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Discover St. Vitus Cathedral In Prague: A Symbol, An Architectural Treasure, And A Human Heritage

Giuseppe
Updated May 16, 2017

St. Vitus Cathedral, located in the Prague Castle, is a complex of buildings that you easily notice during your trip in Prague. Its shape, nestled into the panorama, will go along your journey in Prague, a beautiful and historical city, capital of the Czech Republic.

The Castle complex is one of the largest in the world, with an area of almost 70,000 m² (75,3473 ft²) and it’s also an UNESCO World Heritage site. St. Vitus Cathedral is the oldest temple of the Czech Republic and will astonish you for its beauty and opulence.

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Admire the Golden Gate, where kings used to enter for the coronation ceremony

You will be surprised by the size and the opulence of St. Vitus Cathedral facades.

The facade that you can see in the picture is the southern facade. There you can enjoy the great tower connected to the South transept known as “The Golden Gate”. This name is referred to the golden mosaic of the Last Judgment depicted on it.

Through this magnificent portal, kings used to enter in the Cathedral for the coronation ceremony. The great tower is visitable with an extra fee, and from its top you can have an astonishing view of Prague.

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Enjoy the beauty of the St. Vitus Cathedral main entrance

Staying in front of the St. Vitus Cathedral main entrance for the first time is a breath-taking experience. Here architecture is treated as woodcraft: indeed the facade gargoyles and the geometrical shapes in relief seem alive, coming out from the whole building.

You will feel yourself incredibly tiny compared to the size of this historical building. This happens also because the main entrance doesn’t have a wide adjacent square, and because of this, you are forced to admire the whole building from very little distance. This Gothic facade has also a beautiful rose window above the portal, depicting scenes from the biblical story of creation.

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Let's go inside and enjoy this historical and amazing building

In the current site of the St. Vitus Cathedral, there were two older religious buildings: indeed archaeological researches revealed a Romanesque rotunda dating back from 930 a.C, and a wider Romanesque basilica from 1060 a.C. The current Gothic Cathedral was founded in 1344, and since that time several architects have worked on it through the centuries.

Inspired by the French Gothic architecture, St. Vitus Cathedral interior is probably one of the widest and richest of the Christian world. The inside consists in a triple-naved basilica with flying buttresses, short transept, and five-bayed choir.

Here you will experience different styles of architecture: Gothic, Neo-Gothic and Baroque and a multitude of statues, paintings and woodcraft works.

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St. Wenceslas chapel, the secret treasure of St. Vitus

No picture can be exhaustive enough to represent the colors, opulence and beauty of this amazing chapel started by Peter Parler in 1344 a.C. The walls are decorated with over 1,300 semi-precious stones, and in the lower part you can admire beautiful paintings about the Passion of Christ dating back from 1372-1373.

The upper part of the walls are decorated with paintings about St. Wenceslas life from around the XVI century. A small door with seven locks leads to the Crown Chamber containing the Czech Crown Jewels, which are exhibited only in rare occasions.

As you can see in the picture, it is forbidden for visitors to get inside the chapel, but you can still enjoy its beauty from outside the entrance.

See our full list of recommended hotels near St. Vitus Cathedral and also compare the prices with airbnbs near St. Vitus Cathedral

Hurry and visit the St. Vitus Cathedral

Visiting St. Vitus Cathedral is an unmissable experience of your journey in Prague. If you like religious music you can also enjoy some of the concerts that are usually given inside the Cathedral. You can provide yourself for a ticket at the box office in the big square behind it.

Don’t go outside before you end your tour at the St. Vitus Cathedral, the ticket is valid just for just one tour.

This article was originally published on Sep 10, 2015

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Enjoy the beauty of the st. vitus cathedral main entrance2

Hi, I am Giuseppe and I am a 24 year-old musician and traveler from Italy. I was born in Sicily, a land of history, mysteries, beautiful landscapes and astonishing seaside spots. At the age...Read more

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