Prague Castle prepares for significant renovation

St Vitus Cathedral, photo: CzechTourism

Prague Castle, which is said to be the largest ancient castle in the world, covering an area of nearly 70,000 square metres, is set to undergo some significant restoration work this year. The reconstruction, which concerns for instance the Old Royal Palace and Saint Vitus Cathedral, is expected to cost some 290 million crowns. I spoke to František Kadlec of the Prague Castle Administration, who says the restoration of the castle buildings is a never-ending process:

Prague Castle,  photo: Kristýna Maková
“For the coming year we have planned renovation of buildings on the first and the fourth courtyard of the Prague Castle and especially the Castle’s southern wing. The reconstruction concerns especially the outer façade. We will remove the non-original top coat on the building and replace it with whitewash.”

“The Old Royal Palace, the former residence of Czech Kings, will be also undergoing reconstruction, especially the so-called Ludvík’s Wing, where it is necessary to replace some stone and brick elements which are in bad condition.”

I believe you are also going to reconstruct parts of St Vitus Cathedral?

St Vitus Cathedral,  photo: CzechTourism
“Yes, the reconstruction concerns mainly the outer windows, which are in need of repair. Some wall paintings in the historical part are also awaiting renovation. And it is also necessary to restore the tombs of the Czech Kings in the eastern part of the church and reconstruct some altars.”

Would you say these are major changes or rather a maintenance work that needs to be done regularly, from time to time?

“I would say that especially the southern wing of Prague Castle, the buildings around the fourth courtyard and the Saint Vitus Cathedral, which are the most important parts of Prague Castle, are reconstructed permanently. The works keep going on around all the buildings.”

Will the restoration work disturb visitors to Prague Castle in any way?

Prague Castle,  photo: Filip Jandourek
“We hope not, of course. We will do as much as possible not to limit visitors walking around the castle. Everything will be open as normally.”

When do you expect the restoration work to be completed?

“I expect they will be going on from March up to October or November. Everything depends on the weather, of course, but I would say that the planned reconstruction will be ready by the end of November.”