Prague Castle - Prague's Medieval Pearl

Prague Castle is a national monumentculture, the landmark of the Czech Republic number one. A must-see item on the list of any self-respecting tourist. All these Lego museums, sex machines and other Apple are secondary and are only suitable for completing the picture of Prague.

You need to start exploring the city right here,for Prague Castle is the oldest fortress of Prague. And the largest castle of the Czech Republic, the former royal and current presidential residence. Century beauty, which is located on the crest of a long hill, towering over the city.

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Prague Castle

Over the years of its existence, Prague CastleI got a complex of buildings and squares. Temples and fortifications, a huge park and stairs. Despite the more than a thousand-year history, the whole fortress, all the buildings on its territory look like a single whole. As an architectural ensemble. At the same time organically combining styles of different eras.

Due to the size of Prague Castle, it is difficult to describe it.in two paragraphs. It is huge, and there are dozens of cultural objects on its territory. Which in themselves are landmarks and require detailed inspection and volumetric description. So far I will limit myself to basic information on the main places of Prague Castle, which is enough for the first acquaintance.

New castle staircase

An interesting and completely non-relaxed option.get into Prague Castle. However, he more than covers his shortcomings (more than two hundred steps) with excellent views. To Prague and to the characteristic for the old European city tiled roofs. "New" it was called in the shaggy 1829. Although, logically, this ladder is older than the “Old Ladder” - and there is one too.

I do not envy the horses that are in the old daysrolled here carts loaded - Steep Road was really steep. I would recommend climbing it only to people with physical training not lower than average. And it's better to go down the Old Castle Staircase. Here is beauty and grandeur, especially on clear days or in the evening.

New castle staircase in Prague

New castle staircase in Prague

New castle staircase, view down

New castle staircase, view down

New castle staircase, view up

New castle staircase, view up

Old castle staircase in Prague

Old castle staircase in Prague

Hradchanskaya square

Pedestrian zone on the eve of Prague Castle, withwhich offers a magnificent view of Prague. Well, access to the many attractions of the old fortress. In the past - the place of settlement of ordinary people who tried to live closer to the fortress. Today - the touristy square, which gazes at the changing of the guard or listening to guides.

Here is a life hack from me - a winter trip will save youat least half the usual number of visitors. Just because of seasonality. So do not look at the lack of greenery in the Royal Garden - it is not so important. Much nicer not to stand kilometer queues at the cashier. And do not push yourself with people for the opportunity to take a picture of the sights without a dozen Chinese in the frame.

Hradčany Square in Prague

Hradčany Square in Prague

St. Vitus Cathedral

Correctly call it the Cathedral of the SaintsVita, Wenceslaus and Vojtech. What is interesting - on Google maps, this cathedral is called the "Rotunda of St. Vitus." Although from the rotunda (the original construction of the end of the tenth century) there is nothing left. For the rotunda was rebuilt in the basilica in the XII century. And later, in the 14th century, the grandiose construction of the cathedral itself began.

The remains of the basement of the basilica can be seen inSeparate room, near the cathedral. Today St. Vitus Cathedral is the main attraction of Prague, the current diocese of the Catholic Church. As well as the royal tomb and the place of storage of the royal regalia. The place is filled with beautiful and elegant pieces of art, which will take a lot of time to inspect. Do not limit your appearance - go inside.

Cathedral of sv. Vita

Cathedral of sv. Vita

Great South Tower

The only tower-bell tower on the south facadeCathedral of Saints Vitus, Wenceslaus and Vojtech. Initially, the dome of the South Tower was made in the Gothic style. It was the same as on the towers of the western facade (in the photo on the left). However, in the middle of the XVI century, the top of the tower acquired the Romanesque style, with these balls and columns.

Bells are placed inside the tower (including the mostbig in the Czech Republic). Two clockworks (which separately show the hours and minutes). There is also a huge monogram “R”, an autograph of King Rudolph II, who made a significant contribution to the improvement of the cathedral. And at the very top of the tower is one of the best viewing points of Prague.

Great South Tower of St. Vitus Cathedral

Great South Tower of St. Vitus Cathedral

Zlata Lane

Authentic corner of the fortress, where the house (or rather -houses) - are part of the northern fortress wall. Named Golden because the first residents of this street were goldsmiths / gold engravers. A hundred years later, the street’s jewelry contingent was replaced by shooters from the garrison of the fortress, who in their spare time engaged in craft.

Many tourists are surprised to note the narrownessGolden Streets. And they still do not know that in those times there were houses not in one but in two rows. At the beginning of the 20th century, it was mostly the poor who lived here. And at the end of the Second World House and were completely evicted. Inside, thematic expositions, souvenir shops and other tourist entertainments were organized.

Zlata Street in Prague

Zlata Street in Prague

Historical reference

The history of Prague Castle is so voluminous that II do not take the trouble to paint it in detail. It will turn out to be a rather boring footcloth with the columns of dates and the names of celebrities of past centuries. Therefore, I will manage only with that set of information which I personally had enough to walk with enthusiasm and interest through its squares and streets.

