Category: gothic

gothicThe gothic period (12th to 16th centuries), with its trademark pointed arches and decorative turrets, is well represented in the Czech Republic. The work of mediaeval masons can still be seen in the countless surviving churches and monasteries, defensive towers, bridges, castles and even townhouses.

Saint Stephen, Prague

Church of Saint Stephen, Štěpánská

The 14th-century church of Saint Stephen was one of two ecclesiastical foundations built specifically to serve the parish of Charles IV’s New Town. Construction took place between 1351 and 1392, close to the existing rotunda originally dedicated to...

Okoř Castle

Okoř Castle

The ruins of this mid-fourteenth-century castle lie about seven miles northwest of Prague. The name Okoř is thought to be related to the word ‘kořen’, or ‘root’, and is the subject of a colourful tale in which Přemysl...

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Chodov Fortress (Chodovská tvrz)

Deep in the southern suburbs of Prague – an area now dominated by highways and housing estates –  this thirteenth-century gothic fortress is an unexpected witness to a much older history, dating from the time when Chodov was...

Prague astronomical clock

Prague Astronomical Clock (Orloj)

The exact authorship of the mediaeval clock (‘orloj’) in Prague’s Old Town Square is confused, but it seems to have been the result of a collaboration between Mikuláš of Kadaň and Jan Šindel, an astronomer and vice-chancellor of...

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Královská obora 56: Governor’s Summer Palace

On a high ridge overlooking Prague’s Stromovka park stands the impressive Místodržitelský letohrádek (Governor’s Summer Palace). Though extensively modified in Strawberry Hill style between 1804 and 1805 by Georg Fischer, its tower contains an original gothic staircase dating...

Powder Tower, Prague, restored facade

Prašná brána (Powder Tower)

The eastern side of the mediaeval city was guarded by an imposing entrance on the road leading from Prague to the royal mint at Kutná Hora. In the fifteenth century the already 400-year-old gateway was replaced by an...

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Church of Our Lady of the Snows

Ordained by Charles IV in 1347 on the day after his coronation, the original intention was to construct a great triple-aisled basilica reflecting the status of Prague as a second Rome. Even its name – Our Lady of...

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Prague Castle: Vladislav Hall

Commissioned by the Jagellon king Vladislav II, this palatial hall was constructed within the walls of Prague Castle between 1485 and 1502. Designed by the master-builder Benedikt Rejt, the hall was used principally for ceremony and entertainment. Together...

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Cathedral Church of Saint Vitus

Founded on 21 November 1344, Saint Vitus’s Cathedral in Prague Castle is the work of generations of master builders. The east end (to the right of this picture) was built by the French architect Matthew of Arras, who...