Prague Castle


1998

Prague Castle is a huge complex of churches, towers, monuments and houses. Beginning as a fortified settlement in 875 CE, the castle has grown and changed down through the centuries. It underwent its greatest development during the 14th century under the direction of King Charles IV. Kafka, writing in the early 20th century, saw Prague Castle as the embodiment of aloof, faceless bureaucracy and it provided the inspiration for his novel The Castle.

This photo shows the castle across the Vltava River, which runs through the center of Prague. The prominent building with the spires is St. Vitus. Construction began on this huge cathedral in 1344, and continued for centuries in fits and starts through wars, rebellions, revolutions, religious turmoil and changing architectural trends. It was finally completed in 1929. St. Wenceslas, Bohemia's patron saint, is buried under one of the cathedral's twenty-one chapels.