Vyšehrad, Prague

Vysehrad

Vyšehrad Prague, a romantic fortress with breathtaking views

Czech name: Vyšehrad

If you’ve ever desired to visit a vibrant fortress shrouded in Czech folklore; a “high castle” upon which Princess Libuše foretold the rise of a magnificent city (Prague), and have breathtaking views of well-preserved ancient paintings, a scenic parks, a panoramic view of the city and its famous counterparts across the ever bubbly Vltava River, dreamy bridges, ornate sculptures and gravestones housed within its cemetery, a wide array of incredible art in a grand basilica and so much more, then Vyšehrad in Prague is most likely the destination you’ve been yearning for.

Although many tourists often mistakenly ignore this place, there’s so much you can enjoy in Vyšehrad. We’ve singled out these top attraction sites for you to make your work easier.

Rotunda of St. Martin (Rotunda svatého Martina) Vyšehrad, Prague

If you want your Prague sightseeing trip to start off on a high note, then how about you start with the oldest building in all of Prague. St. Martin’s Rotunda is a unique building located in Vyšehrad that was built in the 11th century. It is currently the only unspoiled monument from the era of Vratislav I. What I find particularly amazing about this place is its many secrets that reveal themselves from time to time. Did you know that it’s only recently that architectural researchers uncovered a secret underground floor in the building?

Location & How to Get to Rotunda of St. Martin in Vyšehrad, Prague

This historical phenomenon is located in Vyšehrad, so if you have successfully made it to the fortress, then finding it should be very easy. 

By public transport: 
Metro line C to Vyšehrad
Tram 7, 14, 18, 24, 54, 55 to Albertov or 
Tram 2, 3, 7, 17, 21, 52 to Výtoň

Opening hours & Entry of Rotunda of St. Martin in Vyšehrad, Prague

The Rotunda is usually open during service hours only, which include Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 6pm. You can access it free of charge. 

What to Do & What to See in Rotunda of St. Martin in Vyšehrad, Prague

Start by observing the cannonball embedded in the facility’s window (the right side). This disaster which occurred in 1757 is one of the stark reminders of the deadly rampages the establishment has survived over the centuries. Besides enjoying its Romanesque architectural style, its neo-Roman portal, marble altar and medieval wall paintings, you can relax in the area’s peaceful and scenic green landscape before visiting another section of the Vyšehrad.

Basilica of St. Peter and St. Paul, the Vyšehrad Cemetery and the Rotunda of St. Martin
Basilica of St. Peter and St. Paul, the Vyšehrad Cemetery and the Rotunda of St. Martin

History of the Rotunda of St. Martin in Vyšehrad, Prague

After the Rotunda was completed in the 11th century, it became a gun powder storage facility. It however faced a serious threat in 1841 during the planned communication between Pankrác and the New Town, but it was successfully preserved by count Karel Chotek. Architect A. Baum modified its interior in the 19th century, and the Vyšehrad clerics reopened it in 1878. Today, the building is solely used for religious purposes.

Saint Peter and Paul Basilica, Prague (Bazilika svatého Petra a Pavla) 

As you stroll through the Vyšehrad district, you’ll enjoy reminiscent sounds of bells coming from the chapter church once every hour. Although the Saint Peter and Paul Basilica has undergone many modifications for nearly a century, the church still maintains a baroque, gothic appearance well complimented by its richly decorated interior. If you’re a lover of rare jewellery, textiles and ancient paintings, then the Basilica is where you ought to head next.

Location & How to Get to the Saint Peter and Paul Basilica

The Basilica is located in Vyšehrad, and the means of transportation is still the same. You can take a metro line C to Vyšehrad or tram 7, 14, 18, 24, 54, 55 to Albertov or tram 2, 3, 7, 17, 21, 52 to Výtoň.

Opening Hours & Entry to the Saint Peter and Paul Basilica

The Basilica is opened from November to March every day from 10.00 am to 5.00 pm and 11 pm to 5 pm on Sundays. 

Between April and October, it is open to the public on from Monday to Saturday (except on Thursdays) between 10.00 am and 6.00 pm; on Thursdays between 10.00 am and 5.30 pm, and on Sundays from 11.00 to 6.00 pm. 

The establishment doesn’t allow sightseeing during the masses.

Accessing the Basilica costs 90 CZK (basic) per person or 180 CZK (family package).

What to Do & What to See in the Saint Peter and Paul Basilica

The first thing you should enjoy here are the two huge towers flanking the skyline. Let your eyes hover around the peak of the spires, and marvel at their subtle hollowness before observing the transept (the shape of a cross that runs through the centre of the church). Next, go to the central entrance door and study the tympanum, the heavily decorated structure of Jesus standing alongside His apostles. You can then enter and revel in the beautiful mosaics, murals and paintings covering every inch of the interior. 

History of the Saint Peter and Paul Basilica

The history of the Basilica of St. Peter and St. Paul is one of the biggest reasons why it is a popular destination for Prague sightseeing. The church was constructed by Vratislav II, the Czech King, in 1070. It was a simple Basilica founded in opposition to the St. Vitus Cathedral. Legends have it that Vratislav brought 12 baskets of stones which formed the basis of the massive structure that would soon become the Basilica of St. Peter and St. Paul.

Visually stunning statues in Vyšehrad Park made by Josef Václav Myslbek
Visually stunning statues in Vyšehrad Park made by Josef Václav Myslbek

Vyšehrad Cemetery Prague (Vyšehradský hřbitov) 

If you’re a lover of history, then this amazing site should not miss on your list. This cemetery is exactly where you’ll find the graves of the world’s most important thinkers and artists such as Alphonse Mucha, Antonín Dvořák and Ladislav Šaloun.

Location & How to Get the Vyšehrad Cemetery Prague

The Vyšehrad Cemetery is located in Vyšehrad Prague Castle, right next to the church of Saint Peter and Saint Paul. The nearest train station is the Smíchov Railway Station or you can take a metro line C to Vyšehrad or tram 7, 14, 18, 24, 54, 55 to Albertov or 
tram 2, 3, 7, 17, 21, 52 to Výtoň.

Opening Hours & Entry to the Vyšehrad Cemetery Prague

This Prague cemetery is opened daily from 9.30 am to 5.00 pm from November to March and 9.30 am to 6.00 pm from April to October. just like the Vltava river nearby, this cemetery doesn’t require an entrance fee.

What to Do & What to See in the Vyšehrad Cemetery Prague?

The first place you want to see as you stroll through the Vyšehrad cemetery is the mass tomb of the nation’s giants known as the Slavín. The area is marked with a beautiful, large sculpture that stands out in that part of the cemetery. After that, make your way to the Gothic Peak Gate and experience the breathtaking Libuse’s Baths and statues of historic figures like Premysl and Libuse.

History of the Vyšehrad Cemetery Prague 

The cemetery was opened in 1869. It was created on a place where people used to be buried since the 13th century. Emperor Josef II made a special decree that allowed further burials to take place on these grounds, and soon after, the Prague cemetery become the final resting place of many famous people in Czech.

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