Prague Castle

Built in 870, the Prague Castle has been expanding into the biggest ancient castle in the world. The castle encloses two churches and four palaces along with other structures. It was expanded and renewed several times during its life.

Being the biggest and most important temple, St. Vitus Cathedral, one of the churches in the castle, was the place for coronations of kings and queens of Czech. The church was established by Prince Vaclav inside the castle after he managed to obtain remains of the Saxon nation's patron saint Vitus from King Henry. In the 11th century and after the big fire it underwent a main renovation.

The second church in the castle, St. George's Basilica, was also founded around the same time as St. Vitus Cathedral in 920 by Prince Vratislav I. Later in 13th century the St. Ludmila chapel was added to the Basilica. In late 18th century the church was occupied by troops which had a devastating effect on its structure but afterwards it was renewed with preserving its Romanesque design in mind.

Located at the north east of the castle, The Royal Summer Palace was a present given by Ferdinand I to his wife. The Royal Summer Palace which is also called Queen Anne's Summer Palace was founded in the 15th century and is one of the biggest Renaissance buildings in Europe. It was built in just one year by Giovanni Maria Aostalli and Giovanni Lucchese, the Italian builders.

Having a breathtaking view of the city, the Old Royal Palace is considered the most appealing site within the castle. It was originally made of wood which was later converted to a stone building in 12th century by Prince Sobeslav. Ironically, considered a perfect place for execution, many politician were thrown out the windows of the palace.

Believed to have a healing power, the Lobkowicz Palace, was built before the 16th century by reconstructing two large Gothic houses located on Jirska street. It was where the survivals of the dropping from the neighbouring building, the Old Royal Palace, took refuge. Nowadays, the remains of Lobkowicz family, The Princely Collections, are exhibited there and it is also a venue for concerts.

There are six gardens within the castle with the Royal Garden being the biggest and most attractive of them. The Royal Garden is especially famous for it exceptional botanical and the exotic plants. It was only after the collapse of the communist empire that this garden opened to the public. Other gardens in the castle are the Paradise Garden, Garden on the Rampars, Garden on the Terrace of the Riding School, Hartig Garden and Garden on the Bastion, all well worth a visit.

There are two towers within the walls of the castle. One of them, Daliborka, was originally built not only as a defence tower but a dungeon. It has taken its name from its first prisoner The Knight Dalibor of Kozojedy. This tower was founded by Benedikt Ried in 1496 and was used as a prison until 1781. Another tower, the Powder tower, was also built by Benedikt Reid to serve for defence.

Closely followed by Prague Zoo and the National Museum, the Prague Castle is at the top of the list of tourists in Czech. A visit to Czech will not be completed without taking a tour in the Prague Castle.