in the 3rd courtyard of Prague Castle, right by St Vitus, is a replica of a statue originally done in the 1300's of St George slaying the dragon. This is the most common depiction of St George, the legend of him slaying the dragon. He did this, protecting himself by making the sign of the cross, rescuing the princess from the dragon.
The legend lives on, though the depiction is most likely based on old pagan legends.
Prague Castle is a complex of around 60 buildings. Its construction began in the late 9th century. Between the 12th and 13th centuries it was fortified and expanded. In the 14th century, under the reign of king Charles IV it was renovated and enlarged. In 1485 king Ladislaus II Jagello started to reconstruct the castle. Queen Maria Theresa ordered the final major reconstruction of the buildings in the latter half of the 18th century.
The highlights of the castle are; Saint Vitus Cathedral; the Old Royal Palace; Saint George basilica and the Golden Lane.
The building of Saint Vitus Cathedral begun in 1344 on the site of a 10th century rotunda and was completed in the XIX century. The Cathedral is very large and has many beautiful glass stained windows. I recommend climbing up the Wentzel Tower (it is a bell tower). It is inside the Cathedral. From the top of it you will enjoy a very beautiful landscape over the castle and the city.
The Old Royal Palace is a complex of buildings set one on the other. Its construction was started from the first half of the XII century. It was the seat of Bohemian princes and from the 13th century to the 16th century it was the king's palace.
Saint George basilica was first built as a rotunda; around 920. It was later reconstructed into a three naves basilica. It was enlarged at the beginning of the XIII century.
The access to the castle grounds is free, but if you want to see some places and/or museums there, you must buy a ticket.
Prague Castle is one of the largest ancient castles in the world according to the Guiness Book of World Records, topping at 570 meters and 130 meters wide. It is also where you will find the Czech crown Jewels.
When I was walking around, I felt I should have read more before I did so that I could easily identify the buildings. The Prague Castle Complex actually consists of several religious structures which include the Saint Vitus Cathedral, a monastery and several jmuseum and art galleries. St Georges’s Basilica is famous for evening classical concerts and you might chance upon one when visiting Prague.
There has also been several wars and fires in the area and so the place has seen a lot of rebuilding. Today, tourists from all over the world walk around and it can get a little confusing. They watch the changing of the guards every hour in this castle which is the political and historical center of the Czech republic (seat of the President)
But the beauty of the buildings remain and their history adds to their character.
UPDATE UPDATE UPDATE!
I made a video of my adventure in Prague!
Hope you like this:
MY FIRST DAY IN PRAGUE
I hadn't really planned on visiting Lobkowicz Palace until I saw that it was rated as one of the city's top attractions on TripAdvisor. Since we happened to be in the Prague Castle area on a chilly day, I thought it might be fun to spend some time indoors and see what all the fuss was about. In the end, I had to agree with the reviewers - I loved my visit at Lobkowicz Palace! The audioguide is incredibly well done, probably the best one I've listened to after the one at Alcatraz. The story of the Lobkowicz family is told by family members, and the several funny anecdotes and captivating stories make it easy to listen to. There sure is a lot to tell since the 16th century palace has belonged to the Lobkowicz family almost from the beginning up until 1939, when it was seized and occupied by the Nazis, and then by the Communist party. It was finally returned to the Lobkowicz in 2002, and they decided to open it to the public with the idea of showcasing the Lobkowicz's collection of paintings, books, music scores and other cultural artefacts. Perhaps the most amazing piece of the collection is the original handwritten score of Beethoven's "Symphony No. 5" (Who doesn't get shivers when they hear the famous Tum-dum-dum-dum?!).
Lobkowitz Palace is open daily from 10:00 am to 6:00 pm. Admission costs 275 CZK, and it gives you 10% off at the palace's cafe (a good option for lunch, see my restaurant tip for more info). Unfortunately, pictures are not allowed inside the palace.
