Sign Up
Newsletter Signup
Free Fodor's Newsletter

Subscribe today for weekly travel inspiration, tips, and special offers.

Passport: Your weekly travel wrap-up
Today's Departure: Your daily dose of travel inspiration

Prague Sights

Starý královský palác (Old Royal Palace)

  • Hrad III. nádvoří Map It
  • Pražský Hrad
  • Castle/Palace/Chateau

Updated 10/07/2013

Fodor's Review

A jumble of styles and add-ons from different eras are gathered in this palace. The best way to grasp its size is from within the Vladislavský sál (Vladislav Hall), the largest secular Gothic interior space in Central Europe. Benedikt Ried completed the hall in 1493. (He was to late Bohemian Gothic what Peter Parler was to the earlier version.) The room imparts a sense of space and light, softened by the sensuous lines of the vaulted ceilings and brought to a

dignified close by the simple oblong form of the early Renaissance windows. In its heyday, the hall held jousting tournaments, festive markets, banquets, and coronations. In more recent times, it has been used to inaugurate presidents, from the communist leader Klement Gottwald (in 1948) to modern-day leaders like Václav Havel and current president Miloš Zeman.

From the front of the hall, turn right into the rooms of the Česká kancelář (Bohemian Chancellery). This wing was built by Benedikt Ried only 10 years after the hall was completed, but it shows a much stronger Renaissance influence. Pass through the portal into the last chamber of the chancellery. In 1618 this room was the site of the second defenestration of Prague, an event that marked the beginning of the Bohemian rebellion and, ultimately, the Thirty Years' War throughout Europe. The square window used in this protest is on the left as you enter the room.

At the back of Vladislav Hall a staircase leads up to a gallery of the Kaple všech svatých (All Saints' Chapel). Little remains of Peter Parler's original work, but the church contains some fine works of art. The large room to the left of the staircase is the Stará sněmovna (council chamber), where the Bohemian nobles met with the king in a prototype parliament of sorts. The descent from Vladislav Hall toward what remains of the Romanský palác (Romanesque Palace) is by way of a wide, shallow set of steps. This Jezdecké schody (Riders' Staircase) was the entranceway for knights who came for the jousting tournaments.

Read More

Sight Information

Address:

Hrad III. nádvoří, Prague, Bohemia, 118 00, Czech Republic

Map It

Phone:

/224–372–434

Website: www.hrad.cz

Sight Details:

  • Included in 2-day castle ticket (250 Kč–350 Kč)
  • Apr.–Oct., daily 9–5; Nov.–Mar., daily 9–4

Updated 10/07/2013

Advertisement

Map View

Map of



What's Nearby

  • Sights

See all sights in Prague

Add Your Own Review

When did you go?

Minimum 200 character count

How many stars would you give?

Experience

Ease

Value

Don't Miss

Advertisement