The Prague Castle is one of Prague’s outstanding attractions and is a significant symbol of the Czech state. Situated on Hradčany in the Czech capital, this castle complex is one of the largest in the world and impresses with a variety of attractions, including the Old Royal Palace, the Gothic St. Vitus Cathedral, St. George’s Basilica, and the Golden Lane.
Table of Contents
Prague Castle | A Significant Symbol of the Czech State
Prague Castle was founded in the 9th century and has served as the permanent residence of Czech rulers, including presidents. It symbolically represents the more than a thousand years of development of the Bohemian and Czech state. Over time, the appearance of the castle has changed significantly as various rulers, including the Kings of Bohemia, two Holy Roman Emperors, and the Presidents of Czechoslovakia, have reshaped and expanded the castle according to their requirements.
Various architects of different styles have contributed to the current appearance of the castle over the centuries. Names like Benedikt Ried, Nicolo Pacassi, Anselmo Lurago, Anton Kunz, Anton Haffenecker, and Josip Plečnik are closely associated with the architectural development of the castle. This diversity of architectural styles reflects the rich historical and cultural development of Prague Castle.
Prague Castle | The Second Largest Enclosed Castle Area in the World
Prague Castle spans an area of about seven hectares, making it the second-largest enclosed castle complex in the world after the Malbork Castle of the Teutonic Order. It has been recognized by the Guinness Book of Records as the largest ancient castle in the world. With an impressive length of 570 meters and an average width of 130 meters, it is an architectural marvel.
The castle complex, also known as Hradčany, consists of palaces, government buildings, churches, fortifications, gardens, and picturesque corners. Outstanding components include:
- The Gothic St. Vitus Cathedral with the Royal Crypt in the innermost castle courtyard.
- Old Provost’s Residence in front of St. Vitus Cathedral.
- The Baroque Royal Palace in the second castle courtyard.
- The Romanesque St. George’s Basilica with the Adam and Eve Towers on St. George’s Square.
- The Old Royal Palace with the Gothic Vladislav Hall in the third castle courtyard.
- The Baroque Holy Cross Chapel in the second castle courtyard.
- The Baroque Castle Gallery in the second castle courtyard with works by Rubens, Titian, and others.
- The Mrákotíner Monolith, an obelisk commemorating the victims of World War I, next to St. Vitus Cathedral in the first castle courtyard.
- The fortification on the northern edge of the castle area with the Mihulka Tower in Gothic and Renaissance styles and the Gothic White Tower and Daliborka Towers.
- The Golden Lane, enclosed by these two towers, with houses from the Gothic and Renaissance periods. Franz Kafka lived temporarily in House No. 22 in 1917.
- The Black Tower in the east.
- The Baroque Matthias Gate from 1614 in the second castle courtyard.
- Theresian Noble Ladies’ Collegiate, in the former Rosenberg Palace, founded in 1753 by Maria Theresa.
- Lobkowicz Palace, a private museum with part of the art collections of the princely family, near the eastern castle gate (publicly accessible).
The castle area is connected to the Old Town and other adjacent areas by the Charles Bridge, built on the banks of the Vltava River. The view of Prague Castle is breathtaking and offers one of the most overwhelming panoramic views in the world. Nowadays, Prague Castle serves as the seat of the President of the Czech Republic and is also recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Prague Castle | Highlights
- A close-up view of St. Vitus Cathedral, including the Royal Crypt and St. Wenceslas Chapel. The cathedral houses an ancient relic for dancers—the head of Saint Vitus, a Sicilian martyr.
- A close-up view of the Old Royal Palace, including the Green Saloon, Vladislav Jagiello’s Small Audience Hall, Vladislav Hall, and adjacent rooms.
- The Romanesque and Gothic floors of the Old Royal Palace, including the Romanesque Hall and the Gothic Halls on the lower floors of the Old Royal Palace.
- Representative rooms with the Museum of the Order of the White Lion, including the Mirror Salon, Glass Salon, Gallery of Heroes, and the Museum of the Order of the White Lion.
- The precious Bohemian Crown Jewels, including the Crown of Saint Wenceslas, the royal scepter, and the coronation mantle, which are kept in an iron safe with seven locks.
- A tropical garden from the 16th century, created at the request of Emperor Rudolf II.
Prague Castle on Hradčany in Prague, Czech Republic
Hradčany, 119 08 Prague 1, Czech Republic
The Prague Castle area is accessible to visitors daily from 6:00 AM to 10:00 PM.
- November to March: 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM
- April to October: 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM
Access to the castle courtyards is free. For the internal attractions, you need an admission ticket.
Tickets / Entry & Guided Tours
Tickets for Prague Castle are available at the information centers on the II and III Castle Courtyards and at the ticket office in the Cathedral Tower. Tickets for exhibitions can be purchased on-site.
Guided tours are offered through our partner.