St. Vitus Cathedral

Prague, Czech Republic

The Metropolitan Cathedral of Saints Vitus, Wenceslaus and Adalbert is the seat of the Archbishop of Prague. Up to 1997, the cathedral was dedicated only to Saint Vitus, and is still commonly named only as St. Vitus Cathedral.

This cathedral is an excellent example of Gothic architecture and is the biggest and most important church in Czech Republic. Located within Prague Castle and containing the tombs of many Bohemian kings and Holy Roman Emperors, the cathedral is under the ownership of the Czech government as part of the Prague Castle complex.

The cathedral was commissioned by Charles IV, and construction began in 1344 on the site of an earlier 10th century rotunda. Its first builders, Matthias of Arras and later Peter Parler, built the chancel with a ring of chapels - St. Wenceslas Chapel, the Golden Portal and the lower section of the main steeple.

However, it took almost six centuries to complete, with the final phase of construction in the period 1873-1929. As well as being the largest and most important temple in Prague, St. Vitus Cathedral has also overseen the coronation of Czech kings and queens. In the chancel of the cathedral, in front of the high alter, is the royal mausoleum. Below this, in the crypt, there are the royal tombs. Czech kings and queens, and patron saints of the country are interred here.

The Great South Tower of the Cathedral was founded in the late 14th century, then reconstructed in the 16th and again in the 18th centuries. The tower holds the biggest bell in the Czech Republic, called Žikmund, which dates from the 16th century. Visitors can climb the tower. It has 287 steps and is more than 90 metres high. The views from the stop are worth the effort.

St. Wenceslas Chapel is decorated with frescoes and semi-precious stones. And a door in the south-western corner of the chapel leads to the Crown Chamber in which the Bohemian Coronation Jewels are stored.

It is free for visitors to enter the first part of St. Vitus Cathedral. A ticket must be purchased to visit the whole cathedral.

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Details

Founded: 1344
Category: Religious sites in Czech Republic

Rating

4.8/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Radko Centrum of Culture and Entertainment (2 years ago)
St. Vitus Cathedral is in my opinion one of the most gorgeous Cathedral around the world. Hardly to find a word to describe the impression I always have when enter into this Cathedral which is huge inside and that you can walk half hour there or spend an hour there. This means I recommend to purchase ticket get in. Not only visit the Cathedral from the entry hall of the Cathedral, but take a walk and gain most of this beautiful Cathedral which is also nice to see outside. This Cathedral is large and siting in the Prague Castle Court rooms, and because the size of Cathedral is cross all patios of the Prague Castle. Particularly from courtroom three (patio 3) is nice view same as from the High from the Great south tower.
Dennis van Bommel (3 years ago)
What an amazing cathedral! The view from up the hill over the city of Prague is superb! The cathedral is well maintained and the offer of tours is more then plenty. The inside of the cathedral looks amazing! I absolutely love these structures. To bad you can not walk around the whole sub level of the cathedral without buying an extra ticket for that. The square next to the cathedral, offers some nice spots to take a rest and enjoy the ambiance of the place. Definitely worth the walk up there from the old town city center.
Euge A. (3 years ago)
It's huge and very nice! Entrance is free, but only to a small part of the cathedral, if you want to go further, you have to buy a ticket. Good thing that you can take a picture of the whole church from the free place. Magnificent
Heather Jensen (3 years ago)
Beautiful doesn't even begin to cover it! You can go into the cathedral without a ticket and see the front portion. You will be able to see the back from far away but it is 100% worth paying to see it all up close. Even my 5 year old was amazed and respectful the whole time we spent in the cathedral. IT IS A MUST SEE!!
Nancy Dhawan (3 years ago)
St. Vitus Cathedral is one of the many buildings contained within the Prague Castle Complex. It is a spiritual symbol of the Czech state. At night particularly, it gave me the chill in my body and nearly looks like a haunted place to me when the bell rang as you can watch in the video. The architecture of St. Vitus is incredibly noteworthy, the stained glass window fill the walls of the church are one of the most prominent aspects of the cathedral.
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