The Prague Castle – Pražský hrad

The Prague Castle has been standing for over 1000 years and forms the center of Prague. Three chateau yards and many different additional buildings that have been added over the centuries, make it the largest closed castle area in the world today. Thus, the castle is the ideal destination to visit and not without reason it is very popular among tourists.

Prague CC0 Pixabay

Early history

Prague Castle was first mentioned in written sources in 885. At that time it did not yet have its present form, but already served as the seat of the Bohemian king. For a short period of time, the king was moved to Vyšehrad, a neighboring castle that still exists today, while the Prague Castle continued to be used as a seat for the Bishops of Prague. Until the Renaissance, the castle was rebuilt several times and destroyed by fires. Shortly before the Thirty Years’ War, it was mainly designed artistically.

The Defenestration of Prague

The Prague Castle became famous for the first time when there was an event marking the beginning of the Thirty Years’ War. In 1618, resistance arose among the Protestants of Bohemia against the catholic Habsburgs, and so the governors of the emperor were thrown out the window of the Castle. Although the fallen ones survived, the Defenestration of Prague plunged Central Europe into one of the worst crises in history.

The Prague Castle today

While the Prague Castle played a crucial role in the succession war of the Habsburgs, it then served more as a residence than for defense. After the First World War, it became the seat of the President and remained so until today.

The castle is also a popular destination for tourists. In addition to the St. Vitus Cathedral, the National Gallery and the extensive gardens, tourists can also visit the Golden Lane. Although this costs admission, the Golden Lane puts visitors in fairytale worlds. In addition, every day at 12pm, a ceremony takes place to replace the castle guard in the courtyard. The ascent to the castle costs a bit of fitness, but rewards with a magnificent view over the city.

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Der Wenzelsplatz, ein Boulevard im Zentrum Prags

Vyšehrad – Prague’s stronghold