatic Service Administration, today’s Diplomatic Service, took care. The building was declared a National Cultural Monument in 1958.


Point of Interest:

Between years 1939 and 1948 the Jelínek family lived in the house. The son of an industrialist Otto Jelínek became famous as a figure skater, businessman and politician. The family emigrated to Switzerland in 1948 and later to Canada. Otto, together with his sister Maria won the title of World Pairs Champions in sport pairs in 1962 in Prague. After the end of his sport career he became a member of the Canadian Parliament and in 2013-2016 he served in Czech Republic as Canada’s Ambassador.