Prague Castle, Czech Republic: House of Bohemian Kings

Prague Castle

Prague Castle is the “heart” of the Czech Republic. The castle is located on a hill on the west bank of the Vltava River in the Malá Strana District. For hundreds of years the princes of Bohemia, kings of Bohemia and Holy Roman Emperors were crowned and lived at Prague Castle. Many important events in the history of Bohemia took place there. St. Vitus Cathedral, the main Catholic church in the country, is situated in the center of the castle.

View from the opposite side of the Vltava

Prague Castle is the main attraction of the Czech Republic, in 2016 the halls and museums were viewed by 2.1 million people. The total number of visitors (not necessarily those who bought tickets) is estimated at 7.5 million.

Here tourists see churches, palaces, fountains, an art gallery and themed exhibitions. Most of all travelers are attracted by the exhibition of Czech royal regalia, where you can see the crown and ceremonial sword of St. Wenceslas. Many famous Czechs are buried in the castle.

How to get there

The easiest way to get there is by metro, take the Malostranska station on line A (green line). For metro map of Prague see our article “Prague Metro – map in Russian”.

From the station you can walk 400 meters to the East entrance of the Prague Castle. After leaving the subway, you will see a big street with streetcar tracks, it is called Klarov (“Klarov”). Take left turn on this street. After 150 meters before the big street turn, just before an old 4-storey building there is a footpath to the left. Follow this path to the eastern entrance to the Prague Castle.

Not all tourists are satisfied with this short route. Prague Castle is located on a hill. During these 400 meters of the path you have to go up 40 meters. If it is tiring to walk uphill, we recommend another route.

After leaving the subway take streetcar 23 or 22 (see photo below, click on the photo to enlarge). Get on at the stop on the opposite side (from the subway) of the street. Get off at “Prazsky Hrad” stop, it’s one stop later. Then walk 250 meters in the direction of the towers of the St. Vitus Cathedral, they can’t be confused with anything else. You will get to the northern entrance.

Streetcar on route 22

In this second case, you do not have to walk uphill. The streetcar ride is likely to be free. Recall that travel tickets in Prague are valid for a certain time. That is, by the time you leave the subway ticket will still be valid, and the ride on the streetcar only 5 minutes.

If you want maximum comfort, you can take a cab, it will take you right to the entrance. The cost of the trip will depend on the distance, read our article “Taxis in the Czech Republic.

Ticket prices

You can go to the Prague Castle itself for free, you will have to pay to enter the buildings of the complex. Stock up on a calculator. At the Prague Castle you can buy a separate ticket for each group of attractions.

The ticket can be full ticket, discount and family ticket. Preferential ticket is for children from 6 to 16 years, students (show international student card) and seniors over 65 years. The family ticket is for two adults and up to 5 children under 16 years old. Below we will write three prices – full, discount and family.

Prices are given in Czech crowns, for the current exchange rate, see our article “What’s the Money in the Czech Republic”.

entrance ticket

St. Vitus Cathedral Treasury – 250, 125, 500 CZK.

The Art Gallery – 100, 50, 200 crowns.

Circle C is a combo ticket treasury + art gallery – 350, 175, 700 CZK.

Circle B is a combo ticket to the Old Royal Palace + St. George’s Basilica + Golden Street + St. Vitus Cathedral (without treasury) – 250, 125, 500 CZK.

Circle A is a combo ticket for all attractions of Circle B + exhibition “History of Prague Castle” + Powder Tower + Rozmberk Palace – 350, 175, 700 CZK.

Exhibition “History of Prague Castle” separately – 140, 70, 280 CZK.

Powder Tower stand alone – 70, 40, 140 CZK

St. Vitus Cathedral observation deck – 150 CZK.

You have to pay another 50 CZK for a photo permit. It is forbidden to take photos with flash or tripod even with a permit. It is forbidden to take photos in the Treasury of St. Vitus Cathedral, the Powder Tower, the exhibition “History of Prague Castle”, the Art Gallery.

Audioguide costs 350 CZK for 3 hours or 450 CZK for the entire day.

Now do the math. If you want to see the entire Prague Castle with an audio guide, it will cost 1,350 Czech crowns. As of 2017, that’s 3,500 rubles per person. Prague Castle is the most expensive attraction in the Czech Republic.

