St. Vitus Cathedral | All You Need To Know
The magnificent St. Vitus Cathedral was founded in 1344 on the site of the original Romanesque rotunda. This Gothic cathedral is a spiritual symbol of the Czech state that took nearly 600 years to finish being constructed. It was completed only in 1929 and is a vital part of the history of Prague Castle. Its grand interiors boast a range of wonders including the the beautifully decorated St Wenceslas Chapel with the tomb of St Wenceslas, the crypt where many Czech kings are buried, and the Crown Chamber, home to the crown jewels. Your access to the St. Vitus Cathedral is included with your admission tickets to Prague Castle.
Why Visit St. Vitus Cathedral?
There's much to admire in the royal St. Vitus Cathedral especially the beautiful stained glass windows. Look out for the one by famous Czech painter Alfons Mucha located in the third chapel on the left-hand side. The interior of the cathedral is home to wonders such as the stunningly decorated St Wenceslas Chapel with the tomb of St Wenceslas, the crypt where Czech kings are buried, and the Crown Chamber, where the Crown Jewels are kept. St. Vitus Cathedral also contains the silver sarcophagus of St. John of Nepomuk which is the heaviest of its kind in the Czech Republic! At the center of the cathedral you will also to view eight heavily gilded statues of Czech patron saints in the middle.
History Of St. Vitus Cathedral
The construction of St. Vitus Cathedral started during the reign of Charles IV. While growing up in France, Charles was surrounded by French cathedrals and later decided to build one for his hometown of Prague. Mathew of Arras and Peter Parler were the two architects who worked on the construction of St. Vitus Cathedral in Prague Castle under his rule. Matthias of Arras and then Peter Parler, built many parts of the cathedral including the chancel with a ring of chapels, St. Wenceslas Chapel, the Golden Gate and the lower part of the Great South Tower.
Construction had to be stopped when a new king, Charles's son Wenceslas IV, came to power. When the Hussite War broke out in 1419, St. Vitus Cathedral stood unfinished for almost 600 years! In the 16th century, a Renaissance view gallery and a helmet was added which was later replaced in the 18th century by a new dome. Only in the latter half of the 19th century was the construction complete in a Neo-Gothic style. The church was solemnly consecrated in 1929 and adaptations continued to take place even in later years. It continues to remain as one of the important ecclesiastical buildings in the Czech Republic.
Know Before You Go
During the summer tourist season from (April 1 till October 31) the timings are:
Monday - Saturday: 09 AM – 05 PM;
Sunday: 12 PM - 05 PM
During the winter tourist season from ((November 1 till March 31) the timings are:
Monday - Saturday: 09 AM – 04 PM
Sunday: 12 PM - 04 PM
Golden Lane in Prague is located within Prague Castle.
Address: Hradčany, 119 08 Prague 1, Czechia
By Tram: No 22 & 23. The nearest station is Pražský hrad, from which the 2nd Courtyard of the Prague Castle is a 5 min walk.
Alternate Tram Route: No 22 & 23. Get down at Pohořelec instead of Pražský hrad and enjoy a scenic 10 minute down the hill walk to the Castle via Courtyard IV.
By Metro: Line A (Green). Nearest station Malostranská, which is a 7 minute 500m walk to the Castle.
- Walk around the magnificent St. Vitus Cathedral admiring the Gothic architecture and design.
- Visit the St Wenceslas Chapel with the tomb of St Wenceslas and the Crown Chamber, where the Crown Jewels are kept within the cathedral.
St. Vitus Cathedral Highlights
- St. Wenceslas Chapel is the center of St. Vitus Cathedral and is known for its grandeur. It is home to the tomb of the most important Czech patron saint - St. Wenceslas. The walls boast a range of precious stones and the paintings of the Passion Cycle which are both parts of the original decoration of the cathedral from the 14th century.
- Enter the Crown Chamber from he door in the south-western corner of the chapel. Here you will get a chance to look at the Bohemian Coronation Jewels.
- The Royal tomb of Bohemian kings is another highlight but it is presently closed due to technical reasons.
St. Vitus Cathedral Facts
- The St. Vitus Cathedral in Prague castle is one of the most important buildings in the Czech republic and former Bohemian kingdom.
- The Gargoyles of St. Vitus Cathedral were actually created by multiple sculptors. Due to this, you won’t find two similar ones on the facade.
- Even before it was completely built, St. Vitus Cathedral in Prague regularly held masses, funerals, and coronations.
- The most difficult thing to construct in the St. Vitus Cathedral was the vaulting system. However, its construction was not documented in the middle ages.
All Your Questions About St. Vitus Cathedral Answered
A.Yes, your Prague Castle tickets provide access to the St. Vitus Cathedral and other important structures.
A.The construction of St. Vitus Cathedral started during the reign of Charles IV by Mathew of Arras and Peter Parler
A: Czech patron saint - St. Wenceslas is buried at St. Wenceslas Chapel.
A: St. Vitus Cathedral was used for religious services and coronations of Czech kings and queens. It is also a place of burial of several patron saints, sovereigns, noblemen and archbishops.
A: You can enter the Cathedral through the portal in the western façade. This is opposite the passage-way between the Second and Third Courtyard of Prague Castle.
A: You can reach Prague Castle and the St. Vitus Cathedral within it by trams no. 22 and 23 from metro station Malostranska (stop Prazsky hrad) or from metro station Malostranska by Old Royal Steps.
A: Yes, Prague Castle follows all COVID-19 regulations.
A: You need a minimum of 2-3 hours to tour Prague Castle and see all its sights.