Vysehrad (Prague - Czechia)

Ofcourse there are the fabulous sculptures on the Charles Bridge in Prague. But do you know many of those are actually not the original ones? Some of the original ones have been shifted to a safe place to protect them and that is how I came to know of Vysehrad! Located south of Petrin hill, we started off there after exploring the street-art in Prague city. Today, till the end of Vysehrad from atop the Prague Castle is a UNESCO protected region. Its a good 20 minute ride by tram and like Prague Castle, this too is atop the hill and the complex comprises of various buildings, but...... as a much much more serene, peaceful and calm version...The history of Vysehrad begins at 1061 CE under Vratislaus II. Due to consistent troubles with his brother, he relocated his seat of rule Vysehrad, thus making a mark on Vysehrad in the history of Prague. Since 1222 CE, Vysehrad was steadily being built as the capital city with the Basilica of St.Paul and St.Peter and St.Martin's Rotunda were built. Then on, the importance of Vysehrad kept of going up & down. In the next phase under Vladislaus II in 1140 CE, again the royal seat was shifted to Prague Castle, and Vysehrad lost importance. Next again under Charles IV in 1346-78 CE, Vysehrad gained importance as he saw the town as the symbol of Czech history. He wanted all coronation processions to begin here to mark their respect to ancestors! Later again the town saw its decline. After the 30 yrs war, in 1643 CE, the new construction of Vysehrad fortress began and got over by 1727 CE with all the bastions, casemates etc. However, somehow, Vysehrad never served a military purpose!To begin with, as soon as we reached there, we realized its not a slope, but a staircase to reach atop! So yeah, I picked up Atyudarini and Mr.V picked up the stroller and up we went. The first site we went was the most important one for me - Brick Gate, Casemates & Gorlice. This is an underground cellar that can be accessed only with a guided tour that happens once every hour. The Brickgate is the entrypoint to the Casemates & Gorlice. This was constructed in 1841. The 3 passages are for vehicles and 2 for pedestrians.The Casemates are underground corridors that are more than a km long. The Gorlice is the largest chamber in the casemates and that's exactly where the original sculptures of Charles Bridge are. There are 6 sculptures here made in 1707 to 1724. Its rather impressive to see those monumental sculptures of Charles Bridge in the expanse of river and sky, here in this dark, underground room, which almost fills the whole height of the room!!!From here went on a walk around the fortification walls and the view of Prague from here is just impressive without the crazy crowd of the typical viewpoints like Prague castle or Petrin hill. It was from here that I tried to zoom into Zizkov TV Tower and realized that David Cerny's babies are missing! Ofcourse the mini Eiffel Tower atop Petrin hill is also visible from here, as well as the very impressive fortification wall aka Hunger Wall. Our next stop was St.Martin's Rotunda - a cute, circular church, followed by Old Deanery which has the archaeological remains of the Romanesque church. However both were closed. Close to this is the Old Burgrave's Residence which was a palace built in 14th C CE. However the current construction belongs to 18th C CE. Today its used as a hall to conduct events & exhibitions as well as a cafe. Ahead of this is the Gothic Cellar. As the name suggests, this is an underground cellar which, today houses a permanent exhibition of the history of Vysehrad incl. its pottery, clothing, books, old city plan and much more. This is the part of the original 14th C CE building made under Charles IV. Next to this is the glorious Church of Saint Peter and Saint Paul and its cemetery beside. Thanks to the importance of the city as commanded by King Charles IV, this cemetery holds the tombs of several important people in Czech. As soon as I entered this church, unfortunately, Atyudarini started screaming atop her voice and soon we just decided to give up for the day (afterall it was freezing cold)!To Stay: Hotel at all price points are available in Prague. Check out my review of Hotel Kinsky Garden where I stayed.To Get There:To the Brick Gate from Prague Railway Station: 3.6km (20 mins by tram)Nearest tram station: VytonOn Google Maps: Brick Gate (Entrance to Casemates & Gorlice), St.Martin's Rotunda, Old Deanery, Burgrave's residence, Gothic Cellar, Church of St.Peter & St.Paul, Cemetery Entry Tickets & Timings:Brick Gate: 9:30AM to 5:00/6:00PM; FreeCasemates & Gorlice: 9:30AM to 5:00/6:00PM; 60 CZKGothic Cellar: 9:30AM to 5:00/6:00PM; 50 CZKRest are open according to the events that happen thereMy entire Prague travelogue: Street Art & Installations, Prague Castle, Old Town Hall & Astronomical Clock, Historic Centre of Prague, Vysehrad

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