Castle, Prague

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Prazsky hrad

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  • The Old Royal Palace
    The Old Royal Palace
    by Xeriss
  • View of Prague Castle hill from across the river
    View of Prague Castle hill from across...
    by Jefie
  • View of Charles Bridge and Old Town Square
    View of Charles Bridge and Old Town...
    by Jefie
  • mallyak's Profile Photo

    Prague Castle

    by mallyak Written Sep 29, 2010

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    Prague Castle is the largest medieval castle complex in Europe and the ancient seat of Czech kings throughout the ages. It is Prague's premier tourist attraction.
    Several destructive wars and fires (and the subsequent renovations), along with differing political forces have combined to create an intriguing mix of palaces, churches and fortifications.

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    Prazsky Hrad

    by Pupa Written Feb 8, 2005

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    the Prague Castle

    A national cultural monument, the symbol of more than millennial development of the Czech state. Since its foundation in the last quarter of the 9th century it has been developing throughout the past eleven centuries. It is a monumental complex of ecclesiastical, fortification, residential and office buildings representing all architectural styles and periods, surrounding three castle courtyards and covering 45 hectares. Originally it used to be the residence of princes and kings of Behemia, since 1918 it is the seat of the President.

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  • jumpingnorman's Profile Photo

    Explore the Prague Castle Complex!

    by jumpingnorman Updated Mar 27, 2013

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    Prague, Czech Republic

    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

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  • nicolaitan's Profile Photo

    Royal Palace (4 photos)

    by nicolaitan Updated Oct 10, 2006

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    The first palace on this site was a wooden structure built in the 9th Century, replaced by a Romanesque stone palace in the 12th. The 14th Century saw major additions and reconstructions by Kings Charles IV and his son Wenceslav IV. During the Hussite wars of the 15th Century the palace was not in use. In 1483, the final great reconstruction was undertaken by King Vladislav Jagiello. The Catholic Hapsburgs used the palace for coronations and political conferences after their ascension. Reconstructions ocurred after a major 16th century fire and again in the 20th Century. The palace faces and dominates the skyline of Prague and offers remarkable photo-ops, particularly at night. Each of the major additions mentioned above will be described in detail on this and the next pages.

    Vladislav Hall ( images 1 and 2), the huge magnificent central room of the palace, was constructed by King Vladislav beginning in 1483 from plans by Benedikt Ried. His unique architectural contribution was the double-vaulting of the ceiling leading to the flower motif and giving better support to the roof of the room. It was used for banquets, coronations, assemblies, and periodically for markets. Given the size, in bad weather, it was even used for jousting. One staircase, now the exit, was built wide and tall enought for mounted knights and their horses to gain entrance (The Riders' Staircase. More recently, presidential elections have been conducted here.

    Ludvik Wing (images 3 and 4), named after Vladislav's son, was also from plans drawn by B. Ried. This perpendicular 2 room addition is most famous as the site of the second Defenestration (throwing someone from a window), one of the prime incidents to begin the Thirty Years' War. The wing held the offices of the Bohemian chancellery and in 1618 two governers and a secretary were pitched out the window. Legend states that they landed in a wagon filled with manure and suffered only broken limbs. The images include the famous windows and an original stove.

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  • Heavens-Mirror's Profile Photo

    ~ Prague Castle ~

    by Heavens-Mirror Written May 28, 2006

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    ~ The lovely view of Prague Castle ~

    Prague Castle is beautiful and is one of Europe's largest medieval castles.
    Prague Castle was established in the 9th century. A Romanesque palace was erected during the 12th century, and in the 14th century, under the reign of Charles IV, it was rebuilt to Gothic style. A further reconstruction of the Royal Palace then took place under the Jagellons at the end of the 15th century.

    If you go to the top of The Old Town Tower you can see fantastic views of Prague City & Prague Castle.
    The opening times are:
    Prague Castle Complex:
    Apr-Oct: Daily 05am till 11pm
    Nov-Mar: Daily 06am till 11pm
    Prague Castle Sights:
    Apr-Oct: Daily 09am till 5pm
    Nov-Mar: Daily 09am till 4pm
    Prague Castle Gardens:
    Apr-Oct: Daily 10:am 6pm.

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    CHANGING OF THE CASTLE GUARD

    by LoriPori Written Aug 29, 2005

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    Changing of the Guard

    As we approached HRADCANY SQUARE, there was a lot of commotion going on and lots of people were gathering around. We were just in time for the CHANGING OF THE CASTLE GUARD.
    Amid a lot of pomp and ceremony, the two Guards who were presently posted at their stations in front of the Castle Gates, were about to be relieved. With rigid precision the replacements, who themselves were escorted, marched to the front of the Castle. The Guards being relieved of Duty came out, turned sharply and the new Guards now assumed duties in the guard-house. The relieved guards were then escorted back to the inner depths of the Castle.

