St. Vitus' Cathedral is really impressive church. It considered to be biggest, most important and most beautiful in country. Interesting is that is develop trough his long history and maybe that way it is so beautiful combining different styles.
The so called castle of Prague is a very interesting quarter, with historic buildings and squares, where this cathedral assumes the most relevant position.
Showing several styles, denouncing the many adding and recuperation, in its more than 600 years, this cathedral deserves much more time than the quick look that I could have. That's one of the many reasons that make me wish to return to this lovely city.
I was so depressed after arriving from Vienna to Prague, the weather conditions in Vienna were perfect while in Prague it was gloomy and rainy. Instead of staying 4 days, as planned, I had to shorten my stay and left home after only two days because no improvement of weather conditions could have been expected. Anyway, it wasn't my first visit to Prague and I knew that need at least 4 days to visit all places of interest.
The first half of a day, after arriving to Prague was gloomy but no rain and I spent it mostly around the Charles Bridge. The next day I went to the Old Town, exploring major sights, but very soon the rain started and I had to search for some shelter in the cafe-bars around. It is the reason why I didn't go up to the Prašky Hrad. All my pics of it, St. Vitus Cathedral including, have been taken from the right bank of Vltava River.....
The dominating features of this building are the cathedral towers, the one I'm talking about is known as "the Queen," or the "Bell Tower."
At 96.5 metre high, the Cathedral tower was built in gothic style then the upper part merged into renaissance style. The corners of the roof are adorned by four small spires which are connected via open galleries. The main tower has a double lantern dome and is crowned with a double-tailed lion (the coat-of-arms of the Bohemia Kingdom), made with gilded copper plate. The lion is 3m in height, and holds a cross in its paws.
The beautiful gilded grill you can see in my photo, is on the first floor of the Tower, put there during the time of Rudolf II, whose monogram is displayed a little higher up. The clock which has two faces, is like many from this period. One face shows the hours and the other the minutes!
There are four bells in the tower, the oldest and largest is named Zykmund, made in 1549 by Tomas Jaros , weighs in at approximately 15,120 kg! It’s decorated with portraits of Ferdinand I and Anna Jagellonica.
How did they manage to get this heavy Bell so high up in the Tower?
You will be amazed to read it was the daughter of the king herself who created a very effective pulley, using her own hair to make the rope to pull the Bell up! Afterwards, she destroyed the machine so that nobody would know the principle of it.
The Bell Tower has many legends too, like the one when the emperor Charles IV died, all the bells at the tower started to ring by themselves. At first people could hear the toll of funeral bells, finally all the bells in Prague followed.
Another legend is about a prophet saying to Czech king Wenceslas IV, that he would die in front of the Bell Tower. Well, on hearing that, the The king was so scared he wanted to pull down the tower! He managed to have the first floor removed, then he heard news of the Hussites’ movement. This angered him immensely, so much so, that he had a heart attack and died!
Like the legends - I do!
The last is about when the heart of the bell breaks, something very bad will happen in the country. It happened for the last time in 2002, just a few weeks before the catastrophic floods in the Czech Republic!
The tower is accessible to the public in good weather only, offering good views over Prague.
Remember, there are 287 steps to climb.
The Tower is open for 10 - 6pm daily
What can I say about the magnificent St. Vitus Cathedral, the largest and most important Church in the Czech Republic! Standing within the confines of Prague Castle, I can tell you plenty about this beautiful gothic Cathedral.
Lets start!. Did you know only 2% of Czechs practice their religion, so even though this Cathedral is used for services, the congregation is very small. The Cathedral is mainly seen by tourists and is one of Pragues top tourist attractions.
The Cathedral is the seat of the Archbishop, and is where the Coronations of the Czech Royals have been held. Building of this Cathedral began in 1344 and never really completely finished until 1929!
Once inside, you most probably will be standing in awe as I was!
St Vitus Cathedral has a central nave with narrow aisles and small Chapel and heaps to take in and see.
Lets start with the vaulting of the main nave, known as net vaulting, believed to be used here for the first time in central Europe
Then there were the stained glass windows, quite different to what I had seen before. Some are masterpieces - they were stunning!
Infront of the main altar is the royal marble mausoleum with the royal crypt, where Bohemian kings were buried. Here are the tombstones of Ferdinand I of Austria, his wife Anna and the Holy Roman Emperor Maximilian II. Two tons of silver was used to create the Tomb of John of Nepmuk!
St. Wenceslas Chapel - dedicated to the patron saint of the Czech Republic. Imagine 1,300 semi-precious stones and frescoes on the wall showing scenes from the bible and telling the life of St. Wenceslas.
Then there is the Royal Crypt where the remains of Bohemian royals are buried, including king Charles IV, Vaclav I and Rudolph II and his 4 wives.
So much more, you will just have to go and see for yourself!
