Prague Castle : Official Seat of Power of Bohemian Kings & Czech Republic President
With its origin dating back to the early days of 870, the royal Prague Castle has been an integral part of Prague’s history and stood the test of time with the help of renovation, expansion, and repair works. Explore this page to read some interesting facts about Prague Castle, its history, and the reasons behind its popularity.
What Is Prague Castle?
Prague Castle is considered the largest coherent castle complex and is lauded as a monument of cultural and historical importance. The castle includes various historic buildings, palaces, gardens, courtyards, and churches. Here are a few reasons why a visit to Prague Castle must be on your Prague itinerary:
- Rich History: Gain a deeper understanding of Prague's past. This fortress has witnessed the rise and fall of empires, struggles and triumphs of nations, and has stood as a symbol of Czech identity.
- Architectural Marvels: Experience the architectural splendor of Prague Castle. The attention to detail, the intricate designs, and the sheer scale of the structures are incredible.
- Majestic Atmosphere: The atmosphere within the castle walls has a sense of timelessness and serenity that envelops you as you wander through its corridors and courtyards.
Quick Facts about Prague Castle
Things To See At Prague Castle
Prague Castle Churches
The Basilica of St. George and St. Vitus Cathedral are the two most prominent churches of Prague Castle. The former is one of the oldest churches in the Czech Republic and boasts a Romanesque architecture style with baroque elements, while the St. Vitus Cathedral is a magnificent Gothic masterpiece. Its architectural grandeur is of great pride to the country. All Saints Church and Holy Cross Chapel are other churches in the complex that are not as grand but are plenty charming.
Prague Castle Halls
The Spanish and Vladislav Halls are the most notable among the 5 halls at Prague Castle. The Spanish Hall is a beautiful stateroom embellished with stucco decorations and Baroque ornamentation. It was built in the 17th century for Emperor Rudolph II and held important sculptures. Today, the hall is a place of many gala dinners and important political events. Similarly, Vladislav Hall is reserved for large public events like coronations and banquets since it boasts the most floor space of all.
Prague Castle Palaces
The Old Royal Palace is one of the most popular palaces of Prague Castle. It was built in Romanesque stonework in the 12th century and showcases late Gothic architectural features. The most important representative hall, the Vladislav Hall, is part of this palace. It was also the place where kings and queens used to reside. Nearby, in the Royal Garden, is Queen Anna’s Summer Palace, also called Summer Palace or Belvedere, which is built in the Renaissance architectural style and is a must-see spot.
Prague Castle Gardens
The Royal Garden of Prague Castle is the most serene location within the castle premises, with beautiful lawns and flower beds. It was originally an old vineyard that was purchased and transformed into a garden for the royal court. The garden is built in an Italian Renaissance style and is known for its rare botanical specimens and exotic plants sourced from foreign lands. Other Prague Castle gardens include the Riding School Terrace Garden, The Deer Moat, and South Gardens.
Take a stroll down the enchanting Golden Lane to be transported back in time to a whimsical medieval village. Step inside the tiny houses turned museums and workshops to see how artisans and craftsmen once lived and worked. If you're a literature fanatic, do not miss out on visiting building #22 - it was the home of Franz Kafka's sister, where the author wrote for a while.
The Daliborka Tower offers a fascinating glimpse into the castle's history. Once used as a prison, the tower has witnessed tales of courage, defiance, and intrigue. Imagine the lives of those who were once confined here as you wander through its chambers. Admire the medieval architecture and soak in the atmosphere of the past.
The Great South Tower
Don't miss the opportunity to climb the Great South Tower of Prague Castle. As you ascend the spiral staircase, each step brings you closer to a mesmerizing panorama of the city. See sweeping views of Prague's iconic landmarks, including the Charles Bridge, Old Town Square, and the red rooftops that stretch as far as the eye can see.
The Story of Prague Castle Exhibition
This permanent exhibition takes you on a journey through time, revealing the secrets, legends, and significant events that have shaped the castle's heritage. Engaging multimedia presentations and interactive elements bring history to life, ensuring an educational and entertaining experience for visitors of all ages.
Prague Castle History
Prague Castle Origin
Prague Castle was founded in the late 9th century during the reign of Prince Bořivoj, the first Christian prince of Bohemia. The exact date of its origin is uncertain, but it is believed to have been around the year 880. The first walled building at the castle complex was the Church of the Virgin Mary, although only its ruins remain today.
Prague Castle Through Time
Over the centuries, several structures were added to the Prague Castle complex. St. George's Basilica and St. Vitus Cathedral are two prominent buildings that were built within the castle grounds. The castle also experienced periods of abandonment, particularly during the 14th and 15th centuries, and suffered a major fire in the 16th century.
Prague Castle Renovations
The Prague Castle underwent significant renovations in 1848 following the Bohemian Revolt. It became the seat of the President of the Czech Republic in 1918, and the renovations were completed in 1929. Since then, ongoing reconstruction and alterations have been carried out to preserve the historical significance and grandeur of the castle.
The Architecture of Prague Castle
Prague Castle stands as a symbol of grandeur and architectural brilliance. Its construction began in the 9th century, making it one of the oldest castles in the world. Over the years, various architectural styles have shaped its magnificent facade, resulting in a harmonious blend of Romanesque, Gothic, Renaissance, and Baroque elements.
Its soaring towers, intricate facades, and grand courtyards are testaments to the craftsmanship and creative vision of the architects who shaped its destiny. With time, the castle has undergone extensive renovations, reflecting the prevailing styles of each era.
Plan Your Visit to Prague Castle
Buy Prague Castle Tickets
Frequently Asked Questions About Prague Castle
Prague Castle is a historic fortress complex located in Prague, Czech Republic. It is not only one of the largest castles in the world but also a significant cultural and historical landmark in the city.
Prague Castle has been the official seat of the president of the Czech Republic since its foundation in the 880s. It is still used as the official residence of the Czech Republic President. It also holds several historical buildings with beautiful architectural works.
According to the Guinness Book of World Records, Prague Castle has an area of almost 70,000 square meters.
Yes., you can buy Prague Castle tickets online.
- St. Vitus Cathedral
- The Old Royal Palace
- The Basilica of St. George
- Golden Lane
St. Vitus Cathedral is also called the Prague Castle Church.
St. Vitus Cathedral, At George's Basilica, All Saints Church, and Holy Cross Chapel are the four churches in Prague Castle.
The president of the Czech Republic currently resides in Prague Castle and uses it as his official residence
It takes at least 3-4 hours to fully enjoy and explore Prague Castle. If you start in the morning you will be done by lunchtime.
Yes, guided tours are available at Prague Castle. They offer a more in-depth experience and provide fascinating insights into the castle's history, architecture, and notable landmarks. It's a great way to enhance your visit and discover hidden gems.
Photography is generally allowed in most areas of Prague Castle, including its courtyards and gardens. However, some specific sites, such as certain exhibitions or displays, may have restrictions. It's always a good idea to check beforehand.
There is no strict dress code for visiting Prague Castle. However, it is advisable to dress comfortably and respectfully, considering it is a cultural and historical site. Wear appropriate footwear, as there might be some walking involved.
Prague Castle strives to be accessible to all visitors. While some areas may have limitations due to historical architecture, there are accessible entrances, ramps, and elevators available.