To see the entire Prague Castle in one day is possible, but very tedious. If you set a goal to see all the exhibits, it is better to give this two days. Tickets are disposable, but are valid for 2 days – the day of purchase and the next day.

Lots of people

Tickets can be purchased at the ticket offices, which are near each paid facility.

Working time

The complex is open from 6-00 to 22-00 regardless of the season.

Expositions are open at different times, depending on the season.

St. Vitus Cathedral – from 9-00 to 17-00 in summer and from 9-00 to 16-00 in winter. On Sundays from 12-00 to 17-00 in summer and from 12-00 to 16-00 in winter.

Other exhibitions are from 10-00 to 18-00 in summer, from 10-00 to 17-00 in winter.

A bit of history

At the site of the Prague Castle a settlement existed in the Neolithic period, as evidenced by archeological findings of ceramics in the Lumbe garden.

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In the 9th century the Prague Castle was a settlement surrounded by a moat and wooden walls. What was inside, historians now can not say exactly. The first temple in the settlement was the Church of St. Mary, it was built by Prince Borgivoj I, the time of construction is not precisely known, tentatively between 885 and 889. This church was completely destroyed in the 13th century.

The settlement had an important role even before the reign of Prince Borzhivoy I, as evidenced by the findings of archaeologist Ivan Porkovsky in 1928. He found the burial of a clearly wealthy warrior, including iron sword, axe, dagger, knife and razor.

All that is left of the St. Vitus Cathedral

The construction of the castle on this site was probably started by Prince Spytigniew I (son of Borzivy I). During the reign of Vratislav I in 921 a second church was built in honor of St. George. This church until 973 was the main Christian temple of the Prague castle and the whole of Bohemia. That is, in the 10th century, the Prague Castle was already the capital and residence of the Czech princes of Přemysl.

St. Wenceslas built the rotunda of St. Vitus, where he placed the remains of the saint, which he received as a gift from King Henry I of Ptitzel. In 973, the Archdiocese of Prague was founded, and the Rotunda of St. Vitus became the Episcopal Church. It is an interesting fact that only the churches in those days were stone, the rest of the houses and even the princely palace were wooden. Not much remains of that 10th century rotunda now, see the photo above, click on the photo to enlarge.

King Vratislav II moved the residence to Vyšehrad for a while, but construction work on the Prague Castle continued. The wooden walls were replaced by stone ones and three gates were built: the Black Gate in the east, the White Gate in the west and the South Tower.

King Ottokar II rebuilt the royal palace in the 13th century. In the reign of Charles IV in the 14th century, the palace is rebuilt again in the Gothic style, the fortifications are strengthened. On the site of the rotunda of St. Vitus, the construction of a large temple begins, which will last for the next 6 centuries.

During the Hussite wars and the next decade the Prague Castle was empty. King Vladislav II Jagiellon began to restore the castle. He built the Wladyslaw Hall to the royal palace and several guarding towers on its northern side. Wladyslaw Hall became probably the biggest vaulted hall of secular purpose in all Europe, its length – 62 meters, width – 16, height – 13.

A fire in 1541 destroyed many buildings at Prague Castle. Already under the Habsburgs, the buildings were rebuilt in the Renaissance style. Emperor Ferdinand was the first to build a belvedere as a summer palace for his wife Anna. Emperor Rudolph II used Prague Castle as his main residence. He built the northern wing of the palace, where he housed his art collection in the Spanish Hall.

The Thirty Years War

The Second Prague Defenestration took place at Prague Castle in 1618, which was the beginning of the Bohemian Uprising. The uprising was followed by the Thirty Years’ War, at the end of which the Prague Castle was badly damaged. Many masterpieces from the collection of Rudolf II were pillaged by the Swedes in 1648 after the Battle of Prague.

The last major reconstruction was carried out by Empress Maria Theresia in the second half of the 18th century. In 1848 the former emperor Ferdinand I settled here, after he abdicated the throne in favor of Franz Joseph.

In 1918, the Prague Castle became the seat of the first president of the Czechoslovak Republic, Tomas Masaryk. The new palace and gardens were restored by the Slovenian architect Jose Plečnik. On September 28, 1929, St. Vitus Cathedral was inaugurated.

In March 1939 troops of the Third Reich entered Czechoslovakia. The photo of Adolf Hitler inspecting the troops at the gates of Prague Castle went down in history as one of the symbols of the occupation. This photo is below, click on the photo to enlarge.

