The Cathedral, whose original name is St Vitus, St Wenceslas and St Adalbert Cathedral, is the biggest and the most important church in the Czech Republic. It’s the seat of the Archbishop of Prague and the place where saints, kings, princes and emperors of Bohemia are buried.
St. Vitus Cathedral is the spiritual symbol of the Czech State and a Gothic masterpiece. The original church, also named St. Vitus, was a Romanesque rotunda founded by Wenceslaus I, Duke of Bohemia in 925 and stood at the same location as the present day cathedral. The work on the St. Vitus Cathedral was started by Charles IV. It took nearly six centuries to complete. The original church, on a rotunda plan, was founded by “Good King” St. Wenceslas (Christmas carol fame) in 925. This was replaced with a Romanesque basilica in the late 11th century. Work on the present building began in 1344. Most of it was designed by the 22-year-old German architect Peter Parler, who also designed the Charles Bridge and other Prague landmarks. The Hussite Wars and the Thirty Years’ War halted construction of the cathedral for several centuries. It was not until the 20th century that the western side of the cathedral and its two towers were completed. Although modern, they were constructed according to Parler’s original plans. The interior of the cathedral is quite spacious and features a variety of intricately adorned chapels illuminated by the light going through amazingly designed stained glass windows depicting various sacred scenes.
The most important square Chapel of St. Wenceslas (Svatováclavská kaple) holds a 14th century tomb with the saint’s holy relics. St. Wenceslas was prince of Bohemia and the “good king” of Christmas carols fame. St. Wenceslas Chapel is decorated with frescoes and semi-precious stones. A door in the south-western corner of the chapel leads to the Crown Chamber in which the Bohemian Coronation Jewels are stored. He founded the original church of St. Vitus on this site in 925 and was killed by his brother four years later. The chapel was built by Peter Parler between 1344 and 1364.
Monday to Saturday -9AM to 4PM
Sundays -12PM to 4PM
- Fourteen monks killed in 1611 beatified (news.com.au)