Prague • Czech Republic

From: Prague Travel Guide

See also: Old Town Square Old Town HallCharles Bridge

Vysehrad, Prague, Czech Republic
Vysehrad is a vast area that contains many historic areas of interest such as the Gothic Church of St Peter and St. Paul, the Cemetery, the ruins of Vysehrad Castle, the Rotunda of St. Martin and Vysehrad park.

The park at Vysehrad is a wonderful quiet place to stroll and has many open grass lawns, wooded areas and paths that lead you around the attractions that form part of Vysehrad.

Vysehrad Castle became the residence of King Vratislav II who in 1085 became the very first Bohemian King to be crowned, the king built a large stone castle with fortifications as well as many churches and smaller buildings within it where he and his successors would reside until 1158 when King Sobeslav I moved back to Prague Castle and ruled from there instead.

When Charles the IV came into power he had a Royal Palace built at Vysehrad and declared that every future King of Bohemia had to travel from Vysehrad to Prague Castle for there coronation. The only part Vyserhad that Palace that now remains is the Spika Gate which was part of the palaces fortification.

The Castle and surrounding buildings were practically all destroyed by the Hussites in 1420 after the Battle of Vysehrad when they defeated the King Zikmund. Some of the buildings to be left standing after the battle were the St Martin Rotunda and the Spika Gate.

In the 17th century Ferdinand III built a highly fortified area called a Citadel at Vysehrad. The Citadel was later added to by the French when they occupied Vysehrad by adding many underground corridors which were used for storing guns and for assembling the French troops.

The Church of St Peter and St Paul (kostel sv. Petra a Pavla) stands within Vysehrad and can be easily spotted due to its tall Gothic twin spires which tower above the entrance to the church. Next to the Church is the Vysehrad Cemetery (Vysehradsky hrbitov) which contains the final resting place of many well known artists, musicians, sculptors, writers, politicians and composers, examples include pianist Ilona Stepanova-Kurzova, composer Antonin Dvorak and journalist and writer Jan Neruda who also has a street named after him in Lesser Town.

At the entrance to the cemetery you can purchase a map which shows you where many of the 600 individuals are buried so that you can easily find who you are searching for. The cemeteries centerpiece is the Slavin Monument which was designed by Antonin Wiehl in 1984 and has two beautiful statues at either side of the monument and a statue of an angel sitting on top.

Also within Vysehrad is the Rotunda of St Martin which was built in 1100 by King Vratislav I and is one of the oldest buildings of its kind in both Vysehrad and Prague. There are a couple of small cafes within the park.

Attraction Location Guide
Vysehrad is 3.6 kilometers to the south of Old Town Square on the eastern bank of the river Vltava.