Hitler at Prague Castle, 1939

During the Nazi occupation of Bohemia, the palace at Prague Castle became the residence of Reinhard Heydrich (viceroy of Bohemia to the Third Reich). It is said that Heydrich tried on the crown of Bohemia, and according to legend, any usurper who tried on the crown would die within a year. On May 27, 1942, Heydrich died in an assassination attempt organized by the Czech underground.

During Communist Czechoslovakia, the government of the country operated in Prague Castle. After dissolution of Czechoslovakia in 1993, Vaclav Havel moved here. The new president of the Czech Republic began to open the Prague Castle to the public.

Now almost the entire Prague Castle is open to Czechs and visitors to the country. This is the main attraction of the Czech Republic, comparable in popularity only to the Charles Bridge and the Prague Chimes.

What to see

The main gate of the Prague Castle is located in the west. We will describe the sights at the castle in order from west to east.

The main entrance is the Giant’s Gate, decorated with two huge sculptures of giants. Behind this gate is the Court of Honor. See photo below, click on photo to enlarge.

Giant's Gate

The Matthias Gate leads from the first courtyard to the second courtyard. In the second courtyard is the Lion’s Fountain. Its lower basin is decorated with garlands and lion heads. The middle bowl is held by statues of the gods: Hercules, Neptune, Mercury and Vulcan.

The second courtyard provides access to the Spanish Hall. The Spanish Hall is part of the presidential residence and is used to receive official delegations. Visitors are allowed here only on national holidays.

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From the second courtyard you can get to the picture gallery. It was formed on the basis of the collection of Rudolf II. Among the most interesting paintings are Rubens’ “Collection of the Olympic Gods” (1605), Titian’s “Toilet of a Young Woman” (1515), Tintoretto’s “Beating”, Hans von Aachen’s “Head of a Girl”, “Portrait of Emperor Matthias”.

The imperial stables are used for temporary exhibitions. By themselves they are of little interest to tourists.

Pay attention to the Chapel of the Holy Cross, this is where the treasury contains the Czech royal regalia, including the crown of St. Wenceslas, the scepter and orb, the coronation cross and the sword of St. Wenceslas. Pay special attention to this, as some tourists unsuccessfully search for the treasury directly in the Cathedral of St. Vitus itself.

It is interesting to see the well, which is now covered with bars. Prior to the Prussian siege of the Prague castle in 1757, it was the main source of drinking water for the entire castle.

Directly behind the well is a passageway that leads to the third courtyard. The main building of the third courtyard is the Cathedral of St. Vitus. Czech kings were crowned here and their weddings were held here. The cathedral is a burial place for crowned heads, bishops and famous Czechs.

Read our article “St. Vitus Cathedral”.

Inside the Old Palace

The old royal palace was the residence of the kings of Bohemia for over 600 years (from the 10th to the 16th century). Nowadays, its architecture combines Gothic and Renaissance styles. In the basement there is an exhibition “History of Prague Castle”. Be sure to check out the huge Wladyslaw Hall. Other parts of the Old Palace are the Church of All Saints, the Old Chambers, the Chamber with the Land Books, and the Ludovic wing.

In the center of the courtyard is a large obelisk, which tourists notice immediately, it stands out from the general stylistics of Prague Castle. This 16 meters high granite obelisk was erected in 1928 in memory of the victims of World War I and to commemorate the 10th anniversary of Czechoslovak independence. It is interesting that it did not have a top for a long time, but in 1996, on the initiative of Václav Havel.

Next to the obelisk you will see the statue of St. George. There is a copy in the courtyard, but the original can be seen at the exhibition “History of Prague Castle”. The statue was cast in bronze in 1373. In the southern part of the third courtyard are the Office of the President of the Czech Republic and the Eagle Fountain.

In the northern part you can see the Powder Tower Michulka (in the photo below, click on the photo to enlarge). It was built in the late 15th century, at that time it was one of the most powerful defensive towers in the world. At various times it housed gunpowder stores, alchemical laboratories and even living quarters.

Powder Tower

It is an interesting fact that the tower has never been involved in battle, although during the storming of the Swedes in 1649 powder exploded here, the tower was badly damaged. Inside there is now an exhibition devoted to the military history and defense of Prague Castle.

