A castle was established on this site in the 9th century, and a Romanesque palace was erected in the 12th. In the 14th century, under the reign of Charles IV, it was rebuilt in the Gothic style. The final reconstruction of the Royal palace took place under the Jagellons at the end of the 15th century, and at that time the builder Benedikt Rejt added the now-famous Vladislav Hall, also in Gothic style. The castle was enlarged in the 16th century, especially after a big fire in 1541. The Spanish Hall, in a new part of the castle, was added in the reign of Rudolf II, and it took its final form in the time of Empress Maria Theresa, under the direction of the architect M. Pacassi. After World War I the interior and gardens of the castle were renovated by the architect J. Plecnik. Today the Castle is the seat of the President of the Czech Republic, and it serves as the historical and political center of both city and state. The changing of the guard takes place every hour on the hour, from 5 a.m. to 11 p.m. Each day at noon there is also a solemn fanfare. 


St. George's Monastery

Founded in AD 973 by Prince Boleslav and his sister Mlada for the Benedictine Order. Dissolved in 1782, reconstructed and reopened in 1976 as part of the National Gallery, it contains collections of old Czech art. 

The Royal Palace

The final reconstruction of the Royal palace took place under the Jagellons at the end of the 15th century, and at that time the builder Benedikt Rejt added the now-famous Vladislav Hall, also in Gothic style. 

St. Vitus Cathedral

The cathedral contains underground tombs of Czech kings. Parler also built St. Wenceslas Chapel, which is decorated with frescoes and semi-precious stones. 

St. Vitus Cathedral - South View

This Gothic cathedral took nearly six centuries to build. Begun in 1344 by Mathias Arras and Petr Parler upon the site of a 10th-century rotunda, the final phase of construction ended only in the period 1873-1929. 

The Chapel of Saint Wenceslas

Was placed in the cathedral as a separate architectural formation on the site of the tomb in the old basilica. Its artistic value belongs to the most important monuments of Czech expressive arts. Unlike all other chapels it was built with closed walls. The walls are covered with big, gleaming gems. Between the stones of carnelian, amethyst, chalcedony and chrysoprase are paintings. 

Imperial Stable

Located at ground level in the northern wing of the Castle, this area was recently opened to the public and contains an exhibition hall.

Basilica of St. George

A Romanesque basilica founded in AD 920 near the Benedictine monastery and rebuilt in the 10th and the 12th centuries. 

The former Burgrave's House

This 16th century Renaissance building houses a museum of toys. 

Lobkovic Palace

The Pernstein family began construction of this palace in the mid-16th century. In 1627 it became the property of Polyxena of Lobkovic and was rebuilt in 1651-68 by Carlo Lurago in the form seen today. Since 1983 it has been a part of the National Museum, containing monuments of Czech history including copies of the coronation jewels. 

The Royal Garden with Ball Hall (Micovna)

The garden was set up in 1534 and embellished during the time of Rudolf II. The Ball Hall was used as a barracks at one time; now it is an exhibition and concert hall. 
Accessible to the public only in summer, as well as the other gardens: Rajska, Harigovska, Na Valech and Na Baste. 

The Royal Summer Palace of Queen Anne or Belvedere

Perhaps the most remarkable Renaissance building in Prague, this palace was built from the plans of Paolo della Stella in 1535-1537 but not finished until 1557-63 under the direction of the architect B. Wohlmut. The famous Singing Fountain, whose drops of water make music, is in the Belvedere garden and was designed and cast by Tomas Jaros in 1564-68. Exhibitions are held in the palace. 

© Major part of this page was originally prepared by Prague Information Service.
Photos & page design by Jarmila Pánková, english text by Bill Parker.
© Page design modified by Alexandr Chvátal, text modified by James Dutt.
Further Prague tourist information can be found at
Generous permission for this information to appear was granted by Alexandr Chvátal

Prague Tourist Information