The St. Vitus Cathedral
The St. Vitus Cathedral
Already more than 600 years, the roofs of Prague Castle can acquire a special charm thanks to the beautiful, ancient spires of St. Vitus Cathedral (St. Vitus Cathedral). This Cathedral is the original name of which is the Cathedral of St. Vitus, St. Wenceslas and St. Adalbert, one of the largest and most special churches in the Czech Republic. Here is the Archbishop of Prague, and here were buried saints, kings, princes and emperors of Bohemia. There was crowned king of Bohemia until 1836. And besides, this Cathedral is a wonderful example of Gothic architecture.
If you go from the second courtyard to the third, then the first thing you notice will be the impressive Western part of the Cathedral of St. Vitus. There is also the main entrance to the Cathedral. This part of the Cathedral is the new, it was built in the late 19th and early 20th century (see history of the St. Vitus Cathedral). The Western part of the Cathedral can be described as: two high towers and a rotunda. The Creator of this rotunda – Frantisek Kysela, was inspired by old Gothic Windows in famous cathedrals in Paris. Notice the four figures at the bottom, two on each side. They are important people in the new reconstruction of the Cathedral.
When you continue your way to III internal courtyard, passing by the Old Provosty yard, you may notice that the part of the Cathedral (the bell tower) belonging to the Renaissance, as well as elements of Baroque and Gothic, go back in the times of the famous architect Peter Parler and his two sons. The dominant element of the southern part is the bell tower, which is Zikmund, the biggest bell in Czech Republic.
The Golden Door
To the right of the tower is the former main entrance to the Cathedral under the title of “the Golden Door”. A large mosaic above the entrance was made by the Bohemian glass factory with the help of Italian artists. It depicts “the last Judgment”. Jesus is surrounded by angels and the kneeling of the Czech saints – St. Prokop, St. Zikmund and St. Wit the left and St. Václav, SV. Ludmila and St. Wojciech on the right. The mosaic covers an area of about 82 square meters.
St. Vitus Cathedral consists of a Central nave with narrow aisles and small chapels, as well as with the North transept. The chapel is lit by sunlight that enters through the colored stained glass Windows, showing the sacred motifs. Pay special attention to the window Mucha, representative of art Nouveau.
The famous chapel
The masterpiece of the Cathedral. Vitus Cathedral is the chapel of St. Wenceslas, which was established in the 14th century by Charles in honor of the patron Saint of the Czech lands St. Wenceslas. This chapel is famous for its beautiful and rich decorations. Another amazing work of art is the tombstone of John of Nepomuk, located opposite the chapel of John.
Over the arches of the galleries you can see busts of people who have contributed to the construction of the Cathedral. As for the busts in the old part of the Cathedral – they were taken from the vault of the Peter Parler.
The mausoleum and the Royal crypt
In front of the main Altair St. Vitus Cathedral you’ll find the Royal marble mausoleum with the Royal crypt, where Bohemian kings were buried. The mausoleum consists of the tombstones of Ferdinand I of Austria, his wife Anna of Bohemia and Holy Roman Emperor Maximilian II.
In the Royal crypt under the Cathedral are the graves of Charles IV, his four wives, Wenceslas IV, Ladislas the Posthumous, Rudolf II and his daughter Maria Theresa of Austria Marie Amalie of Austria.