Prague Castle is the largest castle complex in the world according to the Guinness Book of Records. Occupying an area of more than 7 hectares, Prague Castle is the most popular attraction in Prague, visited by more than 4 million people annually.
You can visit the Prague Castle area every day from 6:00 till 22:00. The museums and indoor exhibitions are opened from 9:00 till 17:00 in summer and till 16:00 in winter. Visit the official website of the Prague Castle to check its opening hours as they might differ on public holidays and on days of foreign political visits.
Prague Castle is considered to be one of the oldest continuous residences of power. It was inhabited by the Czech Royal dynasty of Premyslids as early as the 9th century! Their castle's location was, definitely, an advantage against medieval sieges. The castle is located 250 meters above sea level and surrounded by a Deer Moat on the northern side.
On the 2nd of September 1347, Charles IV was crowned as a Bohemian King in the St. Vitus Cathedral, which construction started only 3 years prior to that. 14th century was the Golden Age for Prague, and Prague Castle also flourished during the reign of Charles IV and his son Wenceslas IV.
Unfortunately, Wenceslas did not inherit his father's diplomatic skills, and a complicated political and religious situation in Bohemia led to a Hussite War in 1419. During that time the castle was attacked by iconoclasts and many religious monuments were vandalized.
In 1526 Czech throne became occupied by a well-known Habsburg family, who ruled these lands till the end of WWI. Then, the first Czechoslovakian president, Tomas Garrigue Masaryk, started a tradition of presidents living and working on the castle grounds. This tradition is respected even nowadays! Prague Castle is now used as an office of the Czech President.
Yes, you can. Most of the buildings in the Prague Castle are used by the office of the Czech president and not available to the general public. However, there is still a lot to see there! The interiors of these buildings are only available with the entrance ticket.
Some parts of Prague Castle are for free. You can visit for free all the courtyards of Prague Castle and the gardens. To visit the interiors, you need tickets.
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Author: Valeriia Zahradnikova and Vaclav Zahradnik, Prague guides certified by Prague City Tourism agency. Valeriia and Vaclav have worked in tourism for over 6 years and have guided thousands of Prague visitors.