St. Vitus Cathedral in Prague is one of biggest cathedrals in Europe and it is dominating building within the walls of the Hradschin Castle, on the left coast of Vltava river. The tower can be seen from every point in Prague. It was built as a mix of the few different styles: Goth, renaissance, baroque and neo-gothic style.
The history of the St. Vitus Cathedral
In the year of 1344, the representatives of the Prague diocese and Prague ruler Charles IV and are deciding to build a new cathedral. The foundation was laid and the construction of this great building starts in the same уear. The construction work was in progress around 600 years.
The cathedral contains many smaller, side chapels, tombstones and frescoes. Famous Czech artist Alfons Mucha created beautiful stained-glass windows in this cathedral.
The emperor Charles IV came from the Luxemburg dynasty, which was in close relations with France. The first choice for the architect was Matthias of Arras. He designed and built main part of ambulatory, choir, and chapel. Matthias dies in 1352, and right after him, Peter Parler becomes the main architect.
He gives the church a Goth looks, and he was one of the best in building innovation. Peter Parler died in 1399 and until his death, a choir and large part of the south tower was completed. Both builders of the Prague cathedral were buried at the very center of this cathedral, which can tell us how respected builders these men were.
Chapel of St. Wenceslas
Chapel of St. Wenceslas is the most valuable place in the cathedral, because of the fact that remains of the patrons of the Czech Republic are buried there.
The lower part of the walls is covered with gemstones, mosaics, gold plates and imitation of precious metals.
Another curiosity of this attraction is the Sigismund bell that is the largest bell in the Czech Republic.
There is also a royal crypt where are buried most of the Czech kings and queens.
Charles IV built the cathedral as his own personal building, so he made a family mausoleum in radial chapels. He had the opportunity to enrich the church with valuables and relics. He left a memory of his image and his family within the decoration, which can be seen on the busts around the place.
Upgrading of cathedral
In the 16th century, the Renaissance columns and towers were added to the cathedral, and in the 18th century some baroque parts. The reconstruction of the St. Vitus Cathedral begins in 1872 in Neo-Gothic style and ends in 1929, marking the 1000th anniversary of the death of the Czech king and patron saint, Saint Wenceslaus.
Do not miss a visit to this cathedral, feel the spirit of the past, step into history through the cathedral’s Golden Gate, and get richer with new memories.