St. George’s Square is situated to the east of the third courtyard. The basilica of St. George, which was once the baptismal site of many Czechs, including princes, is worth seeing here. Prince Vratislav I and more than a hundred other members of the Přemyslid princely family are buried here.

Further to the east is Jiřská Street. Here are the palaces of Lobkowice and Rosenberg. The street ends at the Black Gate. The Lobkowicea Palace is the only private property on the territory of Prague Castle. Now it exhibits the artistic collection of the Lobkowicea family. The Rosenberg Palace came into the ownership of Emperor Rudolf as early as in 1600, and the Institute for Noble Maidens was established there. On the north side of the street is the Toy Museum.

Along the northern wall runs Zlata Street (Golden Street). Now there are souvenir shops, workshops, private galleries and mini-museums. There is a legend that once lived here alchemists who made gold from mercury, from which the name came. A more plausible version is that the name comes from the 16th century, when jewelers lived and worked here.

As you can see, there are a lot of interesting places in the Prague castle, and it is difficult to walk around them in one day. It is better to plan for two days.

Tips for visitors

– Cash desks take euros, but it is more convenient to have Czech crowns, so you don’t have to endlessly count the prices. Read our article “Money Exchange in the Czech Republic”.

– At the ticket offices you can order a tour in Russian. There must be at least 4 people in a group, the price is 100 CZK per hour, at least 4 hours.

– It will be useful audio guide in Russian, which will tell about 96 places in the Prague Castle, the total duration of the audio guide is 3 hours.

– Two days a year you can see the whole Prague Castle for free. These are the birthday (March 7) and the death day (September 14) of Tomas Masaryk. Crowds of visitors are guaranteed.

Changing of the guard of honour

– There are many stores on Golden Street, you can look for something interesting to bring from the Czech Republic. Don’t count on low prices here.

– At the main gate (Giant’s Gate), there is a changing of the guard of honor ceremony. The normal shift takes place every hour from 5-00 to 23-00. At noon there is a ceremonial shift, see the photo next to it, click on the photo to enlarge it.

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– Prague Castle is 600 meters long, and you will walk another few kilometers through the staircases, halls and corridors of its buildings. Choose shoes for the season, comfortable and worn. About shoes and clothing on the trip we told in the article “What to take to the Czech Republic.

– Be careful inside the buildings. Do not touch anything. Almost everything in Prague Castle is a national treasure of the Czech Republic. Read our review “What tourists can not do in Czech Republic”.

– Smoking and drinking alcoholic beverages (including beer) is prohibited on the territory of the Prague Castle. Do not try to put a bottle in a paper bag, the guards at the castle will stop you anyway. Also, it is highly recommended not to come while intoxicated. Read our articles “Smoking and Cigarettes in the Czech Republic” and “Alcohol in the Czech Republic – rules and prices”.

– There are several cafes on the territory, but the prices “bite”. If you are seriously hungry, go out through the west or east gate and you will find many restaurants and eateries. Some of them prepare real masterpieces of Czech cuisine.

Have a great visit to Prague Castle, and read our interesting articles about the Czech Republic (links below).

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Alexander – GlavReader of the site

Very interesting comment was made by Oxkiss user. Read it on a separate page ‘By the castles of the Czech Republic by car’.

Prague Castle

In this guide article I will tell you about Prague Castle and its attractions. The article has added useful information about how much it costs to visit the castle, how to organize a walk around it more efficiently and how to get there.

Prague Castle is a huge castle complex, the main and biggest attraction of Prague, as well as the most important castle in the country.

Prague Castle is the historical seat of Czech kings and princes, and currently the seat of the president of the Czech Republic. Twice in history the castle was the main residence of the Holy Roman Emperor.

The castle was founded in the 9th century. Its length of 570 m and width of 128 m make it one of the largest castles in the world, the largest ancient castle and the largest presidential residence in the world. According to these parameters the castle is included in the Guinness Book of Records. The area of the castle is 7.28 hectares.

The biggest castle in the world

Prague Castle is a symbol of Prague. District, which surrounds the Prague Castle, got its name just in honor of the castle and is called Hradcany.

As already mentioned, the Prague Castle was founded around 870 on the rocky cliff of the Vltava River and in ancient times served as a good fortification, and, since in the Middle Ages the Czech lands were rich, there was much to protect.

