To many people St. Vitus Cathedral is Prague Castle
, because while the Prague Castle complex houses many buildings, St. Vitus is the one that dominates the city's skyline.
St. Vitus Cathedral (Katedrála svatého Víta) is the spiritual symbol of the Czech state, and a Gothic masterpiece.
Work on the cathedral was commissioned by Charles IV and began in 1344 upon the site of an earlier 10th century rotunda. In all, it took nearly six centuries to complete.
Its first builders, Matthias of Arras and later Peter Parler, built the chancel with a ring of chapels, St. Wenceslas Chapel, the Golden Portal and the lower part of the main steeple.
The final phase of construction only ended during the period 1873-1929.
As well as being the largest and most important temple in Prague, St. Vitus Cathedral also oversaw the coronations of Czech kings and queens.
In the chancel of the cathedral, in front of the high alter, is the royal mausoleum. Below this, in the crypt, there are the royal tombs. Czech kings and queens and patron saints are interred here.
St. Wenceslas Chapel is decorated with frescoes and semi-precious stones. A door in the south-western corner of the chapel leads to the Crown Chamber in which the Bohemian Coronation Jewels are stored.
It is free for visitors to enter the first part of St. Vitus Cathedral. A ticket must be purchased to visit the whole cathedral.
To discover more about Saint Vitus Cathedral, take a Prague tour:
Prague Grand City Sightseeing Tour
Prague Grand City Sightseeing Tour & Boat
Prague Intro Sightseeing Tour
Best of Prague Walking Tour
Prague Explorer Walking Tour
Prague Castle Walking Tour.