Morning saw us boarding a coach for our drive to Prague Castle--the largest castle compound in the world according to the Guiness Book of Records. The first fortifications were started as early as 870 ACE. St. Vitus Cathedral, which is inside the palace grounds, was begun in the 14th century, but was not entirely finished until 1929. The environs were inhabited over the years by many royals, in later years by the Nazis and Communists, and now by the democratic government of the Czech Republic. Click to see Prague Castle Map
We approached the outer perimeter through a gate and down a walk with gardens and a piece of the old Stag Moat on the left and the riding school and some other buildings on the right.
|Looking down into the old moat.|
To the left of the old well was a passage that led to the third courtyard.
You enter the cathedral through massive doors in the richly detailed Gothic west front.
An iron fence pretty much closes off this south entrance now, but what struck my fancy were the charming little sculptural depictions of common folk at work or play that were affixed to the bars of the fence. Three are pictured below.
The 18th century part of the palace enclave built during the reign of Maria Theresa is now the location of many current governmental functions and includes the official residence of the president of the Czech Republic.
Our tour never got us around to the scenic front of the Palace that overlooks the city and the Vitava River. I had to filch this shot from the internet in order to get a sense of what we missed.