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Interior of St. Vitus Cathedral, Nave, Prague

St. Vitus Cathedral: The Largest Temple in Prague

St. Vitus Cathedral is the largest and most important temple in Prague with its long-standing history over the centuries. Until 1997, St. Vitus Cathedral is only dedicated to the Saint Vitus because of this it still knowns as the St. Vitus Cathedral among the people. Its original name for today is The Metropolitan Cathedral of Saints Vitus, Wenceslaus and Adalbert. But we will continue with the Saint Vitus 🙂 St. Vitus Cathedral is located within the Prague Castle and also the seat of the Archbishop of Prague.

St. Vitus Cathedral from outside
St. Vitus Cathedral monumentally standing in the Prague Castle Complex (Source).

History of St. Vitus Cathedral

St. Vitus Cathedral has a very interesting history. Because it is not the only building in the area. Before the construction of the St. Vitus Cathedral, there were two different religious building over there. But all of them were dedicated to the same person; Saint Vitus. You can see the ground plans of all three building from the image below. The first church was a Romanesque rotunda and it was founded by the Wenceslaus I who was the Duke of Bohemia in 930. Yes, the name of the Wenceslas Square comes from him. It is thought that the Wenceslaus I used the holy relic, the arm of St. Vitus to convince the people to Christianity. Because pagans and Christians were living in Prague until the 11th in the Prague Castle.

The second religious building, a bigger and more attractive church built in the year of 1060 by the prince SpytihnÄ›v II. Older rotunda became too small for the increasing number of the Christian in the Prague Castle. The second building was more like a basilica and stayed until 1344. On the day of 21 November 1344, construction of the St. Vitus Cathedral started just after the elevation of Prague to the archbishopric. The first stone of the St. Vitus Cathedral was laid by the Bohemian King, John. Maybe you won’t believe it but the construction of the St. Vitus Cathedral continued until 1929, yes 1929! After a almost 600 years of construction!

Ground plan of the St. Vitus Cathedral
Ground plan of the St. Vitus Cathedral (Source).

Who Was The St. Vitus?

I just want to give a piece of brief information about the St. Vitus to know him a bit more. He was a Christian saint who was died as a martyr during the Roman persecution over the Christian by the time of Diocletian and Maximian in 303. It is not clear but his birth year was 290, that means he died only at the age of 13. St. Vitus was from Sicily and one of the Fourteen Holy Helpers of Roman Catholicism during the medieval. Also, St. Vitus Day is celebration around the world on 15 June where Julian Calendar is used which is equal to 28 June on the Gregorian Calendar.

St. Wenceslas Chapel

The most exciting part of the St. Vitus Cathedral is the St. Wenceslas Chapel. St. Wenceslas was the duke of Bohemia from 921 to his assassination in 935 by his younger brother, Boleslaus the Cruel. You can also see the relics of St. Wenceslas in the chapel. The chapel was constructed by the Peter Parler with a ribbed vault between 1356 and 1364.

Interior of the St. Wenceslas Chapel
Interior of the St. Wenceslas Chapel is truly amazing (Source).

Where is The St. Vitus Cathedral?

St. Vitus Cathedral is located in the Prague Castle Complex where is the historical centre of Prague. If you want to come to the St. Vitus Cathedral by using public transport you have a couple of options. For the metro, you need to use the gree line (Line A) and get off at the Malostranská metro station and walk to the castle. Malostranské náměstí and Malostranská tram station are your second option to go to the St. Vitus Cathedral. You can take one of the tram lines 1, 2, 12, 15, 18, 20, 22, 23, 25 and 97 to go there. But if the weather is good and you like to walk around the city you can follow this route which includes the National Museum, Wenceslas Square, Old Town Square, Clementinum and Charles Bridge.

St. Vitus Cathedral Tickets and Tours

As you know St. Vitus Cathedral is located in the Prague Castle Complex. Because of it, you need to buy a ticket or tour to visit the St. Vitus Cathedral.  Prague Castle Ticket and Introductory Overview Ticket and Tour is the most basic and cheapest tour which includes the St. Vitus Cathedral. Buying with this tour you will have access to the Prague Castle Complex without waiting in a line, in other word skip the line. You can also visit the St. Vitus Cathedral, Old Royal Palace and the other building within the Prague Castle Complex. In addition, A brief, 15 minutes long introductory overview of the history of the places will be given in English. If you want a more comprehensive St. Vitus Cathedral Tour don’t forget to take a look the widgets below.

Please share your thoughts and suggestions about the St. Vitus Cathedral on the comment section. Also, please feel free to ask any question about the St. Vitus Cathedral and Prague Castle Complex.

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