Prague Castle walls

Břetislav I around 1050 noticeably strengthened the castle, at that time appeared a cathedral, a monastery, walls were built and a catapult was installed.

Romanesque style of the castle began to show in the appearance of the Castle only under Přemyslids: Prince Sobieslav I and King Vladislav II. Under these rulers the castle was fortified by towers, a powerful southern wall was built. King Přemysl Otakar expanded the royal palace and strengthened the walls even more. Under John of Luxembourg the castle was not properly maintained. The royal palace was damaged by the fire in 1303 and remained in a state of disrepair. Vysehrad at that time was in its prime, it was considered better fortified and served as the residence of the rulers.

When Charles IV came to the throne, the tremendous rebuilding of the castle began, following the example of the royal residences in Paris. During his visit to Prague in 1333, he started the construction of a Gothic two-storey palace with a throne room on the site of the old Romanesque palace, which was destroyed by a fire in 1303. A little later the building was supplemented by the Chapel of All Saints. The palace stood right next to the newly built St. Vitus Cathedral, and their proximity was emphasized by the orientation of the main entrance and the position of St. Wenceslas Chapel. The whole area of the Grad was again fortified by walls, the two main towers had gilded roofs at the entrance, which was inspired by the biblical New Jerusalem.

St. George's Basilica in Prague

The castle was given a late Gothic appearance during the reign of Wladyslaw of Jagiellon, who undertook a large-scale reconstruction in 1483. The Vladislav Hall, jockey stairs and Ludwig wing were built. On the inside the walls were strengthened by the deep arcades for the archers, later the guards lived there. Then in place of these arcades appeared a picturesque Golden Lane. On the side of the Deer Moat were built three towers, protruding from the walls, for cannon fire at the enemies: White, Daliborka and Migulka.

Under the Holy Roman Emperor Ferdinand I. in 1526 the great transformation of the city began again. New houses were built on the side of the third courtyard, in 1534 the creation of the Royal Garden and the construction of fountains began, just at this time the fashion for gardens in royal courts began. In 1538 began the construction of a summer palace for Queen Anne in the Royal Garden, which was completed by 1557.

Prague Castle Garden

During the reign of Rudolph II, the city continued to be built. In 1583 Prague became a metropolis of the Holy Roman Empire. The castle was enriched with a collection of art objects. Construction of the “Long Building” began and continued on the south side of the 3rd courtyard and the “White Tower” separating the 2nd and 3rd courtyards.

In the 17th century Bohemia became part of the Habsburg monarchy. In 1631 and 1648 the castle was occupied by enemy troops. A large part of the art collection of Rudolf was taken away to Sweden as trophies.

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In 1753-1775 all facades of the buildings on Hradcany Square were rebuilt by the Archduchess of Austria and the Queen of Bohemia, Maria Theresa, and at that time the Prague Castle obtained a single Rococo style that was almost transformed into the Classical style, which it preserved to the present day.

At the end of the 19th century the dominant feature of the Prague Castle, the St. Vitus Cathedral, was completed in Purist style.

Gothic St. Vitus Cathedral

In 1918 the castle became a residence of the president of the First Republic. And during World War II, the castle was the headquarters of the protector of Bohemia and Moravia Reinhard Heydrich. Heydrich wore the Bohemian crown, and according to the legend he was supposed to die a year later, and the legend was not deceived: a year later Heydrich was killed.

By the end of the XX century under the Communists, the Prague Castle was closed to the public, but with the advent of President Václav Havel, the main objects of the Castle were opened, and the Castle itself became the residence of the President of the Czech Republic.

Prague Castle objects

So what are the main objects and attractions of the castle?

To begin with, you can walk around the castle grounds for free, so you can stroll through the Royal Garden (Královská zahrada). At 12:00 you can see the changing of the guard at the main entrance to the castle, take pictures with the guard, walk through the restored palace gardens below Prague Castle and enjoy the beautiful views of Prague, visit the St. Vitus Cathedral (entrance to the historical premises is chargeable).

On the map of Prague Castle you can see the following objects, which are marked with Roman numerals. These are the main objects of the castle, because the castle consists of 51 objects! On the map, you can see the Toy Museum at number 8.

