as a spring baby, i have developed a great love of visiting some sort of garden on my birthday. early may is usually prime time to see certain flowers in bloom and everything around looks positively lovely. so when one of my friends here in budějovice tipped me off that the butterflies are hatching from their chrysalises at a special event on the prague botanical garden in troja, i mentally made my afternoon plans.
the garden isn’t located in the center but rather the far reaches of prague’s seventh district, beyond holešovice. the butterfly event goes from early april to early may (just over one month), so we were there on the last weekend to see what was happening!
we arrived at the terminal stop in troja where you can either choose to visit the prague zoo, the pink and white troja chateau, or trek up the hill to the botanická zahrada, which is what we did.
i definitely wanted to see the butterflies first, so we headed straight for the fata morgana greenhouse, one of the largest greenhouse complexes of this kind in central europe, and took our place in the queue as they were only letting a limited number of guests inside, which i thought was quite smart. too many people + free roaming butterflies = not a good idea!
the butterfly exhibit was quite unlike anything else i’ve been to. you feel like you’ve entered a jungle paradise with different types of tropical butterflies fluttering all over the place, everywhere you look. there were different exhibits with plants specific to southeast asia or central america, and lots of opportunity to capture these critters on film, especially since butterflies like to just “hang out” with their beautiful wings unfolded.
my favorite part was a case full of chrysalises where you might be able to spy a butterfly hatching from it’s transformation from a larvae! i didn’t actually see one hatching but rather about twenty minutes after the event. it was walking up towards the opening of the case, testing out its new wings, and after properly getting its bearings, flew out to join all of the others!
apparently the fata morgana greenhouse has different sorts of exhibits year-round, not only for the butterflies, but it sure was spectacular to see.
back in the normal outdoor exhibition of the botanical garden, praguers and visitors were enjoying all of the blooms and the fantastic sunny warm spring weather. we went straight for the japanese garden to spend some time walking the path and sitting on a bunch under a trellis of wisteria, just taking in the day. it was wonderful.
if you’re looking for something off the beaten tourist path to do in prague in the spring, check out the website to see what’s on. couldn’t think of a better way to spend a warm spring day.
prague botanical garden. nádvorní 134, troja, praha 7.
open year round with the longest hours may-sept 9:00-19:00
85kc regular gardens, 150kc including the greenhouse
metro: nádraží holešovice (line C), transfer to bus 112
ps, this post is part of my prague birthday celebrations this year. check out what else i got up to that day!