Prague Castle actually refers to a fortified complex built in the 9th century on a hill overlooking the Vlatva River. In the beginning, the complex included a palace, three churches and a monastery, but it soon grew to include several other buildings. Prague Castle was attacked, destroyed and rebuilt on many occasions throughout the years, and it houses some of Prague's most interesting historical attractions as well as the present-day office of the President of the Czech Republic. Visitors are of course free to walk around the area (and take in the amazing views of the city!), but if you want to gain access to the buildings you must get an admission ticket. These cost 350 CZK, and most buildings are open daily from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm.
The Old Royal Palace sits at the heart of the Prague Castle area. The first palace, built for the kings of Bohemia in the early 11th century, was a relatively modest wooden structure that burned to the ground during the siege of 1041. A new Romanesque stone palace was built in 1135, to which several additions were made throughout the centuries. Although from the very beginning it was considered the official seat of the court, it wasn't until the end of the 15th century that it also became the official royal residence. Today, a visit to the Royal Palace includes a visit of all the state rooms, including the majestic Vladislav Hall where jousting tournaments used to take place. There is also a permanent exhibition that details the history of Prague Castle, featuring numerous artefacts. Changing of the Guard ceremonies are held daily in front of the Royal Palace.
I only have been there once, at dusk, in a dark day, rushing down to dinner in town.
Not enough time to appreciate it or to make good pictures, but time enough for a strong decision: "This is a place where I must come back".
Prague castle is massive with an area of almost 7.28 hectares. It is a UNESCO World Heritage site. The history of the castle stretches back to the 9th century. The head of State like the president of Czechoslovakia rule the country from here. Also Kings of Bohemia and Holy Roman Emperors did rule from Prague castle. Within the castle are St Vitus Cathedral, Basilica of St George and also gardens, defense towers and are all open to public. Prague Castle is the centerpiece of the Czech capital. The towers of Prague Castle can be seen from virtually anywhere in Prague.
The Prague Castle is open daily:
5.00 - 24.00 in the summer season (April 1 - October 31)
6.00 - 23.00 in the winter season (November 1 - March 31)
Historical monuments are open daily except 24.12.
9.00 - 18.00 in the summer season (April 1 - October 31)
9.00 - 16.00 in the winter season (November 1 - March 31)
We bought family admission which covers 2 adults and 1 child for 700 Cr, which is quite a bargain. We didn’t even see all sites that it covers, because we were so tired to see all, our tickets were good for the second day though, but we didn’t have that 2d day.
The history of Prague began with the foundation of Prague Castle (reminds me Kremlin in Russia) in the 9th century. Despite fires and invasions, the castle has retained churches, chapels and towers from every period of its history, from the Gothic splendor of St.Vitus’s Cathedral to the 16th century Renaissance additions. The courtyards date from 1753-75, when the whole area was rebuilt in the late-Baroque and neo-Classical styles. The castle became the seat of Czechoslovak president in 1918 and the current president of the Czech Republic has an office here.
According to our ticket, first site is Old Royal Palace. Although the first big thing that attracts your attention is St. Vitus’ Cathedral. From the time Prague Castle was first fortified in 11th century, the Old Royal palace was the seat of a long line of Bohemian kings.
The vast palace complex consists of three different architectural layers. A Romanesque palace, built around 1135, forms the basement of the present structure. Over the next 200 years, two further palaces were built above this-the first by Premysl Otakar II in 1253 and the second by Charles IV in 1340. On the top floor is the massive Gothic Vladislav Hall, with the splendid rib vaulting. Designed for king Vladislav Jagiello, it was completed in 1502. The Rider’s Staircase just off the hall, is a flight of steps with magnificent Gothic rib-vaulting ceiling. It was used by knights on horseback to get to jousting contests.
Under Habsburg rule, the palace housed government offices, courts and old Bohemian parliament.
When you explore the castle, be ready for steep and narrow stairs. The castle itself is rather gloomy and dark, you can feel medieval atmosphere there, nothing like luxury or glamour, more scary and halloweeny. It has a beautiful Prague view from windows though!
