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Prague Castle Tour
Prague Castle

Prague Castle (Czech: Pražský hrad) is where the Kings of Bohemia, Holy Roman Emperors and presidents of Czechoslovakia and the Czech Republic have had their offices. The Bohemian Crown Jewels are kept here. Prague Castle is one of the biggest ancient castles in the world at nearly 570 meters in length and averaging approximately 130 meters wide.

The history of the castle stretches back to the 9th century (870). The first walled building was the church of Our Lady. The Basilica of Saint George and the Rotunda of St. Vitus were founded in the first half of the 10th century and the first convent in Bohemia was founded in the castle, next to the church of St. George. A Romanesque palace was erected here during the 12th century. In the 14th century, under the reign of Charles IV, the royal palace was rebuilt in Gothic style and the castle fortifications were strengthened.

Prague Castle Gate

The First Castle Courtyard

We enter the castle through the First Castle Courtyard, enclosed by a massive grille, whose pillars bear sculptural groups depicting battling giants. The castle area itself is accessible through the Matthias gateway which was the first secular Baroque project in Prague.

The Second Castle Courtyard

Passing through the gateway we enter the Second Castle Courtyard. On the northern side we find the Gallery of Prague Castle, containing remnants of the former Emperor collections. The northern wing of the Second Courtyard is formed by the Spanish Hall and the Rudolph Gallery. The Chapel of the Holy Cross runs along the central palace.

The Picture Gallery - The collection of paintings at Prague Castle, contains some four hundred paintings and drawings. There we see the works of painters such as Tizian, Rubens and others. The Imperial Stable now serves as an exhibition hall.

The oldest part of Castle is the ruin of The Church of our Lady, where we see the tomb of the first princes from the 12th century Premysl dynasty. In the middle of the Courtyard II we see the Renaissance fountain, which supplied the castle with drinking water in the past.

The Third Castle Courtyard

The coronation jewels – the crown, the sceptre and the orb – are housed in St. Vitus Cathedral, connected with the Old Royal Palace, the seat of the Czech medieval sovereigns, by a passage so a king could go from his bedroom directly into the church.

St. Vitus Cathedral

St. Vitus Cathedral is the largest and the most important church in Prague. A Gothic cathedral was built in the middle ages, in the 14th and 15th centuries. The rest of the cathedral was built much later, in the beginning of 20th century in Neo Gothic style. It is difficult to recognize the old part from the new one.

The Neo-Gothic part of the cathedral consists of the main nave and the side chapels. The chapels have stained-glass windows. You can also see the beautiful window by Alphonse Mucha. In the center, you can see the entrance to the underground portion - the royal crypt. Visit the tombs of Charles IV and his four wives, Rudolf II and many Czech kings and queens.

In the old Gothic part of the cathedral you will see the chancel, the altar or the beautiful ceiling. The windows and some decoration come from the Baroque or New Gothic period.



St. Vitus Cathedral Prague

Prague Tour

Prague Castle Tour

St. George Basilica

Yet, the oldest church building in the Prague Castle area is the Basilica of St. George, the best-preserved relic of Romanesque architecture in Prague. It has two towers from the 12th century and a Baroque façade.

Prague Golden LaneGolden Lane

One of the most popular sights at Prague Castle is Golden Lane, two rows of tiny houses, once inhabited by castle marksmen, who guarded Prague Castle’s fortifications. The famous writer Franz Kafka once lived in house No. 22.

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