St. Vitus Cathedral, Prague

st Vitus Cathedral

St. Vitus Cathedral

Are you planning a visit to Czechia? How about zooming into the city of Prague and enjoying a whole new experience in one of the ancient cathedrals of history? That’s right, the St. Vitus Cathedral in Prague just has to be added to your sightseeing list. The ancient cathedral stands in a class of its own as it towers above all surrounding areas beyond the Prague Castle.

It serves as the largest cathedral across the Czech Republic, and no doubt it’s among the largest temples across the world. There are many stories to tell about the ancient cathedral. For one, it’s the pride of gothic architecture thanks to its unique gothic design.

St Vitus Cathedral Prague had its first stones laid over 600 years ago by the Emperor Charles IV. Precisely in 1344, Matthias Arras who was the original architect, began work on the cathedral using the French Gothic architectural style. He died eight years later and was succeeded by Peter Parler who was a German architect. Peter Parler sufficiently built the Eastern parts of the cathedral until 1399 when he died.

Across history, St Vitus Cathedral Prague enjoyed the expertise of excellent gothic architects, but mostly suffered delays in development due to wars, change of government and other economic factors. It wasn’t until the Czech National Revival of 1861 that there was a refocus on the St Vitus Cathedral in Prague. Overall, the cathedral gradually reached completion and was consecrated in 1929 – nearly 600 years after its foundation was laid.

In its early years, St Vitus Cathedral Prague majorly served for the coronation of Bohemian kings. But today, tourists get to enjoy the dazzling displays of colors, Bohemian kings, saints and significant scenes from the life of Christ, which decorate the cathedral walls, ceiling and glasses. No doubt, it’s a memorable spectacle which thankfully is open to all. So long as you have your ticket in hand, you’re free to explore the length and breadth of St. Vitus cathedral.

Within St Vitus Cathedral in Prague, you can find the St. Wenceslas Chapel and the tomb of St. Wenceslas, who is considered the first Czech saint and the Czech state’s patron saint. You can also find the Art Nouveau stained glass windows designed by Czech artist Alphonse Mucha. Also housed within the cathedral is the Crown Jewels Chamber, where the crown jewels of the Czech kings lie. Note that this area is the least accessible of all areas within Prague Castle.

Also inside St Vitus Cathedral Prague is the Royal Mausoleum, wherein sits the royal crypt. Interred there are members of the Czech royalty and patron saints, including St. Vitus.

St Vitus Cathedral Prague, Czech Republic- One of the largest and most important churches in Prague

Prague : Cathedral Victus

The city of Prague boasts of at least five massive gothic structures that serves as a source of pride and inspiration to the Czechs. These enormous worship centers are quite awe striking engineering and architectural marvels.These structures easily draw in millions of tourists from around the world as well as locals. It doesn’t matter how familiar you have gotten with these structures, you would still marvel at their astonishing beauty each time you pass them.

Notable among these monstrosities of beauty is the St. Vitus Cathedral. This cathedral is the largest of these gothic structures, as well as the most important. Other notable cathedrals in the city include: Church of St. James, St. George Basilica, St. Nicholas Church as well as Church of Our Lady Victorious. These cathedrals, even though centuries old, still stand strong and beautiful till date. They are also great tourist attraction centers, but of course, you knew this already.

Where is the St Vitus Cathedral in Prague, Czech Republic and how to get there? 

Saint Vitus Cathedral
Saint Vitus Cathedral in Prague and blue cloudy sky

Making your journey to Prague doesn’t automatically mean that you’ll see the beautiful cathedral right from the airport. You’ll still have to venture further into Prague, make some turns here and there before you finally arrive at the St. Vitus Cathedral.

There are several ways to get to the St Vitus Cathedral in Prague. Here are some of them:

  • The easiest route to The St Vitus Cathedral in Prague

Take the tram no. 22, and stop at Pražský hrad. Turn left and walk for around 5 minutes until you reach the Prague Castle courtyard. 

  • Requires some walking

Alternatively, you can take tram no. 22 to Pohorelec. Walk down the hill, which takes around 10 minutes, until you end up in Hradčany Square. To enter the complex, go through the IV. Courtyard (4th Courtyard).

  • A relatively challenging route

If you want to take in the sight of the area before arriving at the Prague Castle complex, then you should take the tram no. 22 all the way to Malostranské náměstí, or the Lesser Town Square. Once there, you need to go to Nerudova street, then to Zamecka street. After 15 meters, take a left to Thunovska street. You need to climb up some steps to get to Hradčanské náměstí (Hradčanské Square). You can find the entrance via the IV. Courtyard. This route takes around 15 minutes. 

Other tram lines you can take to Malostranské náměstí include tram lines 12, 20, and 23. You can also take bus line no. 192. 

  • An alternative way

An alternative would be a shorter route via the Old Castle Staircase. 

You need to take metro line A (green line) or the following tram lines: 5, 12, 18, 20, 22, and 23. If you’re taking tram no. 22, follow the tram line, and after 100 meters, turn left to get to the Old Castle Stairs. Then climb up the stairs to reach gate Na Opysi. 

  • Through the Royal Garden

Take tram no. 22 or 23, and stop at Královský letohrádek. If you’re going through Mariánské hradby street, you’ll need to pass by U Prašného mostu street to get to the second and third courtyards. This route will take around 15 to 20 minutes. 

Note that this can only be accessed during the summer season.

How to purchase a St Vitus Cathedral Prague tickets

The only way to access the St. Vitus Cathedral and enjoy its internal scenery, is by purchasing a touring ticket. You could either opt for the self-guided entry ticket or opt for a general tour guide ticket. The St Vitus Cathedral Prague entrance fee starts from around 300 CZK, but this price may vary according to the class of individual purchasing the ticket. Depending on your choice, you could buy tickets through these means:

Buy online; You can buy an entry ticket online. It’s fast and less stressful. You won’t have to queue or run around all day just to get a ticket.

Buy at the entrance; Buying online might not suit your fancy as you might want to experience the whole rush of buying your ticket at the Prague Castle entrance during the winter tourist season.

Join the entrance queue; If you’d rather buy your tickets at the Prague Castle entrance, you can opt for queuing during the regular opening hours during the summer tourist season.

There are many sights to behold inside St Vitus Cathedral Prague. From the beautiful exterior with fascinating sculptures of gargoyles, saints and crowns, you can venture inwards to experience the full blast of colors from stained glass decorations. Artistic masterpieces of saints, kings and more adorn the walls.

If the arts and colors don’t leave you in awe, the ceiling structure, fascinating pillars and segments of the cathedral will leave your mouth gaping. Are you planning your vacation or a business trip to Prague? Now’s the perfect time to book a special trip to the St. Vitus Cathedral. You’ll be thrilled.

Other Things You Should Know Before Visiting St Vitus Cathedral Prague, Czech Republic

St Vitus Cathedral Prague is a part of the Prague Castle complex. As such, you can find it at Pražský hrad – III. nádvoří, 119 00 Praha 1 – Hradčany. If you want to learn more about the Cathedral of St. Vitus, you can visit its official website, which is available in Czech, English, and French. On the website, you can conduct a virtual tour, so you can better plan your visit to the cathedral.

St Vitus Cathedral, Prague Czech Republic is open from Monday to Sunday. Its opening hours may vary, especially when masses are being held. The latest possible entry into the premises is 20 minutes before closing time, which may vary depending on the season. To stay updated, you can check the cathedral’s opening hours for the winter and summer seasons. Lastly, before visiting, it’s best to familiarize yourself with the cathedral’s visiting guide.

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