Vyšehrad is a very old castle that is located in Prague, the capital of the Czech Republic. It is believed to have been built in the 10th century and it is located next to the Vltava River. The neo-Gothic church of St. Peter and Paul is part of the compound. The 11th century Rotunda of St. Martin is also located there and it is the city’s oldest surviving building.
Many well-known people from Czech history are buried at the Vyšehrad Cemetery, such as musicians Bedrich Smetana, and Antonín Dvorák, as well as poet Jan Neruda. This burial ground is located right next to the church.
History and Architecture
The Vyšehrad castle was the royal residence up until 1140 when the royal family chose to live at the Prague Castle. Until the 19th century, the castle had been in use and significantly fortified. Many buildings were torn down after that period of time. Some of the original gates still remain.
The 17th century Tábor Gate was the entrance to the castle. The gate leads to the old fourteenth century rampart which was constructed by Charles IV, King of Bohemia. Additionally, there is the notable Baroque Leopold Gate which dates back to the 17th century.
The large ramparts that are to the right and left of the Baroque Leopold Gate were made in the 18th century. The top part of the ramparts gives visitors a good look at Vyšehrader Park. The most noticeable remnant is the Gothic Bath of Libuše, it had previously been the defensive fortification for the castle.
The largest building is the St. Peter and Paul Church. King Vratislav II, founded the church in the 11th century. A fire destroyed the church in the 13th century, and it was reconstructed in a Gothic style thereafter. The church’s present appearance dates back to the early 1900’s when a pair of towers had been added.
There is a small 11th century Romanesque church that is near the Leopold Gate that is named the Rotunda of St. Martin. Not too far from the church is the Vyšehrader Park. This area once had a Romanesque palace. The park has many 19th century sculptures that were made by Josef Václav Myslbek.