A Historical Overview Of Prague Castle

Constructed in the 9th century and spanning across an area of a whopping 45 hectares, the Prague Castle complex is considered to be one of the world’s largest complexes. Adding a rustic charm to modern Prague, the castle dominates the city with its fame and allure. Once the home of Bohemian kings, it is now the official residence of the President of the Czech Republic.

Prague Castle complex is packed with a plethora of brilliant architectural marvels, including halls, palaces, churches, and gardens. According to the rich Prague Castle history, many buildings in the complex have undergone multiple renovations, though the castle still retains the prime architectural designs of the bygone times. The castle leaves visitors spellbound with its beautiful combination of Gothic, Renaissance, and Baroque-style architectural elements.

As per Prague Castle facts, the first walled building to be established in the castle complex was the Church of the Virgin Mary. This was followed by other important buildings, with most of them being constructed between the 10th and 16th centuries. The other significant churches in the complex include St. George’s Basilica and St. Vitus Cathedral. The complex is also packed with majestic palaces with the oldest being the Old Royal Palace. A plethora of lush gardens adorn the castle complex, with the Italian Renaissance-style Royal Garden of Prague Castle being the most beautiful and popular.

History Of Prague Castle

The Prague Castle history dates back to the 9th century, when its foundation was laid by Prince Bořivoj. The castle further evolved from the 10th to the 16th, after which it faced 30 years of war. The 17th century marked the reconstruction of the castle in the Baroque era. In 1918, the castle became the seat of the President of Czechoslovakia and was recognised as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1992.

History Of Prague Castle
  • 9th century: The foundation of Prague Castle's foundations were laid by Prince Bořivoj on the top of a hill. 
  • 10th century: During the 10th century, the castle became the residence of Bohemian rulers. The first stone building, the Church of the Virgin Mary, was constructed, and the Castle 
  • 14th century: The 14th century, known as the golden era, marked another major change in Prague Castle history with its transformation into a Gothic residence. The Old Royal Palace and the St. Vitus Cathedral were constructed.
  • 16th Century: It was in the 16th century when Prague Castle emerged as the centre of political power, under the Habsburg dynasty. The 16th century also saw the incident which led to 30 years of war in Europe.
  • 17th century: The castle was reconstructed under the reign of Emperor Ferdinand II.The Royal Garden and the Schwarzenberg Palace were added to the castle complex.
  • 1918: Prague Castle became the seat of the President of Czechoslovakia. 
  • 1992: The Prague Castle was recognised as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

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Historical Buildings Of Prague Castle

St. Vitus Cathedral
St. Vitus Cathedral

St. Vitus Cathedral, the largest as well as the most important temple in Prague, has a major significance in the history of Prague Castle. The cathedral was established about 600 years ago and has treasures belonging to the 14th century. The cathedral served as the venue for the coronations of Czech kings and queens and also had religious services. The place also was the burial ground for many noblemen, archbishops, patron saints and sovereigns and also houses the tomb of St John of Nepomuk and St Vitus. Visitors exploring the place will be delighted to see the carved wooden doors and stained glass windows by famous 20th-century Czech artists.

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The Golden Lane
The Golden Lane

The Golden Lane in Prague Castle, a flamboyant street, is a major part of Prague Castle history. The lane originated after the construction of the new northern wall of the Castle in the 16th century. The area was a postcard-perfect street, with old, colourful houses on either of its sides. These modest dwellings were occupied by the goldsmiths and castle guards and gave a glimpse of the small-scale architecture of Prague Castle. Then, in the 19th century, many of the houses were demolished and after the Second World War, the houses remaining were renovated and a few of them were converted into shops.

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Old Royal Palace
Old Royal Palace

The Old Royal Palace has a special place in the history of Prague Castle for being one of the oldest structures present in the Prague Castle complex. This palace was established in 1135 as the residence of the Czech princesses. Later, in the 13th century, the palace became the personal palace of the Czech king and remained so till the 16th century. While exploring the old castle, visitors must look out for its prime attraction, the majestic Vladislav Hall, located in the heart of the palace. The hall has gained its prominence due to its spectacular Gothic architecture and its unique vaulted ceiling.