  • I Old Royal Palace
  • II History of Prague Castle
  • III St. George’s Basilica
  • IV The Treasury of St. George’s Cathedral
  • V Golden Lane
  • VI Art Gallery
  • VII Powder Tower
  • VIII Cathedral of St. Vitus Cathedral
  • IX Rosenberg Palace
  • X The Great South Tower of St. Vitus Cathedral

Prague Castle map

How to get to Prague Castle

Address of Prague Castle : Hradčany, 119 08 Prague 1

The map above also shows how to get to Prague Castle and which streetcar to take. There are three main entrances to Prague Castle: from the north, west and east.

The entrance from the north is convenient if you come to Prague Castle by streetcar or metro. The streetcar stop Pražský hrad is only 100 meters from the castle. There is only one stop for streetcar No. 22 . From the subway station Hradčanská to the castle is 700 m away, but you can walk a part of the distance through the beautiful Royal Garden with a beautiful view of Prague and a lot of trees and in spring and summer there are a lot of flowers blooming in the park.

Lookout point in Prague from Prague Castle

You can use the west entrance if you walk up to the Prague Castle from the Charles Bridge through Malostranské náměstí square. You will walk to the Castle through picturesque Nerudova Street, where a lot of souvenirs, dolls and other Czech handicrafts are sold. If you have energy, I suggest to go to the Prague Castle by this way.

Nerudova Street in Prague

If you are tired, you can use the East Entrance of Malostranská subway station to get out of the Prague Castle. It is quite difficult to walk up the steps of Staré zámecké chody .

Alley to Prague Castle

If you do not have much time Prague, then follow the route of the walk around the Prague Castle: from the Charles Bridge on Nerudova Street go up to the Castle, go through the main gate of the castle, go to the St. Vitus Cathedral, visit the Cathedral, look at it from all sides and walk through the courtyards of the castle. Then go down to the Zahrada Na Valech garden, admire the panorama of Prague, return to the St. Vitus Cathedral and walk past the Toy Museum, Zlatá Street along the steps of Staré zámecké Schody Street towards Malostranské náměstí. On this street you can turn into vineyards and see some of the most picturesque panoramas of Prague. This route will take you about 2 hours. If you want to visit the Prague Castle buildings and the observation tower, add another 2,5 hours to this time.

Prague Castle courtyards

From Nerudova Street you can get to the square in front of the Prague Castle which is called Hradčanské náměstí . It is here where the ceremonial changing of the guard takes place at 12.00 and where you can take selfies with the watchmen. The main gate is decorated with massive figures of Ignatz Platzer’s “Battle of the Titans”. Behind the gate is the first courtyard, through which you can enter the second and third. The third courtyard is located between the Cathedral of St. Vitus and the Presidential Residence.

Prague Castle Gate

By the way, you can walk right up to the residence and even look into the president’s car. As you can see in the photo, Czech president’s car is Skoda Superb.

Czech President's Palace

St. Vitus Cathedral

The official name of the cathedral is the Cathedral of St. Vitus, Václav and Vojtěch (Katedrála svatého Víta, Václav a Vojtěcha). This huge Gothic Catholic cathedral and seat of the Archbishop of Prague. The Cathedral is considered to be a pearl of European Gothic architecture, an artistic and national historic monument of Bohemia.

Prague's St. Vitus Cathedral

Czech kings, rulers and archbishops of Prague are buried in the Cathedral, the coronation jewels of medieval Bohemia are also kept there.

The main aisle of the cathedral is 124 meters long and the Great South Tower is 96.5 meters high. On the west side rises two 82-meter neo-Gothic stone towers with a 10-meter rosette-shaped circular window between them. The three portals of the cathedral are richly decorated with sculptures, stone and bronze reliefs.

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The cathedral has an asymmetrical view, because it was founded by Charles IV in 1344, and the construction was completed in 1929, that is, almost 600 years. When you examine the building you can see how strongly intertwined the architectural styles of the cathedral: Baroque, Renaissance, Gothic, Neo-Gothic.

The interior of the cathedral is very interesting. When you enter the temple, you immediately see the central nave with ribbed mesh vaults 33.5 meters high, and the medieval part of the cathedral is decorated with beautiful stained glass windows. There are some very interesting works, such as the biblical stained glass “Creation of the World” and the stained glass created by Alphonse Mucha. Of the 22 chapels, the most interesting is St. Wenceslas Chapel, which leads to the door to the Royal Regalia of Bohemia, where you can see the crown of St. Wenceslas, which has one of the largest sapphires in the world. When touring St. Vitus Cathedral, note the altar, the tomb of St. John of Nepomuk, and the Imperial Mausoleum.