You will not miss St.Vitus’s it just at the entrance, huge building that reminds me famous French Cathedral that saw inquisition. Maybe that’s why it’s so scary with its gargoyles (on the ornate west front, gutter spouts are given their traditional disguise as gargoyles, they look disgusting and ugly, my daughter did a research and said they were made this way on purpose to scare night thieves and bad spirits ), gloomy and dark. As for a bit of history, work began on St.Vitus’s, Prague’s most distinctive landmark in 1344. Architect Peter Parler was largely responsible for the grandiose Gothic design, though the building was not completed for another 600 years. The cathedral contains the tomb of Good King Wenceslav and some fine works of art including an exquisite Alfons Mucha window in Czech Art Nouvean style. Golden Portal was the main Cathedral entrance until the 19th century and it is still used on special occasions. Above it is a mosaic of the last Judgment by 14th century Venetian craftsmen. Rose window was designed by Frantisek Kysela in the 1920 (present entrance),the window above the portals depict scenes from biblical story of the Creation. The skills of architect Peter Parler are clearly seen in the delicate fans of ribbing that support (Gothic vaulting) the three Gothic arches of the Golden Portal.
Next is my personal favorite –St.George’s Basilica and Convent. It was founded by prince Vratislav in 920 and is the best preserved Romanesque church in Prague. The huge twin towers and austere interior have been restored to give an idea of the church’s original appearence.The tomb of Vratislav I, located opposite the presbytery. Also buried in the church are Prince Boleslav II and Princess Ludmila (grandmother of St.Wenceslas) who was murdered in 921 and revered as the first bohemian saint. Other point of interest a rare early 13th century painting, new Jerusalem, in the chore vault.outside the south portal of the church features a 16th century relief depicting St. George and the dragon.
The picturesque artisans’ cottages along the inside of the castle wall were built in the late 16th century for castle’s guards and gunners. A century later, the goldsmiths moved in and modified the buildings. However, by the 19th century the area had degenerated into a slum and was populated by Prague’s poor and criminal communities. Golden lane has, however, been home to well-known writers such as Franz Kafka who stayed at No.22 with his sister around 1916-1917 and Jaroslav Seifert, the Noble Prize-winning Czech poet.
It takes its name from the first man to be imprisoned in it. It is indeed, a jail for Nobel men with all torturing stuff in it. I don’t like sites like this, but it is a history.
The story of Prague castle
It’s a museum , very interesting and quite big one, worth visiting, has a lot of interesting things –archeological and historical ones.
After taking the funicular up/down Petrin Hill, we headed off on our next adventure...climbing the stairs to the Prague Castle (Pražský hrad). The castle (a UNESCO World Heritage site) is where the Kings of Bohemia, Holy Roman Emperors and presidents of Czechoslovakia and the Czech Republic have had their offices and also where the Czech Crown Jewels are kept.
The walk up the stairs provides a spectular view of not only the castle and St. Vitus Cathedral, but also of the city...simply amazing!!! Once you reach the walls of the castle, there are two guards protecting the entrance...a wonderful ceremony occurs where there is a changing of the guard. If you get the opportunity to see it, you won't be disappointed.
Within the walls, there are so many things to see and do, but the most imposing building that you come upon is Saint Vitus' Cathedral (Czech: Katedrála svatého Víta). It's a Roman Catholic cathedral in Prague, the seat of the Archbishop of Prague, tombs of many Bohemian kings and Holy Roman Emperors and an excellent example of Gothic architecture.
5 Reviews and 440 Opinions Pension Unitas is built in the building that housed prisoners of the former Czech Secret Police,...
Aria Hotel Prague
7 Reviews and 692 Opinions innovative musical theme, great location in Mala Strana, except that it is nextdoor to the American...
Arcadia Residence Prague
1 Review and 766 Opinions This is absolutely a great choice for family and budget travellers. The residence sits in a quite...