Prague Travel Guide


About Prague - Prague Castle Area

Prague Castle (in Czech Pražský hrad) and its surroundings (Prague's quarter Hradčany – Castle Area) is the most visited sight in Prague (and Czech Republic as well). The Castle – or the predecessor of today's Castle - was built in the 9th century on the place. Over the course of centuries, new and new buildings were added to the core of the Castle, so today's appearance of the largest ancient castle in the world (570 meters long and 128 wide on average) presents complex and the mixture of styles.

Castle underwent four major reconstruction, the last one just after the World War I, when Czechoslovakia gained its independence. Slovenian architects Josip Plečnik, invited by then president Tomáš Garigue Masaryk, mastered this reconstruction in 1920s.

Prague Castle is the seat of the Czech president (currently Václav Klaus). And for the most of the history, it was the official seat and residence of Czech rulers, princes and kings.

Castle Area with the Castle lies on the hill atop the river Vltava, on its left (west) bank. Below the Castle, between Hradčany and the river Prague's Lesser Quarter is wedged.

The area west from Prague Castle is called Hradčany with centre called Hradčanské náměstí (Hradčany square). The area was once a independent city, granted its own rights in 14th century. At the end of 16th century, it became one of the Prague's quarters. It covers relatively small area from the gate of Prague Castle to Strahov Monastery and Pohořelec.

Do not miss in the Castle Area

When in Prague Castle with its three courtyards and a complex of buildings visit St Vitus Cathedral or Old Royal Palace on the 3rd courtyard.

Golden Lane (Zlatá ulička) with tiny colourful houses runs along the nortern wall of the Castle, and Summer Palace (Belvedere) is several steps from the Castle outside the premises.

There are also several gardens around the Prague Castle that are accessible to public.

In Hradčany, do not forget to visit Prague's Loreta with its 27 bells near the Černín Palace (where Czech foreign ministry has its seat) and the Strahov Monastery and its Library that belongs to Premonstratensians.