Prague Castle Stained-glass window The Creation of the World

There is a service every day at 7:00 a.m. and at 8:30 a.m. on Sundays.

When looking at the temple, you should pay attention to the details, for example these gargoyles, whose mouths drip water when it rains. This architectural solution was invented during the construction of the Cathedral of Notre Dame in Paris, and in Prague they repeated the idea.

Prague Castle gargoyles

After visiting the Cathedral you can go to the Big South Tower of St. Vitus Cathedral, which offers a great view of Prague from a height of 90 meters, but beware, you will have to walk over the 300 steps.

Big South Tower of St. Vitus Cathedral Prague

Zlatá Alley

Zlatá Alley or Zlatá Street is a picturesque little alley with tiny little houses which used to be home to alchemists, jewelers and goldsmiths. The alley was built near the powerful walls of the castle, so it was very well fortified. Interesting people lived and worked in this alley. In the years 1916-1917, the writer Franz Kafka lived and worked in this alley. In the Middle Ages, in one of the houses lived a fortuneteller and clairvoyant, who had clients from all over Europe. Nowadays there are various exhibitions telling about the Middle Ages. Tourists love this alley, because it gives them an opportunity to plunge into the past.

Prague's Golden Lane

Next to Zlatá Alley is the Toy Museum and the famous statue of a naked boy with which people love to take pictures.

Naked Boy - Statue in Prague

Prague Castle Gardens

From the north and south the Prague Castle is surrounded by gardens. On the north are the Royal Garden (Královská zahrada), on the south – the Palace Gardens below Prague Castle (Zahrady pod Pražským hradem) and Furstenberg Garden (Fürstenberká zahrada).

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The Royal Garden is 3,6 ha in area and was laid out in Renaissance style by king Ferdinand I in 1534 in the place of medieval vineyards. The garden is decorated with a fountain, sculptures and plants from all over the world. Under Rudolf II, artificial caves with mirrors and cages with animals appeared in the park. After the Turkish sultan donated tulips, new plants were brought into the park from Italy, Spain and Asia. A greenhouse, fig orchard, lion yard and garden house were erected along the perimeter. In the garden you can see Queen Anne’s Summer Palace, built in the Renaissance style.

Royal Garden in Prague

The palace gardens below Prague Castle are notable because they offer simply divine views of Prague. The garden is decorated with a fountain, sculptures of angels and a pavilion.

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Prague Castle spring flowers

Practical information and prices of visits to Prague Castle

  • Opening hours of the Prague Castle grounds: all year round, 7 days a week, 6.00 – 22.00.
  • Prague Castle facilities with admission tickets : 9.00 – 17.00 (in winter from November 1 to March 31 to 16.00).
  • Audio guide (available in Russian): 350 Kronor/3 hours or 450 Kronor/1 day.
  • Photography of interiors without flash and tripod: 500 CZK.
  • Discounted admission is available for the following with ID: Children and young people 6 to 16 years old. Students of secondary and higher full-time education up to and including 26 years of age. Pensioners from 65 years old (inclusive).
  • Family Tickets : 1 to 5 children under 16 years and 2 adults.
  • There are paid toilets throughout the castle complex, 6 in total.

Instead of self-guided tour of Prague Castle you can order a guided tour of Prague, or any other excursion, which will include a visit to the castle. Tours can be both individual and group. Links to different tours you will see in the widget after the post.

Information about inspection at the entrance to Prague Castle

After the terrorist attacks in France, several measures were taken to increase the security of Prague Castle. Now, at all entrances to the complex, police officers in the Czech Republic search all people. This means that every person must pass through an arch metal detector, having previously removed metal objects from their pockets and opened their bag or backpack for inspection.

Weapons, including cold and firearms, and dangerous objects may not be brought onto the grounds. Please note that there are no lockers at the entrance to Prague Castle, so if you have any prohibited items, you will not be able to enter the grounds.

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Hotellook – Honestly compare prices and discounts on hotels and apartments in 50 booking systems (Booking, Agoda,, etc.). Plan your trip in advance and save up to 40%!

Search for the cheapest tickets without extra charges from the reliable agencies of Aeroflot, S7, Ural Airlines, and all popular airlines worldwide.

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