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St. George’s Basilica
St. George’s Basilica

St. George's Basilica originated as the second church at Prague Castle and dates back to the 10th century. The place was established by Prince Vratislav I in 920 AD to shelter the tombs of the princes belonging to the Premyslid dynasty. Since its inception, the basilica has been renovated several times and was enlarged and reconstructed in 973 when the convent of Benedictine nuns was founded. Currently, the church stands as an important part of Prague Castle history and is presently used by the state to host many important cultural events and concerts. While visiting the place, visitors will feel mesmerised looking at the Baroque, Bohemian and Romanesque styles of architectural elements. 

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Great Southern Tower of the Cathedral
Great Southern Tower of the Cathedral

The Great South Tower of St. Vitus Cathedral is a 100 metre tall church tower whose construction started in the 14th century and was completed in the 19th century. Visitors can climb its 290 steps to reach the top of the tower, from where they can enjoy a breathtaking panoramic view of the Prague Castle complex. The top of the tower also has 7 bells, including Zikmund, Czech’s largest known bell. Apart from this, while on top, the visitors can also get a glimpse of the clockwork of the 16th century from the South Tower in Prague Castle.

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The Picture Gallery at Prague Castle
The Picture Gallery at Prague Castle

Visitors interested to learn more about the Prague Castle history and heritage must pay a visit to the Picture Gallery of the Prague Castle, located inside the castle. They will be able to take a look at the permanent exhibition where more than 4000 top-quality pictures are on display. They will also be able to witness hidden treasures from the 16th century, which have been a part of the famous collections which once belonged to Emperor Rudolf II. Apart from this, the gallery also has jewels from workshops across the world such as German, Dutch, Flemish and other art masters.

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Book Prague Castle Tickets

Prague Castle: Skip The Line Tickets
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  • Marvel at the majestic architecture of Prague Castle, a stunning ensemble of Gothic, Renaissance, and Baroque styles 

  • Admire the awe-inspiring Crown Jewels of the Czech Republic, housed in the Royal Treasury of Prague Castle

  • Explore the magnificent St. Vitus Cathedral and admire its amazing architecture including intricate stained glass windows, towering spires & chapels

  • Book Prague Castle tickets and explore 9th century built castle spread over 750,000 square feet of area

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Must Know Before You Go
  • Children must be accompanied by an adult.
  • Any personal expenses or items of personal nature will not be included in the package.
  • Any breakage or damage of any items will be charged at actuals.
  • All foreign nationals must share their passport and visa details at the time of arrival.
  • You can start your visit at any of the buildings included: Old Royal Palace, St. Vitus Cathedral, St. George's Basilica, or Golden Lane.
  • ID proof is mandatory for each individual guest at the time of arrival.
  • Please note that the time slots may be subject to slight variations, and we will allocate a time slot available within a 30-minute window before or after your initial selection.
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Book Prague Castle Tour with Local Guide

Small-Group Tour in English with Local Guide
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  • Visit the amazing beauty of famous historical places in Prague and admire the fragrance of 12th-century 

  • Grab the opportunity of knowing the glorified history of Prague and take the pleasure of undergoing a delightful walking session

  • Explore the historical destinations of the city such as Prague Castle, Golden Lane, Old Royal Palace, and many more

  • Observe the lifestyle and living habits of the local inhabitants of Prague with your family and friends

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Must Know Before You Go
  • Children of age 5 and younger do not require a ticket.
  • Individuals between the age of 6-15 will be charged as per child price basis.
  • Individuals between the ages of 16-64 will be charged as adults.
  • Individuals of age 65 and older will be charged as senior.
  • It is recommended to wear comfortable shoes in this trip.
  • Please be aware that certain areas of the castle may be off-limits to tourists during state visits.
  • ID proof is mandatory for each individual guest at the time of arrival. PAN card will not be considered as a valid address proof.
  • All foreign nationals must share their passport and visa details at the time of booking, and also upon arrival.
  • Children must be accompanied by an adult.
  • Within 24 hours, you will receive confirmation of your reservation.
  • Timings must be strictly followed, as the activity is time constraint.
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What is the history of Prague Castle?

    Prague Castle history will tell us about how this magnificent place, considered to be one of the world’s largest complexes, was built in the 9th century. Covering an area of 45 hectares, the castle evolved from a simple fortification into a seat of power in the 10th century and was further evolved in the 14th century. While the beginning of the 16th century marked the rise of the castle into a centre of political power, the year 1618 saw the beginning of the castle being damaged due to the thirty-year-long battle. The castle was reconstructed again in the Baroque era of the 17th century and it’s former glory was returned. Finally, in 1918, the castle became the seat of the President of Czechoslovakia and then in 1992, it was recognised as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

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