Vysehrad


Member Rating 4 out of 5 by travelprone on March 31, 2002

In the off-season, in mid-October, many of the leaves of trees had already fallen, but the grass was still very green and lush in contrast to the sparseness on the trees. You were free to roam around and poke into things with nary a guard in sight, though we did see laborers working on various reconstruction and maintenance projects throughout the park. According to myth this is where the first dynasty of Czech monarchy established itself - the Premysl.

Statues in the park of the first princess Libuse and her Premysl spouse lend a romantic air to the place. Under the astounding Charles IV the coronation ritual of the monarch's beginning here and going in procession to the "new Castle" was established, underlining the link between Prague's early settlement and the later development of the castle on the hill to the north. During the religious wars, old Vysehrad was obliterated and the area lay in ruins until a late 19th century revival of interest in it as a nationalist symbol.

There were quite a few people there when we were, but the park is so spacious you didn't feel crowded in on. Most of the visitors were found in the church and the cemetery and seemed equally divided between Czechs and tourists. It's relatively easy to get to from the Pavlova metro station to Vysehrad metro station, a short ride, and then a 30 minute stroll to the park entrance in a middle-class residential area dotted with a few discreet B&B's with window signs.

At the Vysehrad station we could see just to the east of us the stark towering mass of the Corinthian Towers, a Libyan-owned hotel that all the guidebooks warn Americans to avoid. At the station itself is a large Congress Hall, a convention center, very glassy and modern in design, quite a contrast to the Vysehrad Park itself.
This is an area that one should read about before visiting because it is not yet a "touristy" sight. We felt you could picnic there very comfortably and it was a boon for our son who had "overwalked" his first day in Prague and had hurt his leg muscles. Prague has that effect on people; so many want to see it that they tend to overdo it and lose out, missing some of Prague's subtler charms.

Vysehrad Castle
Sobeslavova, 1
Prague, Czech Republic, 128 00
+420 (2) 2492 0735

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