Europe

The treasures of St. Vitus Cathedral in Prague

Are you thinking of taking a trip to Europe? If so, you may want to include the city of Prague, the capital of the Czech Republic, in your itinerary. This small country is brimming with culture, history and impressive monuments. Then, we discover the treasures kept by the Saint Vitus Cathedral in Prague, a spectacular temple.

Vito de Lucania, the saint to whom this cathedral is dedicated

Cathedral interior – Tambako The Jaguar / Flickr.com

San Vito or Vitus, in Latin, was a saint belonging to the group of Holy Helpers. He died in the year 303 martyred during the persecutions of Diocletian. His body is preserved in a church in the Italian town of Omegna. The Prague Cathedral is built in his honor.

How to get to St. Vitus Cathedral in Prague

The cathedral is part of the Prague Castle complex. If you go as a tourist, the easiest way is to get there using public transport.

  • to get in meter: take line A and get off at the Malostranská stop.
  • if you go in trolley car: Get on number 22 and get off at the Pražský hrad stop.

St. Vitus Cathedral: one of the treasures of the Czech Republic

Main Facade – Jay Galvin / Flickr.com

The St. Vitus Cathedral in Prague It is the largest and most important temple in the city. Apart from religious services, this was the scene of the coronations of Czech kings and queens. In addition, many saints, kings, important figures of the nobility and the church are buried here.

The cathedral is in the Gothic style, was founded in 1344 and the construction lasted almost 600 years. It was finally completed in 1929. The impressive interior hides many treasures. An example is the chapel of San Wenceslao, whose decoration is spectacular.

St. Wenceslas Chapel

St. Wenceslas Chapel – Woodlet / Flickr.com

The highlight of St. Vitus Cathedral is undoubtedly the St. Wenceslas Chapel. It was Carlos IV who commissioned the construction of this chapel, which was built on a Romanesque rotunda in which Wenceslao had been buried (therefore, the relics of the saint are kept there). The person in charge of the design was Petr Parler.

The decoration of this chapel is impressive and priceless. More than 1,300 gems and semi-precious stones line the lower parts of the walls. Among them, the gaskets contain gold.

Also, on top of the same walls you can admire the more than 230 square meters of gothic frescoes. Many are representations of the Bible and the life of Saint Wenceslas.

The central room of the chapel is connected to the Coronation Room by stairs. In this place the Crown Jewels of the country are kept, so it is very well guarded. The entire chapel has remained intact through the years.

The Golden Portal

The Golden Portal used to be the access used by kings and queens during their coronations. The most remarkable thing about this portal is that it is incredibly decorated. It is covered by a mosaic of about 80 square meters in which a scene from the Last Judgment is reproduced. It was made by several craftsmen from Venice.

Stained glass windows designed by Alfons Mucha

Mucha Stained Glass – GuyFrancis/Wikimedia Commons

All the stained glass windows that decorate the cathedral are beautiful, but the one designed by the great artist Alfons Mucha stands out. This Czech painter and decorative artist was one of the most important representatives of the art nouveau European.

 

“Art exists solely to convey a spiritual message.”

-Alfons Mucha-

The observation deck of the south tower: admire the Prague landscape in all its splendor

In the south tower of the cathedral there is a viewpoint that can be climbed by a spiral staircase. From up there you can admire the views of the city of Prague. They will leave you breathless.

But although the Cathedral of Saint Vitus in Prague is one of the most renowned places in the city, We encourage you to discover the rest of the treasures that the Czech capital hidesone of those cities impossible to forget.

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