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The Metropolitan Cathedral of Saints Vitus, Wenceslaus and Adalbert is a Roman Catholic metropolitan cathedral in Prague, the seat of the Archbishop of Prague. Until 1997, the cathedral was dedicated only to Saint Vitus, and is still commonly named only as St. Vitus Cathedral. This cathedral is a prominent example of Gothic architecture, and is the largest and most important church in the country. Located within Prague Castle and containing the tombs of many Bohemian kings and Holy Roman Emperor
The St. Vitus’s Cathedral can be seen from almost everywhere in Prague. It often gets confused with the castle itself as it stands so close to the castle. Over the years the color of the castle has taken a greenish tone. Standing next to the St. Vitus’s Cathedral is an area to look over the valley and down to the river.
Today, the President lives in the Castle. A prime tourist location, a few hotels such as The Castle Steps are situated right at the foot of the castle. Read more . Prague Castle Opening Hours. Prague Castle Complex: April – October, 5 a.m. – 12 a.m. (daily) November – March, 5 a.m. – 11 p.m. (daily) Sections requiring a ticket: St Vitus’ Cathedral, Old Royal Palace, St George Basilica, Golden Lane, Powder Tower-Mihulka April – October, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. (daily) November – March ...
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- The Gothic Cathedral
- Renaissance and Baroque
- Completion in 19th and 20th Century
- Recent History
- Further Reading
- See Also
- External Links
The current cathedral is the third of a series of religious buildings at the site, all dedicated to St. Vitus. The first church was an early Romanesque rotunda founded by Wenceslaus I, Duke of Bohemia in 930. This patron saint was chosen because Wenceslaus had acquired a holy relic – the arm of St. Vitus – from Emperor Henry I. It is also possible that Wenceslaus, wanting to convert his subjects to Christianity more easily, chose a saint whose name (Svatý Vítin Czech) sounds very much like the name of Slavic solar deity Svantevit. Two religious populations, the increasing Christian and decreasing pagan community, lived simultaneously in Prague castle at least until the 11th century. In the year 1060, as the bishopric of Prague was founded, prince Spytihněv II embarked on building a more spacious church, as it became clear the existing rotunda was too small to accommodate the faithful. A much larger and more representative Romanesque basilica was built in its spot. Though still not c...
Construction of the present-day Gothic Cathedral began on 21 November 1344, when the seat of Prague was elevated to an archbishopric. King John of Bohemia laid the foundation stone for the new building. The patrons were the chapter of cathedral (led by a Dean), the Archbishop Arnost of Pardubice, and, above all, Charles IV, King of Bohemia and a soon-to-be Holy Roman Emperor, who intended the new cathedral to be a coronation church, family crypt, treasury for the most precious relics of the kingdom, and the last resting place cum pilgrimage site of patron saint Wenceslaus. The first master builder was a Frenchman Matthias of Arras, summoned from the Papal Palace in Avignon. Matthias designed the overall layout of the building as, basically, an import of French Gothic: a triple-naved basilica with flying buttresses, short transept, five-bayed choir and decagon apse with ambulatory and radiating chapels. However, he lived to build only the easternmost parts of the choir: the arcades a...
Through most of the following centuries, the cathedral stood only half-finished. It was built to the great tower and a transept, which was closed by a provisional wall. In the place of a three-aisled nave-to-be-built, a timber-roofed construction stood, and services were held separately there from the interior of the choir. Several attempts to continue the work on cathedral were mostly unsuccessful. In the latter half of 15th century, king Vladislav Jagiellon commissioned the great Renaissance-Gothic architect Benedict Ried to continue the work on the cathedral, but almost as soon as the work began, it was cut short because of lack of funds. Later attempts to finish the cathedral only brought some Renaissance and Baroque elements into the Gothic building, most notably the obviously different Baroque spire of the south tower by Nikolaus Pacassi (1753 till 1775) and the great organ in the northern wing of transept.
In 1844, Václav Pešina, an energetic St. Vitus canon, together with Neo-Gothic architect Josef Kranner presented a program for renovation and completion of the great cathedral at the gathering of German architects in Prague. The same year a society under the full name "Union for Completion of the Cathedral of St. Vitus in Prague" was formed, whose aim was to repair, complete and rid the structure of everything mutilated and stylistically inimical. Josef Kranner headed the work from 1861 to 1866 which consisted mostly of repairs, removing Baroque decorations deemed unnecessary and restoring the interior. In 1870 workers finally laid the foundations of the new nave, and in 1873, after Kramer's death, architect Josef Mocker assumed control of the reconstruction. He designed the west façade in a typical classic Gothic manner with two towers, and the same design was adopted, after his death, by the third and final architect of restoration, Kamil Hilbert. In the 1920s the sculptor Vojtěch...
