Vyšehrad, also known as Vyšehrad or Prague’s stronghold, is a legendary castle on the banks of the Vltava river. It was founded as early as the 10th century and still attracts visitors from all over the world to this day.
History of Prague’s stronghold
The Vyšehrad was probably built in the 10th century and is said to have served as the seat of the legendary Princess Libussa, who is known as the ancestral mother of the Czechs and is said to have predicted the founding of Prague. The castle was further extended under Charles IV, who added several gates and towers to the complex. Thereafter, Vyšehrad became increasingly a spiritual site before being conquered and destroyed by the Hussites in 1420. Today, however, many buildings have been rebuilt. These include today’s St. Peter and Paul churches from the 1070s, the Chapel of the Virgin Mary on the hills and the Basilica of St. Lawrence.
In the 19th century, the fortress was annexed to other parts of Prague and it is now freely accessible.
Attractions and Events
Despite its small gate, the Vyšehrad tunnel through the rock at the castle is important for the Prague traffic as it directs traffic on the right bank of the river. In addition to the churches in the castle, the Vyšehrad cemetery is also famous. It is considered to be the most important cemetery in Prague and here lie, among others, the composers Dvorak and Smetana burried. An honorary tomb is also in the center of the cemetery. In the Gothic vaults of Vyšehrad you can visit an exhibition about the history and rediscovered objects from the castle.
Special highlights are the regular events at the castle. Medieval festivals are held regularly every year. In addition, there is an open-air theater, which was built from 1849 to 1850. From May to September you can visit different shows there – if the weather plays along.