St Vitus Cathedral
Stained glass designed by Alfons Mucha
We headed for Prague Castle via Malostranska. In 2005 we got off at Hradcanska and strolled through Royal Garden towards the entrance for the castle. This time we took the No.2 2 tram from Malostranska to Prazsky hrad. We weren’t sure which would be the right stop, but one of the local people let me know where to get off.
It was the lunch time when we arrived at the castle site. We had lunch at the terraced restaurant garden. From where we sat down we could see its striking spires and towers of St Vitus Cathedral. My father said, ‘The cathedral look like Sagrada Familia Cathedral in Barcelona.’ My mother expressed interest in visiting Josefov, Jewish District, after looking round the castle. I said to her that there were several buildings we were going to see this afternoon, and we would need a tea break before going to the Jewish District.
After the lunch, we popped in the Information Centre, showed our Prague Cards and were offered tickets for St Vitus Cathedral, Royal Palace, St George Basilica and Golden Lane.
In order to surprise my parents, I didn’t tell much about
Basilica of St George
The oldest sacral buildings - the beginning of the convent dating right back to the 10th century
what they would see in St Vitus Cathedral and that the cathedral acts as a reliquary for numerous national treasures and the bones of some of the most famous and revered individuals. The foundation stone was laid in 1344, but this impressive cathedral was not completed until the beginning of the 20th
century. There were a lot to see inside the cathedral – beautiful stained glasses, one of which was designed by Alfons Mucha; Wenceslas Chapel, dedicated to Saint Wenceslas; and the Silver Baroque Memorial to St John of Nepomuk. Not only ornate interior and ornaments inside the cathedral, but also very intricate and striking decorations and murals executed on the exterior – the Golden Portal with illustration of the last Judgement.
Next, we entered the Old Royal Palace – it was home to Bohemian rulers from the 11th
century till the Hapsburg takeover. We were invited to see Vladislav Hall – the largest unsupported secular hall in the world – and its construction, 1492–1502, was undertaken by Benedikt Ried. We also looked round the Diet Room, which plan was undertaken by Benedikt Ried. The vaulting room had colourful ceiling paintings representing coat of arms.
We then went to Basilica of St George, which stands behind St Vitus Cathedral, and is the oldest sacral buildings – the beginning of the convent dating right back to the 10th
century. Thanks to the renovation work in 1897–1907 and the restoration work of 1959–1962, we could see remains of Romanesque wall paintings with the theme of Heavenly Jerusalem, the 12th
century tribune windows and the original arcading from 10th
century in the nave and the crypt dating from the mid 12th
Afterwards, we went to Golden Lane, running from the castle fortification built by Vladislav Jagiello to the old Burgrave’s house. The surviving picturesque timber-framed cottages have been converted into souvenir shops. The most popular house looked undoubtedly Number 22 where Franz Kafka worked on his stories and essays. Czech Republic has been home for marionette dolls and there have been various plays of marionette dolls produced since the 17th
century. We saw one of the shops selling marionette dolls with wide variety features.
The down slope route led us to White Tower and Daliborka Tower, which used as a prison. We saw a number of equipments used for torturing.
We left the castle and stopped at a couple of viewpoints and overlooked the city of Prague. Then, we walked down the steps leading to Malostranska Station.
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