Its a big castle!

clip_image001Across from St. Vitus is the very elegant ticket office for The Castle!  There are various tours available…the Full Monty, or bits and pieces.  We chose The Old Royal Palace, St. George’s Church (smallish) and Golden Lane.  We felt satisfied with those three.





This passage leads from St. Vitus to the old Royal Palace.




clip_image001[7]Vladislav (Wenseslas) Hall used to be the largest secular hall of medieval Prague.  It was built in the 9th century and was the seat of the Bohemian Princes.  From the 16th century it was used for coronation festivities, knights’ tournaments, balls or markets with luxurious goods. Knights on horseback could enter the hall by climbing Rider’s Staircase. The hall is now used for the elections of the president of the Czech Republic and for ceremonious state events.

Upstairs are Council Rooms: New Land Property Registry, and Room of the Diet!  (Diet?  I always wonder when I see this word.  Like in "Martin Luther and the Diet of Worms").  Diet in this case is political and means Assembly.  Ghastly thought, Diet of Worms!  Yuk!  Ha, ha.

We actually do not have any more pictures of this wonderful old building.  We went upstairs through steep and curving staircases into the above mentioned rooms, where no pictures were allowed.  We saw some clothing, some books, and a wonderful old tiled fireplace (which was working!).  Everything was tilting, old, and seeped with intrigue.  In one of the rooms a beheading took place!

Replicas of the Crown jewels are in one room, and I found out during WWII the real jewels were hidden in this Palace.

clip_image001[9]St. George’s Monastery and Basilica is the oldest church within the castle walls.  It is often said it does not look like the oldest church…but yes, it is. It was founded in 920 by Vratislav I, and rebuilt in the late 12th century. Parts of baroque facade come from the 17th century.  However, inside you can still appreciate the oldness of it.  It now serves as a Concert Hall. In fact that night they were offering a programme of the music of Corelli, Pachelbel, Mozart and Vivaldi!



We are now leaving this courtyard and going to Golden Lane…

Down the hill and around the corner…



clip_image001[15]Golden Lane also known as Alchemist Lane and Goldsmith Lane!  I like what one "blogger" had to say:

“The colourful, little houses in Golden Lane were built, in 1597, by order of Emperor Rudolph II, in order to house his top marksmen and their families, as these were the men who would protect him from his enemies, and he had a lot!
So, it might have been called Sniper Alley, but later it housed alchemists and goldsmiths. Hence the name, Golden Lane.
The most interesting twentieth century resident was Franz Kafka’s sister, Otla, who lived at No. 22. It was while Kafka was staying there, in 1917, that he got the inspiration to write, "The Castle".

Next I will show a couple of pictures from here…and the walk back down with city views.


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