Prague Castle is not so much a castle as a complex of several buildings. The first building works began in 870 and it expanded over time. For much of the time it was not inhabited and it was largely destroyed by fire in 1541.
There are four churches on the site: St. Vitus Cathedral, St. George’s Basilica, All Saints Church and
Holy Cross Chapel. St. Vitus Cathedral holds the royal crypt and the gorgeous monument featuring Emperor Ferdinand I (1503-1564), Anne of Bohemia and Hungary (1503-1547) and their son Emperor Maximilian II (1527-1576). In 1590, all the coffins from underneath the old under the chancel were transferred here. A total of 10 coffins in the crypt and some are shared. The three people on the monument itself are buried inside the monument.
1. Charles IV, Holy Roman Emperor
2. Shared coffin with the wives of (1): Blanche of Valois, Anne of Bavaria, Anna of Schweidnitz and Elizabeth of Pomerania
3. Shared coffin with: Wenceslaus IV of Bohemia and Joanna of Bavaria
4. George of Poděbrady
5. Ladislaus the Posthumous
6. John of Görlitz (there are some unknown remains buried with him)
7. Wenceslaus (1350–51)
8. Rudolf II, Holy Roman Emperor
9. Shared coffin with: Rudolf I of Bohemia, Rudolf II, Duke of Austria and Eleanor of Austria (1568-1580)
10. Maria Amalia of Austria
Unfortunately, you cannot get close to the monument and even if you could get close, the crypt is closed to the public. I was actually quite disappointed with the lack of information in the cathedral and it was absolutely packed. St. Vitus Cathedral was also used for the coronation of the monarch.
St. George’s Basicila is the oldest surviving building of them all and perhaps the most impressive one, from my point of view. The lack of people made me realise it is probably not visited often. The Gothic style chapel dedicated to Ludmila of Bohemia also holds the tomb of the saint. Saint Ludmila was the grandmother of Saint Wenceslaus, who was posthumously declared King of Bohemia. Saint Ludmila was murdered on the orders of her daughter-in-law Drahomíra of Stodor. Princess Mlada, the daughter of Prince Boleslav I, was the first abbess here and she is also buried there though it is not known exactly where.
I then visited the Old Royal Palace with the famous Vladislav Hall, where entertainments were often organised. I also wished to visit the Belvedere but unfortunately, that lies at the other end of the royal gardens, which (for some reason) are closed during the winter. I walked around outside and was able to see it from behind the gate. The Belvedere was built as a summer residence for Anne of Bohemia and Hungary.
I have to admit that I was quite disappointed after my visit here. You can only buy tickets for certain “routes” and I bought the most expensive one “route A” hoping to see the most. The small ticket featured the tiniest map in the world. There is hardly any signage and definitely, no signage indicated any “route.” In addition, there is hardly any information and the shop only has one book in English about the castle but nothing about the people who lived there. For such a huge tourist attraction, I expected more.