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 historical 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.
The largest and most important church in the city, St. Vitus Cathedral has a great significance in Prague Castle history. Established around 600 years ago, this church houses treasures that date back to the 14th century.
In 1344, Emperor Charles IV laid the foundation stone of the St. Vitus Cathedral and in 1929, the building was consecrated. The cathedral is home to the tomb of St Vitus and the tomb of St John of Nepomuk. One of the main highlights of the cathedral are the stained glass windows and carved wooden doors, which are works of renowned 20th-century Czech artists.
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The Golden Lane happens to be a postcard-perfect street, bordered beautifully with old, colorful houses. One of the prime attractions of the complex, this flamboyant street retains a major part of the Prague Castle history.
The houses lining the Golden Lane date back to the 16th century and were originally occupied by the castle guards and goldsmiths. In the 19th century, most of these houses were demolished. After the Second World War, the remaining houses were renovated and some of them were converted to shops.
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As its name suggests, the Old Royal Palace is one of the oldest structures present in Prague Castle complex. Established in 1135, the palace originally served as the residence of only the Czech princesses. However, in the 13th century, it became the personal palace of the Czech king, who lived there until the 16th century.
One of the prime attractions of the Old Royal Palace is the majestic Vladislav Hall, which sits right at the center of the palace. This hall is popularly known for its unique vaulted ceiling, featuring a striking late-Gothic architecture.
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Dating back to the 10th century, St. George’s Basilica shelters the tombs of the princes of the Premyslid dynasty. Having been established by Prince Vratislav I in 920 AD, this church has been renovated multiple times. Its current building flaunts a number of impressive Bohemian, Romanesque, and Baroque style architectural elements. At present, the church is used by the state for hosting many important concerts and cultural events.
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The Great South Tower of St. Vitus Cathedral happens to be a 100-meter-tall church, whose construction started in the 14th century and ended in the 19th century. This tower features over 290 steps, on top of which are 7 bells, including Czech’s largest known bell, Zikmund. The summit of the tower is also known to offer breathtaking panoramic views of the beautiful Prague Castle complex. In addition to soaking in the awe-inspiring views, visitors can get a close glimpse of the 16th-century clockwork.
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When was Prague Castle founded?
According to Prague Castle historical facts and archaeological research, Prague Castle was founded sometime back in the 880s by Prince Bořivoj of the Premyslid Dynasty. The first walled building to be established in the castle complex was the Church of Virgin Mary. This was followed by St. George Basilica and St. Vitus Cathedral, which were established in the 10th century. Most of the other buildings were founded between the 11th and the 16th centuries.
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