Vysehrad Castle (Upper Castle)

06 Apr

Vysehrad aerial viewAmong the many monuments in Prague, we should also remember the Vysehrad castle … one of the old fortresses that protected medieval Prague.

The castle on the Vysehrad rock, originally called Chrasten, was founded sometime during the 10th century, certainly later than Prague Castle.

The period of its greatest glory was in the 11th century, when the castle became for a time seat of the first Czech king Vratislav I, whose successors ruled from Vysehrad until in 1140. Rebuilding the original timber castle in stone with the establishment of new churches or religious chapter at Vysehrad changed nothing in his subordination to the Prague Castle.

After the mid-12th century the importance of Vysehrad declined.

Another key moment in the history of Vysehrad arrives in the 14th century, during the reign of Charles IV of Luxembourg. He decided, in deference to his ancestors, to restore the importance of Vysehrad. He wrote the new Regulation of the Coronation, which obliges the future sovereign to make a pilgrimage to Vysehrad on the day before the coronation in St. Vitus Cathedral at Prague Castle.
On a place of a derelict Roman court, the king built a royal palace with a luxurious high arcades and next to it houses for the castle staff, water supply and school. From 1348 to 1350 new walls with battlements, towers, portal, and two gates where built.

Later, especially during the Habsburg period, Vysehrad begins to lose its importance and gradually turns into a ruin, in a symbolic way, reflects the political situation in the Kingdom of Bohemia.

The present appearance of Vysehrad was largely determined in the second half of the 19th century. It was led by a number of nationalist-oriented provosts; of these, the most important in terms of the development of Vysehrad were Vaclav Stulc and Mikulás Karlach, who decisively determined the present appearance of Vysehrad and its major landmark, the church of St. Peter and Paul was rebuilt in the Neo-Gothic style according a design made by J. Mocker and F. Mikes that respected the disposition of Charles IV’s Gothic construction. It was then that the idea arose of founding a national cemetery at Vysehrad on the site of the parish graveyard. It took many years to build the Pantheon. The present Vysehrad Cemetery is a unique artistic whole, harmoniously fitting its surroundings. It is the final resting place of over 600 personalities from the fields of culture and education.

1 Comment

Posted by on April 6, 2011 in Castles and Palaces, Prague Sights


Tags: , ,

One response to “Vysehrad Castle (Upper Castle)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: