History of Prague Castle

Prague Castle has been dominating the city for more than eleven centuries. Once, it was the residence of Czech kings. Today the president of the Czech republic works here.

Around 870, the first historically confirmed Czech prince Borivoj moved his residence from Levy Hradec a few kilometers upstream. Here he ordered to build a wooden settlement, fortified with embankments. And people began to call this settlement Prague. At the end of the 9th century, the first stone building on Prague territory was built - the chapel of the Virgin Mary. Today we still can see its foundation in the arch between the second and fourth courtyards of Prague Castle. Duke Vratislav ordered to build the second stone church - the Basilica of St. George - in 920. In 925, Duke Wenceslas founded the third church - the rotunda of St. Vitus. At the same time, in the 10th century, the first stone walls appeared around the Prague Castle. And in the 12th century, Duke Sobeslav built a new stone palace.

Photo of Prague Castle

The next important stage in the history of Prague Castle was the reign of Сharles IV. Thanks to this king of Bohemia and Roman Emperor, the bishopric of Prague became an archbishopric. The construction of the Gothic St. Vitus Cathedral began, and the royal palace was rebuilt in the Gothic style.

Photo of the Main Entrance to Prague Castle

However, during the rule of Habsburgs, Prague Castle began to lose its importance. The only Czech king from the Habsburg dynasty, who preferred Prague Castle over the Vienna Hofburg, was Rudolf II. In the 18th century, Empress Maria Theresa thought that the Prague Castle did not look sufficiently presentable. On her order, the court architect Nicolo Pacassi came to Prague. He built new facades in the style of Classicism.

And the last major restructuring took place in the first half of the 20th century. At that time, the construction of the Cathedral was completed. And the Slovenian architect Joze Plecnik rebuilt the interiors of the castle and laid out new parks.

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