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Pražský hrad © Libor Sváček, archiv CzechTourism

Prague

The residence of Czech kings

The residence of Czech kings

For over a thousand years, Prague Castle has been a symbol of Czech statehood, with the monumental St. Vitus Cathedral which has been its dominant building since the times of Emperor Charles IV. Welcome to one of the world’s largest castles, the setting of many mysterious legends as well as historical events that have changed the world.

The compound of Prague Castle comprises exquisite examples of Romanesque, Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque architecture, as well as buildings from modern times, when Prague Castle became the seat of Czechoslovak and Czech presidents. In the period between the world wars, the castle underwent a series of elegant renovations designed by the architect Jože Plečnik.

The reconstruction of Prague Castle based on the design of French palaces was initiated almost seven hundred years ago by John of Luxembourg, father of Charles IV. In 1344, the father and son together laid the cornerstone of the Gothic St. Vitus Cathedral, which has remained the spiritual centre of the Czech Catholic Church and a symbol of the Czech state up to the present day. It is also the site where St. Wenceslas, the most important of the Czech patron saints, as well as other saints and kings are buried. Prague Castle was the place where Czech King and Holy Roman Emperor Charles IV received diplomats from all around the world and today it is the principal residence of Czech presidents.

Walk through glamorous royal halls and bedrooms, where Emperor Charles IV once lived. Charles died there in 1378 and was laid to rest in St. Vitus Cathedral. Discover Golden Lane, believed by many (including Franz Kafka) to be the centre of Czech alchemists, listen to legends about the Daliborka Tower or the Deer Moat. Walk through the monumental Mathias Gate to enter the Hradčany quarter and wander through its lanes, relax in the gardens situated within the city walls, offering a fantastic view of the castle and the entire city, whose magical beauty and majesty enchant every visitor.

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