Prague Castle, according to the Guinness Book of World Records, is the largest castle coherent complex. With 18 acres of land area, this castle is, surely, one for the world record!
Within the area, you will find architectural gems from different times, and of various styles. If you are an architecture fan, this is simply your paradise.
You will find Gothic, Baroque, Romanesque, and more.
Prazsky Hrad (as the locals call it) sits on top of a hill.
It’s a long climb up there on concrete steps.
But Prague’s sweeping skyline view is magnificent from here.
Prague Castle is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
It has a history of more than a thousand years, dating back to the 9th century.
The palace was home to the Bohemian Kings and Queens in the 14th, 16th and 17th centuries.
In one of the buildings, Reinhard Heydrich, known as the “Butcher of Prague” held his court here in 1941. He got that moniker because he was responsible for organizing the gruesome events of the Holocaust. He was later assassinated – and his life was the subject of the 2016 film Anthropoid.
Also, the palace complex has churches/cathedral, palaces, chateaux, gardens, towers, and 26 statehouses.
St. Vitus Cathedral is definitely the one that you shouldn’t miss here.
The first I laid my eyes on it, I instantly thought about its similarity to Cologne Cathedral in Germany.
Some rooms of the palace are open to the public.
I wasn’t able to get into one of those rooms because they were going to close 30 minutes later when I arrived. So I contented myself in exploring the palace grounds.
However, a local friend of mine said that one of the things that you must see inside are the jewels of the Bohemian royals. These jewels are securely locked with 7 keys being held by 7 people. So, if they want to unlock it, all these 7 influential individuals must be together. I am not really sure the significance of the number 7 here – but I’m guessing it refers to the days in a week? 😀
Franz Kafka used to live (#22) on a street behind the Cathedral. His book, “The Castle” was written from here.
Today, the President of the Czech Republic holds office from here.
Hostel / Hotel in Prague – Where to Stay
I stayed at Cosmopole Hostel in a busy area where public transport to and from the train station is just a few steps from the door. The Old Town is around 20 minutes walk, passing by some of the city’s unique architecture. The hostel is surrounded by shops and cafes that are even late at night. The rooms are quite small, but with only four people in it, you can still move around comfortably. Be aware that Prague is pretty expensive, so finding cheap accommodation can be a challenge. It’s also super touristy here, the earlier you book, the better you have the chance to get a bed space.
These hostels are in the center of the Old Town: SafeStay Prague and Hostel Homer. If you can afford, the Corinthia Hotel Prague is for you. You can book all of these hotel/hotels in Prague via Booking, , HostelWorld, and Expedia.