St. Vitus Cathedral is located in what is known as the Old Town of Prague. It is part of the interior of the architectural complex of Prague Castle and is located in the center of the city. So, there are corners near the cathedral of San Vito that you cannot miss if you visit the Czech capital.
1. The largest architectural complex in the world: Prague Castle
Prague Castle is the most important architectural complex in the city and in the Czech Republic. It has a tradition of more than a thousand years and is a dream destination for many tourists. It was founded in the year 880 and was the residence of the kings of Bohemia, as well as other important figures in history (emperors, presidents…).
In it are the jewels of the Crown of Bohemia. According to the Guinness Book of World Records, Prague Castle It is the largest architectural complex in the world.with an area of almost 70,000 square meters.
“The ancient splendor and beauty of Prague, an incomparable city, left an indelible impression on my imagination.”
The incredible story behind the Daliborka tower
The name of this late-gothic style tower is due to a fictional character, Dalibor de Kozojed. He was the first inmate of this tower (which was a prison until the end of the 18th century). Dalibor lived in the fifteenth century: he was a young man who had been sentenced to death for helping some servants who fought against the tyranny of the nobles during the reign of the Jagellion.
A) Yes, Dalibor ended up imprisoned in the tower and there he got a violin that he learned to play. Their songs could be heard from outside the tower and moved the citizens of Prague, who came to admire them and cheer Dalibor. When the nobles saw him, they murdered him. There is an opera based on this story, dalibor by Bedrich Smetana.
2. The most beautiful street: the Callejón del Oro
This street is very near St. Vitus Cathedral, less than 300 meters away and within the castle complex, specifically next to the wall. It is a street containing only a dozen houses, but It is one of the most charming corners of the Czech capital.
It was built after a fire that took place in the 16th century. In that fire, the barracks houses of the royal guards burned down; then, the emperor ordered the construction of the group of Mannerist-style houses that we see today to give them shelter.
So… why is it called the Alley of Gold?
The truth is that it is not known for sure. There is a legend around the name and it is as follows: in ancient times, the citizens of Prague believed that the emperor’s alchemists stayed in these houses. The rumor was fed over the years and she ended up giving it that name for the same reason.
3. The church of San Nicolás: the baroque jewel where Mozart played
This church is very close to the Cathedral of San Vito: 350 meters. It is considered a jewel of the Baroque throughout Europe; its imposing dome and bell tower rise above the roofs of Prague’s buildings. Its interior is full of art: the frescoes in the dome are the work of Franz Palko and represent the Holy Trinity.
Inside the church there is, among many other treasures, a baroque organ. The history of this instrument is linked to Mozart, as he played it several times during his stays in Prague. For this reason, a few days after his death in 1791, a mass was held in his honor in this church.
Don’t forget to climb the tower!
If you visit the church of San Nicolás, it could be said that the climb to the tower is mandatory. It has several rooms along the way that can be visited. In them, you will learn about the history of bells, how they were created and what they are used for. once up, you can admire the wonderful neighborhood of Malá Strana from 65 meters high.
4. Get your strength back near St. Vitus Cathedral
600 meters from St. Vitus Cathedral is the creperie Creperie U Kajétana. It ranks number 8 out of 163 cafes in Prague and number 75 out of 5,273 places to eat in the Czech capital. Therefore, the quality is assured.
That, together with its cozy and somewhat bohemian atmosphere, makes it the perfect place to rest and have a drink. Don’t forget to try the trdelnik (traditional cake). They say it is the best in Prague.