One of the most beautiful and most monumental Baroque palaces in Prague, Czernin Palace (Černínský palác) is situated in Lorenské náměstí opposite the Loreto. For many years, since 1934, Czernin Palace has been the seat of Ministry of Foreign Affairs of former Czechoslovakia and the Czech Republic.
The idea to build the Czernin Palace was brought forth by Austrian diplomat Humprecht Jan Czernin, Count of Chudenitz. The palace is one of the biggest Baroque buildings in Prague. The building was damaged by the French during the war in summer 1742 and again in 1757 when bombarded by the Prussian. That why the palace had to be reconstructed later several times. During the Second World War the palace was also adapted to the needs of Nazis.
Since 1777 the palace has been used for many different purposes, for example a military hospital and apothecary, a shelter for poor people, a house for tenants, workshops and a picture gallery. In 1928 - 1934 the palace was partly rebuilt by architect Pavel Janák. In 1933 - 1939 the palace was enlarged and most of the administrative premises of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs are now situated in this newer part of the building.
Modern history of the palace is rather gloomy; in 1939 - 1945 the palace was the seat of the Reichsprotector during the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia, on 10th March 1948 Minister of foreign affairs of the Czechoslovak Republic, Jan Masaryk lost his life under still unclear circumstances. He had a flat in Czernin Palace and in the morning he was found dead as a result of a fall from the top-floor window. Nobody really knows whether it was a suicide or a murder. At the beginning of 90´s in 20th century it was also here where the agreement about disestablishing the Warsaw Treaty was signed.