Prague Towers (2) – St. Vitus Cathedral

The introduction to Prague Towers series can be found here.

St. Vitus behind Royal Summerhouse

St. Vitus behind Royal Summerhouse

The first tower I chose for my Prague Towers series is the tower of St. Vitus cathedral in Prague Castle. That’s the green one, which you will find on any panorama picture from Prague, also on my blog here or here or here and also at some other posts, I chose just the panoramatic ones. Today I start with a bit unusual view from the Prague Castle’s back, from Royal Summerhouse.

St. Vitus Cathderal was founded in 1344 by Czech king and Roman Emperor Charles IV as the most important church in Czech lands. It was not built in the city center, as it is quite usual in Europe, but above it, in the complex of Prague Castle.

Bell Tower from the 3rd courtyard of Prague Castle

Bell Tower from the 3rd courtyard of Prague Castle (you can easily guess this shot was not taken the day I climbed the tower up …

It was built in four phases, finished in 1929. At the interior and the exterior you can see the traces of the centuries, but the building itself is gothic, despite the fact that the final works were done in puristic gothic style in 20th century.

The tower we will talk about was founded in 14th century by Petr Parléř and it is called Bell Tower. The height of it was 180.5 ft (55 m). The tower partially burned during the big fire in 1541 and was rebuilt again in 1544. Therefore,  Renaissance arcades were added with baroque green spire on the gothic bases.

Bells are hiddne in the tower behind the golden bar

Bells are hidden in the tower behind the golden bar

Lots of bells rang from the tower, today you will find there these 7:

  • Zikmund (Sigismond) from 1549, the biggest Czech bell, done by Tomáš Jaroš, weight 13.5 tons and diameter 6.6 ft (2.56 m).
  • Václav (Wenceslass) from 1542, done by Ondřej and Matyáš Pražský
  • Jan Křtitel (John Baptist) from 1546, author Stanislav
  • Josef (Joseph) from 1602, author Martin Hilger

From 2012 there are three more bells from the workshop of Dytrych family (from Brodek by Přerov)

  • Dominik (Dominus = Our Lord)
  • Maria
  • Ježíš (Jesus) – the smallest

You can listen to easter ringing of these bells from 2012 at this link.

From St. Vitus bell tower there is one of the most beautiful views to Prague, even when the visibility is low.

Government buildings

Important buildings from top left: Černín Palace – ministery of Foreign Affairs, Royal Summerhouse, Lobkowicz Palace – German Embassy, Karmář’s villa – seat of prime minister

Looking straight down from the tower.

Right down

St. George basilic, oldest church at Prague Castle, roofs od the Cathedral, 3rd courtayrd of Prague Castle – main entrance to presidential offices

Deatils on the roofs.



And finally view to the city.

eth eth wr

View to east, Little Quarter and Charles Bridge

Little Quarter square with St. Nicholas Church and former jesuith college in the middle

Little Quarter square with St. Nicholas Church and former jesuith college in the middle

Vltava river bridges, direction Letná, Karlín and Holešovice

Vltava river bridges, direction Letná, Karlín and Holešovice

Our next tower will be Petřín Watchtower, how viewed from Bell Tower of St. Vitus Cathedral.

Petřín - watchtower

Petřín – watchtower

The whole series to be found here
1 Introduction
2 Bell Tower of St. Vitus Cathedral
3 Petřín Watchtower
4 St. Nicholas Bellfry
5 Little Quarter’s Bridge Tower
6 Old Town’s Bridge Tower
7 Astronomical Klementinum Tower
8 Tower of the Old Town Townhall
9 Powder Tower



30 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Bhavesh Kumar
    Jan 21, 2013 @ 11:19:28

    Can I ask you about how much of a research did you do to for this must be really interested in history and monuments, if I am not wrong..


