St Vitus Cathedral

P1080001

Prague Castle is one of the city’s must see attraction. Perched on top of a hill it is actually a collection of buildings and in the centre stands the Gothic mass of the Cathedral of St. Vitus, St. Wenceslas and St. Adalbert – usually shortened to St Vitus’ Cathedral. It was founded on 21 November, 1344 but it took quite a few years to build – it was only finally finished in 1929. For much of the time between it stood only partially completed

P1080255

P1080002

Some parts go back a long way – the beautiful Chapel of St. Wenceslas, was built  between 1344 and 1364. But the nave was only finished in the early 20th Century – the foundations only being laid in 1870.

2013-07-16 11.03.01

P1080251

The castle and the cathedral are essential stops for all the tour parties, although the castle didn’t seem to be quite so crowded as the old town. Most of the tour parties only pop into the end of the nave, where entry is free, to look at the stained glass and along the length of the building. They crowd into a roped off area. So fr those of us prepared to pay for a ticket we could walk round the building and get a close up view and it wasn’t too crowded, at least during our visit.

P1080230

At first glance it’s very much a gothic building with large windows, many with beautiful stained glass, pointed arches, ribbed vaulting and flying buttresses. But as it was built over such a long period there are also Romanesque and Renaissance features. And contemporary artists were used to decorate those sections built during the early 20th Century, so there’s even a few touches of Art Nouveau.

A clock with two faces – one showing the hour and the other the minutes.

P1080252

Inside, looking down the Choir

2013-07-16 10.46.03

and down the Nave with its large Rose window

P1080178

The stained glass in the windows of the nave, installed in the early 20th Century, were designed by contemporary artists including Alphonse Mucha famed for his Art Nouveau style posters

P1080172

A closer view of some of the panels

P1080172

P1080172

and windows by other artists from around the same period (I didn’t make a note of their names)

P1080169

P1080215

 

2013-07-16 10.49.46

This wooden sculpture of the crucifixion (1899) is by a well known Czech sculptor František Bílek. It reminds me a little of some of Eric Gill’s work.

P1080174

This stained glass window is in the south transept is by Max Švabinský, and depicts the Last Judgment

P1080175

This fresco is in one of the side chapels

P1080171

A Gothic staircase

P1080173

The most ornate part of the Cathedral is St Vitus’ Chapel where the saint’s remains are kept. Visitors aren’t allowed inside but can take a look (and take photographs!) from the outside. But my pictures really don’t do it justice

2013-07-16 10.35.45

2013-07-16 10.35.19

Some of the decoration reminded me of the Secessionist paintings by Gustav Klimt

P1080200

P1080202

P1080204

Advertisements

4 thoughts on “St Vitus Cathedral

  1. Thanks for the post, it made me feel homesick! (I love Bilek’s work, recommend his villa/studio next time you’re in Prague, it’s close tot he castle).

    • And thanks for your comment.
      I’m pretty sure we passed Bilek’s house on the tram on the way up to the Castle. I’d have loved to visit it but we ran out of time. So next time….

Leave a Reply

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

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com 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 )

Google+ photo

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

Connecting to %s