Saint Vitus Cathedral
Saint Vitus Cathedral and its tall spires determine the Prague cityscape. This impressive church stands high on a hill overlooking the Vltava River. St Vitus is a place of pilgrimage, a museum and a treasury as well as the largest and most important church in Prague. Coronations took place here but it is also the burial place of sovereigns and archbishops. Together with Prague Castle, the cathedral forms the Castle Complex. Seeing all sights in this complex, takes up at least one full day.
Saint Vitus Cathedral crowns Hradcany Hill and its construction took more than 600 years. This is the place where the Archbishop of Prague crowned the Bohemian kings and where they have their final resting place. The Cathedral is the largest church in Prague that’s why tourists look despairingly at the display of their cameras and i-Phone. They take a step backward and one more. Using a wide angle lens is the only solution if they want to capture the whole building. Spend at least one full morning or afternoon at the Prague Castle Complex if you want to see everything.
Tip: Buy your tickets for Prague Castle and St Vitus Cathedral online and skip the waiting line! Or book a Tour with Guide of the Prague Castle interior: the Royal Palace, St. Vitus Cathedral, St. George Basilica and Golden Lane.
Saint Vitus Cathedral Highlights
1. Saint Vitus and the Wenceslas Chapel
Ornate murals decorated with semi-precious stones show the sufferings of Christ and the life of Wenceslas.
2. Crown Jewels
The Crown Jewels – used for the coronation of the Czech Kings – consist of St Wenceslas crown adorned with sapphires and emeralds, the royal scepter and orb and the coronation vestments. The jewels are kept in the Crown Chamber which is locked with seven locks and bolts. Seven dignitaries each have one key and access is a joint operation.
3. Tomb of St John of Nepomuk
In a silver tomb adorned with Baroque statues lies Saint Nepomuk, priest and martyr, whose statue stands on Charles Bridge. He is the patron saint of the Czech Republic. Drowned in the Vltava River at the behest of King Wenceslas, he became the first Czech martyr.
4. New Archbishop Chapel
The Art Nouveau windows of the Slavonic saints in this chapel are the work of Alfons Mucha who is probably better known for his Art Nouveau posters depicting the French actress Sarah Bernardt.
5. Sigismund Bell
Sigismund Bell weighs 16 tonnes and is the largest bell in the Czech Republic. The bell can be heard on religious holidays and important events.
6. Joke of Peter Parler
Peter Parler was the master mason whose sculpted self-portrait adorns a wall of St. Vitus Cathedral. He incorporated a private joke in the southern choir but invisible from down below – a man and a women disguised as a cat and a dog nagging each other.
Saint Vitus Cathedral
Monday – Saturday 09.00-16.00
Photos: Mobile Photo Guide and Marianne Crone