Vysehrad (Prague - Czechia)

Ofcourse there are the fabulous sculptures on the Charles Bridge in Prague. But do you know many of those are actually not the original ones? Some of the original ones have been shifted to a safe place to protect them and that is how I came to know of Vysehrad! Located south of Petrin hill, we started off there after exploring the street-art in Prague city. Today, till the end of Vysehrad from atop the Prague Castle is a UNESCO protected region. Its a good 20 minute ride by tram and like Prague Castle, this too is atop the hill and the complex comprises of various buildings, but...... as a much much more serene, peaceful and calm version...



The history of Vysehrad begins at 1061 CE under Vratislaus II. Due to consistent troubles with his brother, he relocated his seat of rule Vysehrad, thus making a mark on Vysehrad in the history of Prague. Since 1222 CE, Vysehrad was steadily being built as the capital city with the Basilica of St.Paul and St.Peter and St.Martin's Rotunda were built. Then on, the importance of Vysehrad kept of going up & down. In the next phase under Vladislaus II in 1140 CE, again the royal seat was shifted to Prague Castle, and Vysehrad lost importance. Next again under Charles IV in 1346-78 CE, Vysehrad gained importance as he saw the town as the symbol of Czech history. He wanted all coronation processions to begin here to mark their respect to ancestors! Later again the town saw its decline. After the 30 yrs war, in 1643 CE, the new construction of Vysehrad fortress began and got over by 1727 CE with all the bastions, casemates etc. However, somehow, Vysehrad never served a military purpose!


To begin with, as soon as we reached there, we realized its not a slope, but a staircase to reach atop! So yeah, I picked up Atyudarini and Mr.V picked up the stroller and up we went. The first site we went was the most important one for me - Brick Gate, Casemates & Gorlice. This is an underground cellar that can be accessed only with a guided tour that happens once every hour. The Brickgate is the entrypoint to the Casemates & Gorlice. This was constructed in 1841. The 3 passages are for vehicles and 2 for pedestrians.



The Casemates are underground corridors that are more than a km long. The Gorlice is the largest chamber in the casemates and that's exactly where the original sculptures of Charles Bridge are. There are 6 sculptures here made in 1707 to 1724. Its rather impressive to see those monumental sculptures of Charles Bridge in the expanse of river and sky, here in this dark, underground room, which almost fills the whole height of the room!!!

From here went on a walk around the fortification walls and the view of Prague from here is just impressive without the crazy crowd of the typical viewpoints like Prague castle or Petrin hill. It was from here that I tried to zoom into Zizkov TV Tower and realized that David Cerny's babies are missing! Ofcourse the mini Eiffel Tower atop Petrin hill is also visible from here, as well as the very impressive fortification wall aka Hunger Wall. 

Our next stop was St.Martin's Rotunda - a cute, circular church, followed by Old Deanery which has the archaeological remains of the Romanesque church. However both were closed. Close to this is the Old Burgrave's Residence which was a palace built in 14th C CE. However the current construction belongs to 18th C CE. Today its used as a hall to conduct events & exhibitions as well as a cafe. Ahead of this is the Gothic Cellar. As the name suggests, this is an underground cellar which, today houses a permanent exhibition of the history of Vysehrad incl. its pottery, clothing, books, old city plan and much more. This is the part of the original 14th C CE building made under Charles IV. 

Next to this is the glorious Church of Saint Peter and Saint Paul and its cemetery beside. Thanks to the importance of the city as commanded by King Charles IV, this cemetery holds the tombs of several important people in Czech. As soon as I entered this church, unfortunately, Atyudarini started screaming atop her voice and soon we just decided to give up for the day (afterall it was freezing cold)!


To Stay: 
Hotel at all price points are available in Prague. 
Check out my review of Hotel Kinsky Garden where I stayed.

To Get There:
To the Brick Gate from Prague Railway Station: 3.6km (20 mins by tram)
Nearest tram station: Vyton

Entry Tickets & Timings:
Brick Gate: 9:30AM to 5:00/6:00PM; Free
Casemates & Gorlice: 9:30AM to 5:00/6:00PM; 60 CZK
Gothic Cellar: 9:30AM to 5:00/6:00PM; 50 CZK
Rest are open according to the events that happen there

Bhushavali

An ardent traveler by passion. I am a wanderlust.. Read more about me here.

14 comments:

  1. I had no idea that many of the original Charles Bridge sculptures had been moved to another location! It sounds like your trip to Vysehrad was worthwhile, not only to see them but to see the other sites in the area as well. The Gothic Cellar sounds like an interesting place for a history buff to visit!

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  2. Jane Dempster-SmithMarch 15, 2019 at 8:42 AM

    We visited Vysehrad last year when we were in Prague as part of the Hop on Hop off Bus tour. Unfortunately, we did not know about the underground cellar tour. We would have been interested in doing this. We spent a couple of hours wandering around the gardens and the cemetery. It was so peaceful after a busy time in Prague.

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  3. I remember visiting the Charles Bridge (20 years ago), but didn't know that the sculptures had been moved. I wonder if this was before or after I visited. Anyhow, love the atmospheric interiors of the cellar. Also, as a parent, I can relate to having carry the baby/child and stroller on long and steep steps. They seem to pop up when you least expect them to.

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  4. I liked Vysehrad for picknik. It's so peaceful out there and a great view. It's also a historical place worth visitng for its importnatce, but what I noticed is that many tourists simply skip it while in Prague. I think it's because it's a bit farther from the center.

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  5. Oh! I was not aware. I thought that they are original ones. We will definitely try to see Vysehrad. Adding it to our bucket list as we're hoping to visit Europe again next year.

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  6. Glad that you visited Vysehrad and explored all its historic significance. Unlike other tourists who prefer doing all the touristy stuff while in Prague. Also, That Brick Gate looks quite scary to me!

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  7. Vysehrad looks like such a beautiful place. I love visiting the heritage sites. Vysehrad has such greet history which you covered rather than only the touristy places.

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  8. Vysehrad looks like such a beautiful place. I love visiting the heritage sites. Vysehrad has such greet history which you covered rather than only the touristy places.

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  9. Those sculptures are very impressive and they managed to keep it after all these years. Amazing!

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  10. I loved Vysehrad a lot. When I visited it wasn't as crowded as the rest of the places in Prague. It's very peaceful, serene and offers a great view. Too bad not many people visit this historic place. Definitely deserves more attention than it does currently.

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  12. Actually, it is my first time to hear about Charles Bridge sculptures, and it sounds really interesting for me. I love the fact that you were able to manage to explore all what it has to offer, despite the long walk and it might be really tiring, but you'd enjoyed it a lot. Hopefully I can traipse my feet here soon.

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  13. this is a great post, didn't even know this place existed. I especially loved the casemates they sound so cool and also very interesting that the orginal statues are not on the bridge.

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  14. That's a different picture of Prague all together. This is actually tempting

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