Kostel sv Petra a Pavla ( church of Sts. Peter and Paul ) dominates the Vysehrad complex of southeast Prague. The exterior architecture of the church is distinctly Gothic, with many relief sculptures of gargoyles and other religious symbols protuding from the high spires of the twin bell towers. These sculptures make the spires resemble enormous barbed spears. The church was finally completed about 1880, and much of it was destroyed shortly thereafter. It was rebuilt about 100 years ago.
The interior of the chuch can best be described as having neo-Gothic architecture. The walls and insets of the arches have a dazzling polychrome finish, as shown in photo #2. The arches and their decoration are exactly like those of the pantheon of the adjoining Slavin cemetary. The walls are covered with an interesting cycle of paintings. The choirs resemble large crowns, and the altars are elaborately decorated. There is a small admission fee to enter the church. It is well worth the price. The church is open to the public from 0900 to 1700 daily except during services.
To get there take Metro line C to Vysehrad station, then follow the signs to the footpath, or take the tram from the Metro station.
Vysehrad ( high castle ) is the first part of Prague settled. About 100 meters inside of the main gate of Vysehrad complex, stands the Rotunda of sv. Martin, which is the oldest intact church, and one of the oldest structures of any kind in Prague. Although dates are not certain, it is believed that the rotunda was already under construction 1000 years ago today. The architecture is typical of Romanesque era rotundas in central Europe. It is primarily built of mortared rock with only a few timbered roof beams. The narrow capital contains double arched Romanesque windows, with the other windows being single arched. The rotunda is small, and contains only a single low capacity chapel. A cylindrical choir is attached to the side. Photo #1 is a rear view of the rotunda. Photo #2 is a front view showing the great wooden entrance.
Nowadays the chapel is primarily used for the private funeral services of those to be interred at the nearby cathedral cemetary. The chapel is normally closed but the rotunda can still be enjoyed greatley from the outside. Visit the rotunda and most of Vysehrad complex free of charge. The rotunda is situated in a pleasant park setting which is the most beautiful in mid to late April, as shown in the photos. A lot of restorative work has been done on this ancient church over the centuries. After all the forces of nature take a great toll on even the best built structures over a millenium. However, this unforgetable rotunda can still be regarded as the genuine article.
See my other Vysehrad tips for directions and transportation.
This house built n 1996, it is located in Rasinovo naberezi on the way to Visehrad. Czechs named this building "Dancing house", americans "Ginger and Fred". This house symbolising two dancing people. It was proceted by F.Gary and his Czech collegue V.Milanich.
The Church of St Peter & St Paul is the centerpiece of Vysehrad. Though seated in a historic fortress, the church was actually built in the 1800s, In the 1900s it was burned then rebuilt in its present configuration, an dit is considered to have one of the most beautiful interiors in Prague. The picturesque Vysehrad Cemetery surrounds the church.
Entrance: Adults 10 CZK, Children 5 CZK
The ancient citadel of Vysehrad (High Castle) offers some of the finest views of the city. Located a few kilometers south of the Old Town, Vysehrad was built in the 10th Century. It towers high over the Vlatava and offers scenic views of the river and Prague Castle. Some of the key sites at Vysehrad include the Tabor Gate, St Martin's Rotunda, St Peter and St Paul's Church, the cemetery, and the Western Bastions which offer the best views.
This was a great side trip from the city to a quiet area virtually free of tourists in the winter. There is no entrance fee!
To get to Vysehrad, take the metro Red Line to Vysehrad station and walk west a few hundred meters through a residential area to the Tabor Gate.
This pretigius graveyard is given as a measure of the part these artists and intellectuals that played in the foundation of the nation and the high esteem they are held in.
No soldiers, no politians, not even the Communists managed to muscle their way in here (except on artistic merit). The graves are very well kept & some are very fancy with mosaics
Ladislav Saloun's grave for Dvorak, is quite a showy one with a mosaic inscription, studded with gold stones.
Cemetery open March, Aprl & Oct 8am-6pm, May - Sept 8am - 7pm, Nov - Feb 9am-4pm
In the gardens there are 4 Myslbek statues that used to grace the nearby Palackeho bridge. The grass here is the ideal place for picnics but for us it was far too cold.
The first Bohemian ruler to bear the name of "king" Premsyl Vratislav II (1061-92) built a Royal Palace here to get away from his younger brother who was lording it in the Hrad.
The vrysehrad is a great place to escape the crowds, also to watch the evening sun set behind the Hrad.
There are serveral approaches to the fortress take tram #3,#7,#16',#17 or #21 & as we did go up the hill winding our way up Vratislavova but you can also walk up from Vysehrad metro station.
We were not able to go to the dungeons (kastematy) as they were closed. Open 9.30am - 5pm & 6pm April - Oct 20kr. In here they keep several of the original statues of charles bridge.
There are several cubist villas below the fortress in the Vrysehrad.
The blackened sandstone church of sv Petr and Pavel rebuilt in 1880 in neo-Gothic style. The twin open-work spires are now the fortresses most familiar landmar. If you are lucky you will be able to view the churches polychromwe interior although opening times are a bit odd. Daily except Tuesday 9am-12 & 1pm - 5pm 10kr
We probably would not have found this place had it not been for the son of one of our neighbors who had been an international university student in Prague and suggested we visit. He had evidently lived and studied at Vysehrad and the area. It is a wonderful complex and not on the beaten tourist path. There are also great views of the city and surrounding area from this high vantage point.
This high stronghold overlooking the Vltava River has been here since the late 11th C. It was the site of the original castle which is no longer there and a church which is. It is a pretty quiet and peaceful place and we saw no other tourists as we wandered the lovely landscaped gardens inhabited by some huge and wonderful statues depicting figures of Czech Mythology. Many of Prague's great artists, scribes, musicians and politicians lie buried in the cemetery adjacent to the church. Most notable are the graves of Dvorak, Smetana and Mucha.
If you go, take the metro to the Vysehrad stop. I decided it looked more accessible from the river side so we took a tram, got off and had trouble even finding an access point. When we finally did, it required our walking up hundreds of steps.
Vysehrad does not get the crowds of all the centrally located places, as it is about 2km south, along the river. Well worth a visit when you are tired of crowds at Karlov Most (Charles Bridge). Take #17 tram south from there 4 stops. Then you have to walk up the hill. Well, it is a hilltop fortification! Highlight is the cemetery, where the wealthy have monuments of great artistic merit.
We went out to Vysrehad, which I believe is southest of Prague central. There we explored a large cemetery where can be found the remains of many prominent former residents of the city. I found a friend there--my favorite artist, Alfons Mucha. Well, I'm not sure if his bones were there or just a monument to him. In this cemetery are beautiful stones and design that rivals some of the city's great architecture. I realize some people aren't fond of cemeteries, and I used to be one of them. But there is just so much history in them, and they're places that are generally less crowded where you can just soak up the heritage and culture of a country. I love to see graves that are well tended, some humble, some extravagant, but those with candles or token offerings to someone of great historical or personal relevance.
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