Prague Castle - the country's most visited site has experienced a quiet year

Photo: Klára Stejskalová

A symbol of Prague and the largest castle complex in the world, Prague Castle was unusually quiet this year due to the coronavirus pandemic. 

Photo: Klára Stejskalová

Prague Castle is the most popular of the Czech Republic's many landmarks. In 2019 it was visited by 2.38 million tourists. This year the site saw only very few visitors due to the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic, which limited travel and forced the closure of several Czech landmarks in order to curb the spread of the virus. The Cathedral of St. Vitus, the mighty church which stands in the middle of the castle complex, was open only on December 24 this Christmas season.

Occupying 7.28 hectares of space, Prague Castle ranks among the largest castle complexes in the world. Bigger than Windsor Castle, it is also the largest castle that is still being used today, specifically as the seat of the country's head of state.

Cathedral of St. Vitus,  photo: Barbora Němcová

The castle has stood since the ninth century, when it housed the Premyslid dukes and later kings of Bohemia. It was also the main residence of two Holy Roman Emperors.

The Cathedral of St. Vitus served in the past as the coronation site for Czech kings. These rulers were also traditionally buried there. The cathedral houses the tombs of several Czech kings, four Holy Roman emperors, as well as several Prague archbishops, nobles, and important courtiers. It also serves as the final resting place for several saints, some of whom are among the patron saints of the Czech nation. Saint Wenceslas, Saint Adalbert and Saint John of Nepomuk are perhaps the most famous among them. Last but not least, the cathedral is also the repository for the crown jewels of Bohemia.

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