Prague Castle is founded as a city on a hill thatTowered over the Vltava in a strategically important place. Or rather, as a mound: they were wooden houses surrounded by an earthen wall and a palisade, everything is like in historical films.

The first approximate dates that historians haveRegarding Prague Castle - is the middle of the IX century. The first stone buildings date back to 920-973 years: the Basilica of St. George, the Church of the Virgin Mary and the dwelling house in which the bishop lived. In addition, here appeared the first monastery in the Czech Republic, and the rotunda of St. Vitus - a small building with cylindrical walls.

By the X-XI centuries the walls became stone, and the rotundarebuilt and in its place erected a three-nave basilica of saints Vitus, Wenceslaus and Vojtech. By the end of the 12th century, the Prague Castle became a full-fledged fortress, with stone towers and a princely palace.

In the XIII century, the Czechs were mainly engaged inimprovement of the fortress. Renovation of interiors, decoration of facades of buildings, additional buildings. It is believed that it was then that the former princely palace gradually became royal.

XIV century began for Prague Castle not the mostin a good way. The fire of 1303 and the rule of John of Luxembourg, who preferred military campaigns to the royal residence. For almost forty years of his reign, he lived at Prague Castle for about one year.

But in the second half of the XIV century - it began. Instead of the basilica, the cathedral of St. Vitus, Wenceslaus and Vojtech was laid (this is still its official name to this day), the burned-out ruins of the royal palace were reanimated, and a number of buildings were added.

In the 15th century, the Hussite Wars and the gamethrones for the Czech throne. Beginning in 1471, restructuring began in Prague Castle. With the passage of which he increasingly takes on the form of a Gothic fortress. More towers, thicker walls, new buildings and wings of the palace.

XVI century. The empire of the Austrian Habsburgs swallowed the Czech Republic. The country since 1526 ceased to exist as an independent state. Prague Castle for some time continued to have the weight of the royal residence. But over time, it lost its significance, although it was not yet forgotten.

In the same century, a renaissance came here. And with him - the Royal Garden, which created about 20 years and threatened him with an incredible amount of money. The first privately built buildings of the richest and most influential people appeared.

Century XVII. The Thirty Years' War began, during which the Prague Castle was thoroughly plundered. In addition, he finally lost the status of the royal residence. And in connection with the development of such troops as artillery, the Prague Castle fortress has become a useless fortification.

Despite this decline in status, in the XVIIIcentury were produced large-scale work. The various-sized buildings of Prague Castle were brought to the same style of classicism and received the roof of a single model. Since then, it all began to look like a single architectural ensemble, called the New Royal Palace.

By the middle of the XIX century, in the wake of the heydaynational identity, in the Czech Republic remember about the 500-year-old long-term construction - St. Vitus Cathedral. Raise the drawings of the XIV century. They bring them in line with the requirements of modern construction standards and begin the final stage of the construction of the cathedral.

The 20th century was marked for the Czech Republic of the First World War.war, the disintegration of Austria-Hungary and the re-gained independence. New Royal Palace appointed presidential residence. From 1919 to 1934 there is a grand restoration. The Cathedral of Saints Vitus, Wenceslaus and Vojtech ends in 1929.

Only by the end of the 20th century, in the 89th year, the Prague Castle was open to visitors. Well, except for the New Royal Palace, where the Czech government still sits.

Information to visit

Opening hours: from April to October - every day from 9 am to 5 pm From November to March - from 9 am to 4 pm

You can just walk around the territory of Prague Castle from 6 am to 10 pm

A walk around the grounds is free.

Price for entry to selected attractions and tourist routes:
The south tower of the cathedral (it is an observation deck) - 150 CZK
Exposition "Treasures of St. Vitus Cathedral" - 250 CZK

“Circle B” - 250 CZK. The route includes: the Old Royal Palace, St. Vitus Cathedral, St. George's Basilica, Zlata Lane and the Dalibork Tower.

Circle A - 350 CZK. The route includes: the exposition “History of the Prague Castle Fortress”, the Old Royal Palace, St. Vitus Cathedral, St. George’s Basilica, Zlata Street, Rožmberg Palace, the Migulk Tower, the Dalibork Tower.

In the days of free entry is better not to come - will trample. The number of tourists and the length of the queues increases at times, so if time is dear to you, not money, come on ordinary days.

Prague Castle can be reached by tram number 22,stop - Prazsky hrad. It is located higher up the hill, so 200-300 meters down to the entrance you will pass with little effort. Another option, but for people with good physical preparation - on the subway to the station Malostranska and climb the old castle stairs.

On the map

Prague Castle on the map

St. Vitus Cathedral:
South Tower of St. Vitus Cathedral:
Observation point on Hradchanskaya square:
Hradchanskaya Square:
New castle staircase:
Old castle staircase:
Zlata Street:

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