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  • travelfrosch's Profile Photo

    Pražský hrad (Prague Castle)

    by travelfrosch Updated May 26, 2009

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    Outside the Old Royal Palace
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    Another of the "mandatory" places to visit is Prague Castle and its surroundings. The seat of power for the President of the Czech Republic to this day, tourists will also have no trouble finding places of interest and amazing sights within. While admission to the grounds is free, you must purchase a ticket to see the "places of interest." You have choices of tickets, which give you varying amounts of access. A "long tour" will give you access to just about everything except the President's office, and costs CZK 350. A "short tour" will give you access to Old Royal Palace, the permanent exhibition called "The Story of Prague Castle," St. George's Basilica, the Golden Lane, and Daliborka Tower. The latter option costs CZK 250 per person. Note a ticket is valid for two days; my recommendation is to show up around 4PM, buy your ticket, tour the Golden Lane, then get up early and see the other sights right at the opening while all of the other tourists are lined up at the ticket booths. We had limited time, but the "short tour" allowed us plenty of sights. But feel free to spend the extra Kr 100 and load up on the "long tour" if you really like museums.

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  • nicolaitan's Profile Photo

    St. Vitus Cathedral (5 photos)

    by nicolaitan Updated Oct 13, 2006

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    Rose Window
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    The first RC church on this site was built in 925 by Wenceslas I, duke of Bohemia, consecrated to St. Vitus, because he had a holy relic - the Saint's arm. As Prague became a more important Catholic center, the church grew as well. In 1344, King Charles IV began construction of a full-size Gothic cathedral as a coronation site, burial place for royalty, and shrine for patron saint Wenceslas. Little did he guess that almost 600 years would pass before completion. The Hussite wars stopped construction which began again only in the late 19th Century. A society formed in 1844 started the reconstruction and completion, completed for the 1000 anniversary of St. Wenceslas in 1923.

    The Golden Portal and adjacent South Steeple are from plans by the ubiquitous Peter Parler, most famed for the Charles Bridge, but not finished for 200 years after his death. However, visitors enter from the west through a bronze door featuring scenes from the lives of St. Wenceslas and also a St. Adalbert. Adjacent this entrance are statues of men in suits - the architects of the 19th and 20th century construction. The back (east) facade features flying buttresses most famous at Paris' Notre Dame. The church is surrounded by the courtyards of the palace on 3 sides and faces out over the gardens to the north side.

    The Rose Window on the first image overlooks the entrance and depicts the biblical story of creation. It was added between 1925-7.

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  • ruki's Profile Photo

    Prague Castle

    by ruki Updated Nov 16, 2009

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    Prazsky Hrad is the most significant Czech monument and the largest castle complex in the world with 70.000 m2 area. It is consist of large number of palaces and buildings of various architectural styles, from Roman buildings from 10th century through Gothic modifications in the 14 century. After the Velvet Revolution, Prague Castle has undergone significant and ongoing repairs and reconstructions.Castle is place where the Czech kings, Roman Emperors and president of Czech Republic have their offices.

    There you can see:
    St. Vitus Cathedral, St. George Basilica,All saints Church, St. Cross Chapel
    Old Royal Palace, Royal Summer Palace, Lebkowicz Palace, New Royal Palace
    Column Hall, Spanish Hall, Vladislav Hall, Dalibor Tower, Zlata ulièka....
    Many gardens: Royal Garden, Riding School Terrace Garden, Paradise Garden...

    Open daily:

    05:00 – 24:00 in summer season (April 1 – October 31)
    06:00 – 23:00 in winter season (November 1 – Mar, 31)

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  • sue_stone's Profile Photo

    Prague Castle

    by sue_stone Written Dec 29, 2005

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    Inside the Castle grounds
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    Prague's castle sits upon a hill, grandly looking over the city. It is the main draw card for visitors (besides the beer!!) and is a must see on anyone's itinerary.

    The entrance to the castle is via the beautiful Hradcanske Square which is lined with fabulous baroque and renaissance houses.

    We paid a visit to the castle first thing one morning, trying to beat the crowds...it wasn't too crowded, but still plenty of tour groups around.

    There are several attractions located with the castle grounds. You can buy different priced tickets depending on which attractions you wish to visit, though it is free to enter the castle grounds - there are plenty of photo opportunities here without having to pay a cent. If you do get a ticket to enter the palace, for example, you will have to pay extra if you wish to take photos inside.

