The visit to the Prague Castle complex is a must. It will give you a feel of the whole hilly part of the city before you walk through the Castle complex. Your private guide will meet you at the hotel and you will be driven to the Strahov Monastery to enjoy one of the best views over the city.
You might also visit the Strahov Library - one of the most beautiful interiors of Prague. A private visit of the two stunning rooms can be arranged upon your request. A lot of historical movies have been shot here, e.g. the famous Milos Forman’s film “Amadeus”, Mission Impossible etc.
You may continue to the New World area which used to be the home of artists and the small houses are really charming.
After getting off the car at the Castle square, we admire the Archbishop’s palace and the main entrance to the Castle complex. We continue on foot to see the St. Vitus Cathedral with its stain-glass windows, the Royal Palace with Vladislav Hall and the unforgettable and quaint Golden Lane.
The archaeological research and the oldest written sources prove that the Prague Castle was founded around the year 880 by Prince Borivoj of the house of Premyslides. The castle site was fortified with a moat and a rampart of clay and stones. The first walled building was the Church of Virgin Mary. Other churches, dedicated to St. George and St. Vitus, were founded in the first half of the 10th century.
From the 10th century Prague Castle has been not only the seat of the head of state, the princes, later kings and nowadays presidents, but also of the highest representative of church, the Prague bishop. The basilica of St. Vitus, built on the site of the original rotunda, has been the main church since the 11th century and the relics of the patron saints of the land are kept here. The period of the rule of King and later Emperor Charles IV (the middle of the 14th century) was a time of prosperity for Prague Castle. The royal palace was magnificently rebuilt, the fortifications strengthened and the church of St. Vitus was based on the model of French Gothic cathedrals.
Another important period was the second half of the 16th century, during the rule of Rudolf II. The emperor settled permanently in Prague Castle and began to turn it into a grand and dignified centre of the empire. He founded the northern wing of the palace, with today's Spanish Hall, to house his precious artistic and scientific collections.
The Prague defenestration in 1618 started a long period of wars, during which Prague Castle was damaged and robbed. In the second half of the 18th century the last great rebuilding of the Castle was carried out, making it a prestigious castle-type seat.
After the foundation of the independent Czechoslovak Republic in 1918, Prague Castle again became the seat of the head of state. It is an important cultural and historical monument. The crown jewels, precious Christian relics, art treasures and historical documents are kept here. Events important for the whole country have taken place within its walls. Hence Prague Castle is the embodiment of the historical tradition of the Czech state, linking the present with the past.
Optional private tour of the Strahov Library rooms
It was founded in 1140 on Strahov Hill and it is considered as one of the oldest monasteries. You enter the complex through the baroque gate with a statue of St. Norbert, the founder of the St. Norbert’s Order.
On this private tour of the monastery, you will use the back door and can explore the two very unique and beautiful library rooms. Your guide can tell you many stories and show you the illustrations in some of the books. When you go with other “normal” tourists, you just peek into the rooms from the doorway. This Prague interior is really worth visiting and highly recommended, especially after its complete cleaning and renovation which was finished at the end of 2011.
The two amazing rooms are:
The Theological Hall dating back to 17th century. It is decorated with a stucco ceiling with frescos dedicated to science, education and different proverbs. We admire the rich collection of more than 15.000 books, astronomical and geographical globes, precious old songbooks and unique pieces of furniture.
The 18th century Philosophical Hall occupies two floors and it is really a temple of sciences. The book cabinets - home to 50 000 books - were originally designed for a different monastery and since they represent great example of baroque woodcarving, they found their home here and the hall was built according to their size. The magnificent fresco called “Intellectual Progress of Mankind” is the icing on the cake of this private tour.
You will also see the Cabinet of Curiosities and the Church of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary where Mozart used to play the organ during his Prague visits. Stunning view of Prague panorama can be admired from the backyard of the Monastery.