Prague Castle

Prague Travel Blog

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Art Deco Window in St. Vitus Cathedral. There are some fantastic examples of 20th century stained glass artwork here.

March 16, 2007

I woke up at about 7, looked out the window and saw that we have another gray, cloudy day.  Our flight back to Warsaw leaves late in the afternoon, so we have the entire day to do some more exploring.  We only have one major attraction left on our list of places to see, so it is decided that we will spend most of the day at Prague Castle which was the residence of the Czech dukes and kings from the end of the ninth century and is the residence of the Czech president today.  Before heading up there, we pack up our stuff and check out of the hotel.  They're nice enough to let us store our things there all day until we leave for the airport in the afternoon.   The gray day remains gray - it even rains a little but not enough to be a problem, even without an umbrella.  Breakfast today is a pastry and some coffee at a nearby bakery and then we head to the metro and figure out how to get up to the castle.  Not difficult, although once we got out of the metro and connected with a tram I managed to get on heading in the wrong direction! That, too, didn't take long to figure out and soon we were headed in the right direction up the hill.

Little window on Golden Lane by Prague Castle
It was easy to tell that we were going the right way - the tram was packed with tourists. 

 

Prague Castle is a large compound with churches, chapels, towers and halls from every period of the country's history.  I wasn’t so impressed by my first glimpse of the castle as we crossed the street after getting off the tram.

Window at St. Vitus's Cathedral
However that rapidly changed as we passed some castle guards and entered the enclosure. It was like traveling backwards in time.  First we passed through two 18th century courtyards and then back to the 14th century as we stood before St. Vitus's Cathedral.  The castle and its grounds are really impressive.

 

 There are a lot of soldiers (The Castle Guard) there, guarding the palace.  There's a "changing of the guard" every hour and a ceremonial changing of the guard at noon.

St. Vito's Cathedral
  We didn't see it, but if you happen to go some time you may want to try to plan to be at the right place at the right time.  Even without the ceremony it was interesting to see them march around when they changed shifts.  We walked inside and found a ticket office.  There are a few ways you can visit this castle.  We bought a 350 Kc ticket that allowed us access to all of the attractions to be seen. 

 

We started with St. Vitus's Cathedral. It is an enormous, lofty Gothic cathedral with some fantastic stained glass windows.  The Cathedral wasn't completed until early in the 20th century and some of the stained glass windows are fantastic Art Nouveau designs.  We explored the Castle until afternoon. For me, highlights of the visit are the cathedral, the Romanesque Basilica of St. George, the old Royal Palace, an immense art museum at the St. George Convent and the Golden Lane (which is narrow street with a row of tiny houses built into the archways of the fortification wall at the end of the 16th century.

St. Vito's Cathedral
It's mostly filled with souvenir shops, but I liked walking along the narrow lane and along the connected attic of all of the buildings which exhibits armor.  Elsewhere on the grounds there's also a Toy Museum - we didn't visit that one.  Finally, at the farthest end of the Castle is a Prison tower called the Dalibor Tower which we visited too, complete with some eerie medieval torture devices...

 

Finally it was getting late.  We wanted to have lunch before returning to the hotel for our luggage and heading to the airport.  There was a little restaurant close to the Castle called Restaurant Na Karlove.  It was a little late and there weren't many people there. We had a nice lunch - great vegetable soup (yes, vegetable soup can actually be great!), Goulash with czech dumplings and a Pilsner Urquell.  The service was quick and we were done with plenty of time to get back to the Hilton by metro.   We headed from there to the airport, just as we did when we arrived - first metro to the end of the line and then a bus to the airport. 

 

Now it's two weeks later... hard to believe that these trips which I really look forward to are rapidly fading from my memory.  The flight back to Warsaw and all of the routine around it was completely uneventful.... 

sweetnchoco says:
Hi!
Great Info! We´ll be goin there on october.
Posted on: Jun 01, 2009
Larrys says:
thanks for the information. I will be heading to Prague for the Memorial day weekend. You are welcome to join us if you want to return.
Posted on: Apr 14, 2009
giotravel says:
Excellent blog!!
Helpful for someone about to visit this city for the first time, (like me :)thank you! I am really inspired.. and I will try to do one myself when in Prague. Thanks Stephen.
Posted on: Apr 08, 2009
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Art Deco Window in St. Vitus Cathe…
Art Deco Window in St. Vitus Cath…
Little window on Golden Lane by Pr…
Little window on Golden Lane by P…
Window at St. Vituss Cathedral
Window at St. Vitus's Cathedral
St. Vitos Cathedral
St. Vito's Cathedral
St. Vitos Cathedral
St. Vito's Cathedral
St. Vitos Cathedral
St. Vito's Cathedral
St. Vitos Cathedral
St. Vito's Cathedral
St. Vitos Cathedral
St. Vito's Cathedral
St. Vitos Cathedral - fantastic d…
St. Vito's Cathedral - fantastic …
St. Vitos Cathedral
St. Vito's Cathedral
St. Vitos Cathedral - another coo…
St. Vito's Cathedral - another co…
St. Vitos Cathedral
St. Vito's Cathedral
Old toilet at the end of the hall.…
Old toilet at the end of the hall…
Cool little shop window displaying…
Cool little shop window displayin…
Carved wooden sign for a toy shop.
Carved wooden sign for a toy shop.
Tram 22 - down from the Castle bac…
Tram 22 - down from the Castle ba…
Inside the departures terminal at …
Inside the departures terminal at…
Mucha portrait
Mucha portrait
Back of the ticket to Prague Castl…
Back of the ticket to Prague Cast…
Ticket to Prague Castle
Ticket to Prague Castle
Prague Hotels & Accommodations review
Great for Business Travellers
The hotel is located very close to the Florenc Metro Station and is about a 10 minute walk from the city’s Old Town and also from Wenceslas Square. … read entire review
Prague
photo by: vulindlela