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

4.7/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Suraj Choudhary (14 months ago)
.Good place to be warm and pass the time if the bus is delayed or canceled. Visit the supermarket and get something to drink or eat, even shop a bit from one of their many outlets. But it's always crowded, if you're like me and not like crowded places, avoid going on weekends especially in the evenings Good place to be warm and pass the time if the bus is delayed or canceled. Visit the supermarket and get something to drink or eat, even shop a bit from one of their many outlets. But it's always crowded, if you're like me and not like crowded places, avoid going on weekends especially in the evenings
Iain Gilmour (14 months ago)
A lovely building with very interesting stained glass and tombs. The experience was marred by the one-way traffic system they impose on visitors and the rather unpleasant staff who continually badger you whenever you try and retrace your steps to have another look at something. Although a religious building it had a slightly "spiritually empty" feel to it, possibly a reflection on the way it is now being used. Like so many things in Prague it could be so much better if the people were a little more engaging.
minal deshmukh-kekatpure (15 months ago)
Built in 1929, the St Vitus cathedral is dedicated to Saint Vitus known to cure people with abnormalities in walking ( gait) and is a stunning example of Gothic architecture in Prague. It houses many tombs of prominent Bohemian nobility and holy romans. Inside the cathedral are beautiful windows and archways with lovely glass artwork. One of the tombs has the remains of St Vitus as well as the national treasure of Czech Republic. Overall not to be missed , a must visit place at Prague.
baha koltan (15 months ago)
Incredible Gothic details... I love it. Windows, colors, arches, shadows, towers... What a pleasure to see them. You can take awesome photos from down of cathedral. You can enter until 6 pm. And don't forget to get a bottle of water or a sandwich. It's really expensive up there.
Sharon Harwood (2 years ago)
Stunning architecture reminds me of the 'unfinished cathedral ' in Barcelona. The approach is impressive across a long bridge towards sentries dressed in traditional costume (a tourist trapping camera opportunity) the grounds are lovely. We ventured into a coffee shop but our timing was very wrong as a huge party of German tourists were mid lunch. We were able to sit but the service was clearly affected by the volume of people. When we got our coffee we were not offered a menu and the delivery of the coffee gave us no chance to obtain it either... coffee was great and the food looked lovely... we continued exploring and there was a small Xmas market being held in the grounds.... well worth a visit but in colder months dress warm it's cold up on them hills .
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