Prague Castle is known to be a crowded tourist magnet, which it is.
Known as the world’s largest castle (depending on exactly how one measures), it’s popular for a good reason though, with a large complex of interesting buildings, the seat of the Czech president, and numerous museums.
Archbishop’s Summer Palace
In proper castle fashion, guards are posted at the sides of each entrance gate:
And like elsewhere, the changing of the guard is a bafflingly-popular thing for tourists to watch:
Changing of the guard
Then again, when the guard is changing, you cannot go through the gates anyhow, so you may as well watch, I suppose.
Vintage Czech car
The street scene in and around the castle is colorful, with a varied blend of government folk, tourists, and service people.
St. George’s Basilica
Two large, intimidating statues flank the main entrance:
I guess these were meant to put subjects in their place and instill some sense of wonder (or at least fear).
This obelisk, installed in the early 20th century, was meant to symbolize power & permanence of the Czech state, but it broke in transit, hence its stunted metal top now. Perhaps a harbinger of things to come in WWII.
Crowds near St. Vitus Cathedral
Especially the areas near St. Vitus Cathedral and the Golden Lane (which we did not visit) are highly-trafficked. We opted to skip the for-pay parts of the castle, and contented ourselves with a couple of visits to St. Vitus, and the courtyards and gardens. One can’t see everything, and we normally don’t try too hard.
Despite the crowds, like St. Vitus, Prague Castle is a must-visit, and it’s a great walk from Mala Strana up the hill to the castle, or you can take the “tourist express” tram #22 to and/or from it.
- Part 1: Vysehrad
- Part 2: Vysehradsky hrbitov (Vysehrad cemetery)
- Part 3: Karluv Most (Charles Bridge)
- Part 4: Vaclavske namesti (Wenceslas Square)
- Part 5: Letecke Muzeum Kbely (Czech Air Force Museum)
- Part 6: Stare Mesto (Old Town)
- Part 7: Staromestske namesti (Old Town Square)
- Part 8: Prazsky orloj (Astronomical Clock)
- Part 9: Josefov (Jewish Quarter)
- Part 10: Vltava River
- Part 11: St. Nicholas Cathedral (Chram sv. Mikulase)
- Part 12: Wallenstein Palace (Valdstejnsky palac)
- Part 13: Kampa Island
- Part 14: Mala Strana street art
- Part 15: Petrin Hill
- Part 16: Mala Strana
- Part 17: Mala Strana house signs
- Part 18: Strahovský klášter (Strahov Monastery)
- Part 19: Schwarzenberský palác (Schwarzenberg Palace)
- Part 20: Toy Musuem
- Part 21: St. Vitus Cathedral gargoyles
- Part 22: St. Vitus Cathedral (exterior)
- Part 23: St. Vitus Cathedral (interior)
- Part 24: Prazky Hrad (Prague Castle), I <– You are here
- Part 25: Prazky Hrad (Prague Castle), II