Results 1-9of 9 Reviews
by Wildcat Dianne
October 9, 2007
Like the Castle, St. Vitus Cathedral has a long and storied history dating from its consecration in 925. The cathedral's name, St. Vitus was given by Duke Wenceslaus I because he had acquired the arm of St. Vitus, which is a holy relic. The original church was a small Romanesque church that handled the needs of the small Christian community in Prague.
In 1060, as the Catholic community of Prague increased, Prince Spythinev II decided it was time to build and even bigger church for his community. A bigger Romanesque basilica was built but not completed. St. Wenceslas's, the patron saint of Bohemian princes, tomb was at St. Vitus Cathedral and this was another reason to expand the cathedral.
The present-day Gothic Cathedral that you see when you visit St. Vitus Cathedral was completed on 21 November 1344 when Prague became and archbishopric, and the Holy Roman Emperor, Charles IV wanted St. Vitus to become a coronation church along with final resting place for Bohemian royalty. The extensive construction of the triple-naved bascilicas and flying butresses took hundreds of years to construct, and Charles IV only lived to see the Eastern part of the cathedral completed.
In the 18th Century after 400 years of construction (and you thought your house building took forever), due to not having that Black and Decker saw and lack of money to carry on the work, the cathedral was strated again, and the Baroque southern spire and great organ were completed. By the time the St. Wenceslas Jubilee came around in 1929, construction of St. Vitus Cathedral was complete after almost 600 years of delays and hard work. What you see today at St. Vitus is mostly the work done by Peter Parler and his sons in the late 14th and 15th centuries.
Jaro, Maria, Ivan, and I spent about an hour touring St. Vitus Cathedral's interior. It has a massive triple nave main hall complete with a gorgeous altar and several stained glass windows that date from the 18th-20th Centuries. The most known window is The Mucha Window by Alfons Mucha completed in the late-19th Century. The Rose Window over the main portal was completed by Frantisek Kysela from 1925-1927.
I am not religious and as a jack Catholic, I was impressed by this beautiful cathedral and felt a little spiritual touring St. Vitus, and I believe that you will feel that way, too.
St. Vitus Cathedral is open to the public daily and masses are held every Sunday, so don't tour the place during masses. The price to tour the Cathedral is included in the Castle tour, and it is well worth your time to check it out!
From journal Golden Prague
Townsville, Queensland, Australia
July 14, 2006
From journal Enjoying Prague Castle and Environs
November 30, 2002
It is IMPORTANT to realize you can revisit the Castle area and your admission is good for three days EXCEPT for St. Vitus mausoleum, choir, and tower, the Royal Palace, the Basilica of St. George, and the Powder Tower, all of which can be visited only once with the Prague Card. However, only St. Vitus charges admission, which, at 120 koruny in high season, or 60 koruny in low, amounts to less than $4.00 0r $2.00 respectively. The above stipulations as outlined in the Prague Card booklet make it "clear", I think, that puzzling contradictions in policy still prevail as the Czechs strive to accommodate Western tourism standards.
Following the path of least resistance, we just followed the crowd to St. Vitus Cathedral. The first surprise that hit the eyes was the ebony exterior. We shouldn’t have been that surprised except that none of the photos we had seen in guidebooks showed St. Vitus as it is, a victim of neglect under Communist rule paralleled in our previous experience by a visit to Magdeburg, Germany in 1992, where we saw a worse example, the once-magnificent Magdeburg Cathedral, also black outside but also, unlike St. Vitus, stripped in its interior, a ghastly, denuded remnant of glory. Here, as elsewhere in Prague, at the back of the Cathedral, excavation was going on.
In the Cathedral interior, it is very dark in the areas not adorned with stained glass windows. Several photos we took were so dark we could not recognize later where they were taken. But, the Wenceslas altar in all its golden and bejeweled glory is certainly stunning. Also memorable was our visit to the crypt where Charles IV and the Hapsburg Rudolf II, the monarchs during Prague’s two "golden " ages, are buried. I noted that the great Charles had acquired four wives buried here all in one sarcophagus! The musty air conveyed to the senses that indeed St. Vitus and the castle complex is nine hundred years plus old, though not as old as Vysehrad, we were to discover. The last reconstruction of the Cathedral did not end till 1929, so what visitors see is the accretion of centuries that makes Prague such a delight.