The St. Vitus Cathedral has two organ casings. The upper façade belonged to a baroque organ, which was built in 1765 by Anton Gartner. It had 40 stops on 3 manuals and pedals. This case is purely decorative. The associated work was transported around 1909 and was lost. The lower neoclassical casing contains today's main organ. It was built by Josef Melzel in the years 1929-31. A general overhaul was carried out by the organ builder Brachtl a Kánský (1999-2001). The rather modest instrument in relation to the large church space has 58 stops on 3 manuals and pedals, 4,475 pipes in total. The action is purely pneumatic. With a large number of basic pipes (flutes and principals) and little reeds (trumpets), the instrument has a rather gentle tone - a typical feature of post-Romantic organs.
The Cathedral of St. Vitus had a tremendous influence on the development of Late Gothic style characteristic for Central Europe. Members of Parler workshop, and indeed, the Parler family (both of which were established at the building site of St. Vitus) designed numerous churches and buildings across Central Europe. More notable examples include Stephansdom cathedral in Vienna, Strasbourg Cathedral, Church of St. Marko in Zagreb and the Church of St. Barbara in Kutna Hora, also in Czech Republic. Regional Gothic styles of Slovenia, northern Croatia, Austria, Czech Republic, and southern Germany were all heavily influenced by Parler design. Of particular interest are Parler's net vaults. The Late Gothic of Central Europe is characterised by ornate and extraordinary vaulting, a practice which was started by Parler's development of his own vaulting system for the choir of St. Vitus cathedral. Another regional Gothic style also displays amazing ingenuity and ornamentation in the design...
In 1997, on 1000th anniversary of the death of Saint Voitechus, the patrocinium (dedication) of the church was re-dedicated to Saint Wenceslaus and Saint Adalbert. The previous Romanesque basilica had this triple patrocinium to the main Bohemian patrons since 1038 when relics of Saint Adalbert were placed here.The skull of Saint Adalbert is kept at the Hilbert Treasury In 1954, a government decree entrusted the whole Prague Castle into ownership of "all Czechoslovak people" and into administration of the President's Office. Beginning in 1992, after the Velvet Revolution the church filed several petitions requesting a determination on the true owner of the structure. After 14 years, in June 2006, the City Court in Prague decided that the 1954 decree did not change the ownership of the cathedral and the owner is the Metropolitan Chapter at Saint Vitus. In September 2006, the President's Office ceded the administration to the Metropolitan Chapter. However, in February 2007, the Supreme...Fučíková, Eliška, Martin Halata, Klára Halmanová, Pvel Scheufler. "Prague Castle in Photographs /1956-1900". Prague: Správa Pražského hradu a Nakladatelství KANT, 2005. ISBN 80-86217-94-9K. Benešovská, P. Chotebor, T. Durdík, M. Placek, D. Prix, V. Razim. "Architecture of the Gothic", vol. 2 of "Ten centuries of architecture" series, Prague Castle Administration & DaDa, a.s., Pragu...Czech Gothic architectureSt. George's Basilica, PragueTreasury of St. Vitus CathedralHistory of early modern period domesWebsite of the cathedral (en, cz)Archdiocese of Prague (Official Website)Information from the Prague Castle administration sitePhotographs
St Vitus Cathedral: Symbol of Prague and the Czech Republic, this Cathedral has witnessed numerous historical events. Golden Lane : The narrow and colourful Golden Lane is one of the most popular parts of the castle.
Feb 03, 2021 · Inside the castle complex lies St. Vitus Cathedral, the biggest cathedral in the Czech Republic and a wonder of Gothic architecture. Exterior view of St. Vitus Cathedral located in Prague, Czech Republic. The St. Vitus Cathedral is named after the saint, St. Vitus, and was commissioned by Holy Roman Emperor Charles IV.
Saint Vitus's Cathedral (Czech: Katedr la svat ho V ta) is a Roman Catholic cathedral in Prague, and the seat of the Archbishop of Prague. The full name of the cathedral is St. Vitus, St. Wenceslas and St. Adalbert Cathedral. Located within Prague Castle and containing the tombs of many Bohemian kings, this cathedral is an excellent example of Gothic architecture and is the biggest and most important church in the country.
Today, this location is the home of the Prague Castle Picture Gallery. Treasure of St. Vitus Cathedral Exhibit Some of the more notable relics from the cathedral are actually on display at the Chapel of the Holy Cross in the Second Courtyard, which is the home of the Treasure of St. Vitus’ Cathedral exhibit .
The defining monument on Prague’s picturesque skyline, Prague Castle today is the seat of the president and an important historical and cultural testament to the country. St Vitus Cathedral at Prague Castle © Govisity.com / Flickr
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