Vyšehrad Prague


Vyšehrad

Vyšehrad

Yesterday I visited Vyšehrad Park and Castle, a 10th century hillside fortress overlooking the city of Prague. The Castle is accessible from many directions but I decided to get there by climbing the old stone steps along the Vltava River.

Basilica Door

Basilica Door

It’s not a difficult climb and the lush parks leading to the castle give the area a wonderful “magical” aura.

Leopold Gate

The castle has many myths and legends, some dating back to the 8th century. According to a local legend Vyšehrad was the first settlement in the area and it later became Prague.

Rotunda of St. Martin

Rotunda of St. Martin

One entrance passes through Leopold’s Gate, a part of the castle’s 17th century defenses. The imposing original Baroque face sculptures are still in place.

Basilica of Saints Peter & Paul

Basilica of Saints Peter & Paul

Like each building in Vyšehrad, Leopold’s Gate has its legend. The French army occupied Vyšehrad in 1741 and it’s said that at the full moon the ghosts of French soldiers who died there reappear at the gate.

Ceiling Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul

Ceiling Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul

The cobbled walkway passes by a Romanesque church – the Rotunda of St. Martin. The rotunda leads to the spectacular 11th century neo-Gothic Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul with fifteen bells and an underground crypt. Once an hour, Vyšehrad’s courtyard is filled with the magical sound of bells from the chapter church. The interior is “richly decorated with Art Nouveau ornamental and figural wall paintings”.

Vyšehrad View

Vyšehrad View

Vyšehrad ‘s church treasury houses a remarkable exhibition of jewellery and rare textiles. There’s an elaborate graveyard with ornate tombs where many Bohemian heroes and great Czech personalities are buried.

Frescoes Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul

Frescoes Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul

In the 1700s French soldiers built subterranean tunnels under Vyšehrad. At the end of the underground casements, there’s a large room called Gorlice Hall which was used for troop gatherings and to store food and weapons. Now the hall holds some of the original Baroque statues which once adorned Charles Bridge.

Gorlice Hall

Gorlice Hall

Surrounded by its original stone walls from the 10th century Vyšehrad includes an exhibition hall and art gallery. It’s a spectacular place to visit!

Vysehrad Stone Steps

Vysehrad Stone Steps

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