Saturday, April 25, 2015

St Vitus Cathedral, Prague

St Vitus Cathedral is a Gothic masterpiece, being importantly the spiritual symbol of Czech Republic. This Cathedral has a unique status in the Prague Archdiocese, being the capital church of the archbishop of Prague. The Cathedral is the main pilgrimage site of the Prague Archdiocese. Located in the Prague Castle complex, St Vitus is the one building which dominates the complex. The Cathedral is the third Church consecrated to the same saint on the identical site.

About the year 925 AD Prince Vaclav I founded a Romanesque rotunda here which after 1060 was converted into a basilica with three naves and two steeples. The significance of the Cathedral grew especially after the establishment of the Prague Bishopric (973) and the founding of the body of canons – the St Vitus chapter, which later became an important cultural and administrative institution.

The current Cathedral was commissioned by Charles IV, and construction began in 1344. This Church took almost six centuries to complete; the final phase of construction being in the period 1873-1929. This Cathedral has also overseen the coronation of Czech kings and queens. Here one finds many tombs and mausoleums of past kings, queens and saints of the country. 

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