St. Vitus Cathedral
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Royal Compound with Hilltop Views
The Prague Castle complex, which sits on the top of the hill on the edges of the city, dominates the skyline. And the crown jewel of the complex is St. Vitus Cathedral. Construction of this Gothic and neo-Gothic masterpiece began in 1344 and took nearly six centuries to complete. The largest and most important church in Prague, which is surrounded by smaller chapels, is also the spiritual heart of the city. Czech kings and queens have been coronated here and are also laid to rest here underneath the cathedral. The exterior with its heavy bronze doors and carved stone is massive and imposing. Once you enter, however, the soaring Gothic ceiling overwhelms you with a feeling of lightness. The interior is filled with golden sunlight and glowing colors from the stained glass windows, designed by prominent 20th century Czech artists, including art nouveau talent Alphonse Mucha. The Prague Castle complex, with its multiple buildings and exhibitions, is a full-day trip. Be sure to stop by the hillside terraced restaurant (to the side the front entrance in the plaza) which provides views over Prague, and then enjoy a leisurely walk back into town.
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