Prague Castle (Prazsky Hrad)
Prague Castle (Pražský Hrad) is the city’s most iconic attraction. It’s one of the world’s largest castles and a World Heritage Site. The castle has over 1,100 years of history and architecture within its walls and was home to Bohemian kings, Roman emperors and Czechoslovakian presidents. Today the castle is still active as the seat of the Czech government.
Start your visit by learning some of the castle’s history at the Story of the Prague Castle exhibition before you move on through the grounds. The castle has been under constant transformation since it was founded in the ninth century. As a result, you can see signs of almost every architectural period of the past 1,100 years, including many Gothic, Renaissance and modernist features.
Prague Castle is huge: It’s 1,870 feet (570 meters) long and 426 feet (130 meters) wide, and stands on a site of over 17 acres (seven hectares). The castle complex consists of many buildings and gardens, including four churches, four palaces and sprawling gardens.
See the final resting place of some of the cities most notable religious figures at the neo-Gothic St. Vitus Cathedral. Visit the home of the Czech crown jewels at St. Wenceslas Chapel.
At midday, watch the daily ceremony for the changing of the guard in the first courtyard. The guards also change at the castle gates on each hour during daylight hours. An exhibition on the castle guards can be seen at the Powder Tower, within the castle complex.
Take a guided tour, which leaves from the Information Centre and has a fee. See weapons and shields of medieval knights and admire the ornate ceilings of the churches while listening to gripping stories. Audio guides are also available for rent.
Prague Castle sits on top of Castle Hill in the Castle District on the west bank of the Vltava River. The complex is easily reached by tram or metro from the city center. While entry is free of charge and you can access from about dawn until midnight, many of its attractions keep different hours and charge a fee. Check the official Prague Castle website for details.