St. Vitus Cathedral is one of the great jewels of Prague. Not only that, but it is the largest Catholic spiritual center in the Czech Republic and one of the most beautiful Gothic cathedrals in Europe. If you want to know more about this fabulous construction, join us.
situation of the st vitus cathedral
St. Vitus Cathedral sits atop Malá Strana, or Little Town, the most touristic and monumental part of Prague. Besides, It is located inside the Prague Castleone of the main attractions of the city.
But this is not a castle to use, or not at least as we can imagine the typical medieval castle (with moat, drawbridge…), but rather It is a group of palaces connected to each other by patios and beautiful streets.. For this reason, it is not only worth visiting the castle and the cathedral, but also taking a walk through its picturesque streets.
History of St. Vitus Cathedral
This is one of the oldest cathedrals in Europe and also one of the longest to build, since the works began in 1344 and finished in 1929, that is, almost 600 years later. This delay was mainly due to political circumstances, wars and the lack of funds that paralyzed the works for almost 200 years.
The initial project was commissioned by French architect Matías de Arras, which was inspired by French Gothic art, especially the cathedrals of Toulouse and Narbonne. His successors would give it an air more similar to German Gothic.
But they were not the only changes. The time in which the construction work was prolonged means that Baroque or Mannerist architectural elements can be perceived in this cathedralamong others.
The facades of the Saint Vitus Cathedral
For many, the most impressive part of the cathedral is the south façade. It served for many years as the main gate, precisely because of its great beauty.
In this part stands a tower almost 100 meters high and you can admire the Golden Gate, which has been restored very recently. Above it, stands out a large mosaic of Venetian origin, made in the glass factories in Bohemia and in which the Last Judgment is represented.
The west and north facades are also very nice, although they have a much older lookand it is that due to the humidity, these facades look much blacker than the others, something very typical in this city.
The interior of the Saint Vitus Cathedral
Although the exterior is incredible, the true beauty is found within its walls. The large stained glass windows deserve special attention., which make the temple illuminated in a very special way. And we must also highlight its spectacular vault, supported by elegant columns.
Nevertheless, the cathedral contains several treasures of enormous value, let’s see some of them.
Tomb of Saint John Nemopucene
Saint John of Nepomuk is the patron saint of Bohemia, a martyr who was thrown from the Charles Bridge into the waters of the Vltava River. His grave It is a beautiful goldsmith’s work that was built in silver in 1736. It was commissioned by Carlos VI and financed by popular subscription.
“The world is a book and those who do not travel only read a page.”
Chapel of Saint Wesceslaus
It is a masterpiece of Czech Gothic art. A chapel built by order of Carlos IV in the place where the saint was executed. The value of its decoration is incalculable. The lower part was covered with semi-precious stones, while the upper part was decorated with precious frescoes.
In the center of the chapel is the tomb of the saint, inside which some relics of Saint Wenceslao are kept. Stairs lead to the Coronation Hall, where the Crown Jewels of the Czech Republic are kept.
It is the crypt in which Czech kings are buried. It was made at the end of the 16th century, although it was modified centuries later. The most outstanding place is occupied by the tomb of King Carlos IV.
St. Vitus Cathedral is a must see in Prague. And it is worth contemplating it from all its angles, even from the heights, since you can climb its magnificent towers. The view from them is spectacular.