The inside of St. Vitus Cathedral SHOULD NOT BE MISSED, there is a lot to see, so allow plenty of time.
OPEN....April to October: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. November to March: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Sunday entry is from noon.
South tower of the cathedral: daily: 10 a.m. - 6 p.m.
Admission to the South tower: 150 CZK
Visitors can enter some parts of the cathedral for free. They can also go on a paid tour on two circuits which include entry to parts of Prague Castle.
Small circuit - full: 250 CZK Small - students, children, seniors: 125 CZK
Large circuit - full: 350 CZKLarge - students, children, seniors: 175 CZK
You can get there by trams no. 22 and 23 from metro station Malostranska (stop Prazsky hrad) or from metro station Malostranska by old royal steps.
The west façade of Saint Vitus Cathedral, was built between 1873 and 1929 in a neo-Gothic style. This is the main entrance into the Cathedral and a very beautiful one at that! A stunning, large rose window, decorated with biblical scenes, was completed in 1927, nice to view on the outside, but even better inside! Pity my photo of the inside didn't turn out!
Two high Towers are on either side of the entrance, between them are 14 statues of saints and the busts of the builders.
The entry is through some sturdy bronze doors which have figures that tell the story of the building of the Cathedral. Check them out before passing through them, and also the other doors on the west façade, just as interesting!
Walking inside, we enter the Main Nave.
It is up to you which you see first at St. Vitus Cathedral - either the inside or outside, both are worth seeing.
I started with the outside and the 19th century Golden Gate (Porta Aurea), once the main gate of St. Vitus. Think back in time, to when the Czech Kings dressed in their Coronation regalia, entered through this doorway on Coronation day - What a sight that must have been!
I noticed a large mosaic above the doorway, a representation of the Last Judgement.
Looking at the mosaic, I could see Christ in the centre, judging the living and the dead. Underneath Christ, are some of his followers kneeling before him, and asking for some requests to be granted. Even lower down on the centre edges, are King Charles IV and his wife Eliska of Pomerania.
The mosaic to the left and right of the centre, features the Apostles pleading on behalf of the sinners and below them are scenes from the Resurrection and the Day of Judgement.
Peeking inside to have a look at the entrance walls, there are more mosaics, this time of “Adam and Eve” and “Crucified Christ”
The Mosaic's were made between 1370 - 1371, from chipped flint and 33 shades of glass, do take the time to stop and look and check out the gate too!
For more than 600 years, the roofs of "Prague Castle" have been overlooked by the towers of "St Vitus Cathedral". The cathedral, whose original name is St Vitus, St Wenceslas and St Adalbert Cathedral, is the biggest and the most important church in the Czech Republic.
It’s the seat of the Archbishop of Prague and the place where saints, kings, princes and pmperors of Bohemia are buried. The coronations of the kings of Bohemia were held there until 1836. It’s one of the best examples of Gothic architecture.
When you are at the Castle, enter the gate to find a series of handsome but bland inner courtyards, dating from restoration work carried out in the 18th century by Austria’s Maria Theresa.
Continue inside to the real treasure, the enormous St. Vitus Cathedral, the most important church in the country. St. Vitus would be a large church anyway, but squeezed within the walls of Prague Castle, it looks absolutely massive.
Here on my "Travelogue" you can see more photos of this great architecture ... :
St. Vitus Cathedral Travelogue
Construction on the church began in 1344 but was not finished until 1929. Take time to tour the inside, admiring the large stained glass windows, the small chapels that line the sides, the royal crypt downstairs, and the ornate St. Wenceslas Chapel. If you’ve got the stamina, climb the stairs to the top of the tower for some of the best views over the city. Enjoy ... :)
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.
Our favorite part of the visit to the Cathedral was ascending the 287 steps to the top of the South Tower. From there, you can get commanding views of the city, the castle, and the surrounding area. Definitely worth the effort should you be able to enter.
One of the prime things to do is to visit Prague Castle and St Vitus Cathedral. You can first marvel at the architecture from the outside, then make your way inside and admire the remarkable workmanship and detail of everything you see. While it might not look like it, the cathedral's construction occurred across many centuries -- it was begun in 1344, but wasn't completely finished until 1929.
Prague Castle's Gothic cathedral is the biggest and most important church in the country. Construction began in 1344 and went on for almost 600 years, involving a variety of architects who mostly stuck to the original style, although some Baroque elements were introduced in the design of the church. Some of the cathedral's highlights include its impressive stained glass windows, St. Wenceslas's Chapel, and the magnificient tomb of St. John Nepomuk. This holy martyr is one of Czech Republic's patron saints - he died by drowning in the Vltava River following orders given by the king who was upset because the former refused to break the seal of confession and reveal the queen's secrets. His silver tomb designed in 1736 by Fischer von Erlach is a magnificient Baroque-style masterpiece. Admission to St. Vitus's Cathedral is included in the Prague Castle general ticket.