From journal So, You want to go to Prague?
July 12, 2005
Visitors enter the cathedral through the portal in the western facade, opposite the passageway between the Second and Third Courtyards of Prague Castle.
Its bronze door is decorated with reliefs with scenes from the history of the cathedral and from the legends about St. Wenceslas and St. Adalbert.
The neo-Gothic part of the cathedral consists of the main nave and the narrow side aisles, lined with chapels, and the northern wing of the transverse nave. The cathedral is probably on the must-see list of every visitor to Prague. You can rent a radio guide that tells you all about the things you are seeing. This is very interesting, but incredibly detailed - in the end, we preferred to use our guidebook for snippets of information and just absorb the surroundings. Also, the guide is time-limited, so you may find yourself racing across the castle grounds to return it before the deadline!
From journal A city that never ceases to amaze
Cinnaminson, New Jersey
March 13, 2005
Prague cathedral shares a large square with the Old Royal Palace inside the Prazsky hrad (Prague castle). So here is a beautiful gothic cathedral with a myriad of towers rising high and a large pink-colored but not very impressive royal palace.
The large, bright cathedral is in Gothic style, and all of the chapels of the first floor are covered with amazingly bright stained glass, all of which looks modern. The most impressive stained glass in one of the chapels is Art Nouveau St Cyril and St Methodius by Alfons Mucha. Above the entrance there is a very large neo-Gothic rose window you can’t really see from inside with light coming through it – you can go blind by just looking at it. The north transept is occupied by a huge two-story organ in glorious baroque style. The south transept has beautiful stained glass that covers half the wall. The altar and the choir cover a large portion of the cathedral in the back. There are beautiful chapels surrounding the altar with frescoed walls, gilded gates, older stained glass, and the crypt. St Vitus was a Roman soldier who was a secret Christian, and he was killed by his own parents. King Wenceslas devoted the cathedral to him. King George ordered a large, beautiful tomb for his wife, which is in front of the altar. Above the altar you can see a beautiful stained-glass image of an apparition of Christ. Arches around the choir have royal coats of arms.
The west facade is beautiful from the outside as well, still dominated by the rose window. Two Gothic towers on each side form a three-gate entrance (the left tower is covered in scaffolding). The stained glass of the south transept is covered with gilded ornaments. The gate facing the Royal Palace (called Golden Portal because of the large gilded cage on one of the windows) used to be the main entrance until the 19th century.
From journal Travels in Czech Republic - Prague, Part II
by Gwilym Owen
July 29, 2006
Built in 1344 by Charles IV on the site of the original Rotunda of St Vitus, erected by St Wenceslas in 925, the cathedral was finally completed in the early 20th century.
It is a huge Neo-Gothic masterpiece spanning a thousand years of history and absolutely crammed with religious artifacts, works of art and items of historical significance.
Probably the main sight within the cathedral is the sumptuously decorated Chapel of St Wenceslas, containing his bejewelled tomb.
Other major sights include:
The remarkable chancel built by Peter Parler (he of Charles Bridge fame).
A carved wooden panel showing the city of Prague in intricate detail, called 'Flight of Frederick of the Palatine' - my favourite because I love staring at maps for hours on end.
Tomb of St John Nepomuk (pictured below), made from solid silver and honouring the man who ended up murdered and thrown into the Vltava River for his troubles!
The Crypt where Charles IV and his wives are buried.
Also there are many brilliant stained glass windows including one by Alfons Mucha, the King of Art Nouveau - somewhat unaccountably I missed this because I didn't realise it was there...!
No matter - I shall see it next time I'm in Prague! ;-)
From journal Back in Time in Prague. . .
September 8, 2003
From journal Prague Nightlife
September 5, 2005
From journal Prague, Czech Republic
by Krys T
Somerset, United Kingdom
April 13, 2005
From journal Prague to Perfection