A trip to Prague is incomplete without a visit to the St. Vitus Cathedral. This is one of the major landmarks of the city. Situated in the sprawling Prague Castle complex, this is one of the most imposing buildings within the complex.
The cathedral is famous for its gothic architecture. However, the more recently constructed parts display other architectural styles from a later era. Before the cathedral was constructed the site was home to a roman building. The cathedral, the oldest parts of which are more than 10 centuries old, is known for its massive size and imposing effect on the city skyline.
Another interesting fact is that the cathedral took many years to be constructed. 10 centuries, to be exact. This because new wings were constantly being added, the décor was being upgraded, and repairs being carried out. The cathedral’s first stage of construction was completed in the 14th century by King Charles IV.
The cathedral also offers an exhibit dedicated to display of its treasures, collected over the centuries. The rich jewels and other expensive items are protected behind locked displays, but they offer a peek into the wealth of the cathedral when it was considered the seat of the country’s spiritual center. In addition to jewels gifted to the cathedral, notable items on display include coronation items, marvelous in their jeweled beauty.
The bell tower offers two notable features. First, the large bell, the biggest in the country. Known as the Zikmund, the bell was added at a later date, around 250 years after the first stage of construction was over. Another notable feature is the view it offers to visitors who take the trouble to climb to the top. The bell tower offers access to the top by way of almost 300 steps and anyone willing to make the climb will find lovely views of the surroundings awaiting them.
St. Wenceslas Chapel
Added to the original structure at a later date, this church features some beautiful works of art. The frescoes are notable for their beauty and skilled workmanship. Another notable feature Is the use of expensive stones in the creation of the frescoes.
St. Vitus Cathedral has seen much of the important events from the country’s history. Rulers have been coronated here. Saints lie buried on its grounds. This is a place steeped in history, mystery, and the ancient past. For visitors, a trip to the cathedral is like a trip back in time.
Places of interest nearby
Since the cathedral lies within the Prague Castle complex you can spend your free time visiting the other attractions within the castle. This is the largest castle complex in the world so there are plenty of things to see here. Some sections within the complex date back to the 9th century, but they are underground structures. Another attraction is the Golden Street, originally meant to house castle staff, soldiers and merchants. At a later date it was home to celebrities such as Franz Kafka.
You can reach St. Vitus Cathedral by metro line A, if you disembark at Malostranska. From there you have the option of taking the tram or partly walking through the estates surrounding the castle.