    • PragueByKaty
      Jan 21, 2013 @ 11:26:04

      I am a tourguide in Prague, so I studied a lot fro it and had to make an exams :-). And you are right, I am very keen on the topic and on Prague and travelling, so I hope you can feel it from my posts. But I try to use just a pieces of the knowledge, only to make it interesting for readers, informative, and who want to know more, he/she can ask me or come to Prague and let me be his/her guide :-).


      • Bhavesh Kumar
        Jan 21, 2013 @ 11:48:03

        it’s always interesting to know such intricate details and is instrumental in demonstrating your passion for the far as I am concerned I am a freelance broadcast journalist .and always keep looking for new the next time I do something in Prague..I will definitely contact you to know the place better…God Bless

      • PragueByKaty
        Jan 21, 2013 @ 11:52:48

        I am looking forward. Cheers

  2. Trackback: Prague Towers (1) – Introduction « PragueByKaty
  3. Photography Journal Blog
    Jan 21, 2013 @ 14:45:14

    I love the detail shots.


  4. rimassolosailingaroundtheworldm
    Jan 21, 2013 @ 18:01:16

    Thank you for very nice pictures,it’s beautiful


  5. mycaymanianlife
    Jan 21, 2013 @ 18:01:52

    I did a similar tour and snapped many photos, which I lost! Thanks for the great memories. 🙂


  6. Peter S
    Jan 21, 2013 @ 21:38:05

    I have to tell you that I admire your writing a great deal! You can draw the reader in with enough detail, but still make it interesting for someone who might have just a passing interest in Prague. You always make me want to learn more about the subject, hard to do in travel writing!


  7. seeker
    Jan 22, 2013 @ 00:14:20

    Love the pictures. One day, I will return to Prague to visit Infant Jesus.


  8. fotoeins
    Jan 22, 2013 @ 01:52:07

    Reading your blog makes me ache for one of my most beloved cities in the world, Katy. 😉 Love this cathedral, and love the views from Hradcany, too! Thanks for your post!


  9. Finn Holding
    Jan 22, 2013 @ 22:14:41

    Great photo’s Katy, they bring back lots of nice memories of your fair city. I’m looking forward to your post about Petřín watctower too. I’ve seen it many times but never known what it was.


  10. Trackback: Travel theme: Up « PragueByKaty
  11. Anita Mac
    Jan 24, 2013 @ 17:55:32

    Great photos…love the details.


  12. misswandie
    Jan 25, 2013 @ 00:03:22

    I love Prague, it is one of my favourite cities, I went during winter, and thought it was just magical 🙂


  13. Trackback: Prague Towers (3) – Petřín Watchtower « PragueByKaty
  14. Madhu
    Jan 28, 2013 @ 14:11:36

    So much beauty! Need to get there fast 🙂


  15. Trackback: Prague Towers (4) – St. Nicholas Church « PragueByKaty
  16. Trackback: Prague Towers (5) – Little Quarter Bridge Tower « PragueByKaty
  17. Trackback: Prague Towers (6) – Old Town Bridge Tower « PragueByKaty
  18. Trackback: Prague Towers (7) – Astronomical Tower Klementinum | PragueByKaty
  19. Trackback: Prague Towers (8) – Old Town Townhall Tower | PragueByKaty
  20. Trackback: Prague Towers (9) – Powder Tower | PragueByKaty
  21. Trackback: Prague Towers (10) – St. Henry’s Tower | PragueByKaty
  22. Trackback: Prague Towers (11) – Žižkov TV Tower | PragueByKaty
  23. deeramirez2003
    Mar 25, 2013 @ 16:42:31

    I absolutely love your blog!! Prauge is such a beautiful city. I visited in July of 2001, when we were stationed in Illeshiem, Germany (US Army). We took a tour with Enjoy Tours (no longer exsists, I believe). I really enjoy how you give a brief history along with your pictures. By far, this is my favorite blog to follow!!!

    We took a road trip to Prague, I guess I took turned left when I should have turned right… we ended up in Karlovy Vary! (8 hours later) It was an interesting trip that we took on our own. Keep up the great work!!


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