    We enjoyed a look around the Royal Palace and St Georges Convent. The views from the castle over Prague are pretty special too.

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  • nicolaitan's Profile Photo

    St. Vitus - interior ( 5 photos)

    by nicolaitan Updated Oct 15, 2006

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    St. Vitus is an example of Gothic architecture. This form was most popular between the 12th and 15th Centuries, and typically associated with churches. It is characterized by stone structures with lots of glass, pointed spires and arches, ribbed ceilings, and flyiing buttresses. There are extensive sculptural details, often bizarre such as the use of gargoyles The massive splendor of this cathedral is hard to describe in words. There are several interior features of special note --

    The stained glass windows along the north wall are the 20th Century work of Alfons Mucha, the famous Czech Art Nouveau painter. The most famous, 3rd on the left, features at the top Sts. Cyril and Methodius who introduced Christianity to Bohemia and lower down St. Wenceslas and his mother St. Ludmila who made Christianity the major Bohemian faith. The colors are vibrant. Mucha's classic color scheme apparently included blue for the past, gold for the mythic, and red for the future. (Image 2). The other windows are equally beautiful.

    Also of note are the ceiling vaults which are double diagonal ribs, Parler"s contribution to modernized Gothic architecture. Besides being attractive, the crossed ribs give strength to support the roof.

    Not only is St. Wenceslas chapel beautiful and striking - his remains rest here. Also interred in the main part of the church are the remains of Charles IV and the Habsburg Rudolf II. The organ and altarpiece are similarly beautiful.

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    Instruments of Torture

    by nhcram Updated Oct 25, 2004

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    Instruments of torture

    Some of the houses in Golden Lane are like mini museums. This one had a small area dedicated to Instruments of torture. Glad they are only in a museum as some of them looked pretty wicked to me.

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  • nicolaitan's Profile Photo

    Basilica of St. George ( 5 photos )

    by nicolaitan Updated Oct 15, 2006

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    This particularly lovely church is a well-preserved example of Romanesque architecture, popular in the 11th and 12th Centuries, and based on the architecture of ancient Rome. Basic features include thick piers to support stone arches, with relatively narrow windows, and rounded arches. Originally built by Prince Vratislav in 921, it has been enlarged and reconstructed over the years, with the Romanesque interior dating to a major fire in the 12th Century. The rusty red facade is Baroque in style, dating from the late 17th Century. A typical feature of Baroque exteriors is the dominance of the central portion of the facade. The towers are slightly asymmetric, indicating the male-female pattern frequently seen. Wiothing the church, besides extensive frescoes and statues, are the tombs of Prince Vratislav and several other Premyslid rulers, Saint Ludmilla (the widow of the early ruler Prince Borislov) who was instrumental in bringing Christianity to Bohemia and the grandmother of St. Wenceslas.

    Image 2 is from the chapel of St. John of Nepomuk, so prominently featured on the Charles Bridge.
    Image 4 is the final resting place for the remains of St. Ludmilla.

    The church has been deconsecrated and is now used for concerts.

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    Views from St Vitus’ Cathedral

    by easyoar Written May 31, 2006

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    View of Charles Bridge from St Vitus' Cathedral
    1 more image

    If you can be bothered to climb up the cathedral tower, you get some pretty good views. I remember the stair case as being a bit narrow.

    My personal opinion here is that if you want to see views of Prague, then climb the hill in Letna Park, for the classical view of the Bridges. The next best view can then be had from the Observation Tower on Petrin Hill. If after seeing these, you are still after yet another view, then climb this tower. You can get good views from here, but location is everything, and this is not the best location for getting the best views.

    I have posted two pictures so you can see the views. Compare these to my other tips of Letna Park and Petrin Hill (also on my Prague page) so you can make up your own mind. My first picture shows the view towards Charles Bridge, the second shows the bend in the river.

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  • Mikebb's Profile Photo

    Prague Castle

    by Mikebb Updated Dec 20, 2005

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    Prague Castle from outside the gates
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    Our first morning in Prague we walked along the river and across Charles Bridge, unknowingly walking into the Lesser Town. We soon found out where we were and continued on up the hill to Prague Castle. As it was a Sunday the area was crowded, but we just followed and eventually reached the castle, a little exhausted and in dire need for a drink. The effort was worth it , however we had to admire the castle from outside as the inside is closed to the public. Whilst there we visited St Vitus Cathedral which is very beautiful. The walk down the hill back to the river was much easier and gave good opportunities for photos.

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