Vysehrad Park Away from the Tourist Trail
Vysehrad park is located high on a steep rock on the bank of the Vltava River about 3 kilometres from Prague centre yet it is easy to get there by metro. Since the park is not on the tourist route, you will meet few tourists here. Stroll through beautifully landscaped gardens and admire magnificent views of the Vltava River while walking along the castle walls. Vysehrad park is also a good place for a picnic. Take your time because it will take an entire afternoon to explore the grounds where you will find a beer garden, a restaurant and also a few small cafes for hot and cold drinks and a snack.
Tall trees and lawns characterize the park. Walk around the entire grounds along the ramparts, each time you have a different view; the Vltava River, Prague Castle and the Smichov district. The park is dotted with statues. They symbolize several Czech legends: Libuse who predicted that Prague would become a powerful city. She is the subject the opera ‘Libuse’ by Bedrich Smetana the first opera to be performed in the National Theatre. Other noteworthy buildings and sights are the Leopold Gate and next to it the St Martin Rotunda dating from the eleventh century. The plague column near the rotunda reminds of an epidemic in the seventeenth century.
Vysehrad Park and Cemetery
A cemetery may not be the first thing that springs to mind for a visit when you are in Prague. However, Vysehrad Cemetery is definitely worth a seeing. Many graves are in Art Nouveau style and beautiful to see. The centerpiece is the Slavin Monument where famous Czechs are buried. At the entrance there is a list of names and where they are buried. The most beautiful graves are of the composers Antonin Dvorak and Bedrich Smetana and the painter Alfons Mucha.
The Church of St Peter and Paul
The two spires of the St Peter and Paul Church can be seen from almost anywhere in Prague. They are very special as they are hollow and resemble lace. The interior of the church is in Baroque, Gothic and Art Nouveau style. In a glass box near the entrance you can see the shoulder bone of Saint Valentine. The side altars have beautiful carvings with mini turrets and spires in the same style as the outside spires of the church. The stained glass windows depict Jesus standing in front of a Gothic or neo-Gothic church, showing church architecture over the years.
The Castle that is no longer there
In the tenth century a church and a fortress were built on the promontory above the Vltava River. In the eleventh century Vratislav II, Prince of Bohemia built in this place Vysehrad which means ‘high castle’. Vysehard Castle was more important than Prague Castle and became the seat of government for forty years. Then it moved back to Prague Castle and present-day Prague developed in the around the castle. Although there is very little left of the castle, It is a nice trip away from the busy touristy city centre.
Open air concerts
Letna Scena, the summer theater, organizes open air concerts on Sundays and sometimes on Thursdays from May to August, from jazz to classical music and from brass bands to chamber music. Concerts begin at 18.00. Children’s shows take place on most Tuesday afternoon in summer at 2 pm.
Metro station Vysehrad on line C.
Tram 3, 7, 16, 17 stop Vyton and tram 7, 8, 24 stop Albertov
photos Marianne Crone
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