Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Prague: St. Vitus Cathedral

As I mentioned in the previous post, St. Vitus Cathedral is the heart of the Prague Castle complex. It's huge, very gothic and very interesting. Let's have a look.
Front entrance. There is free entry for all up until a certain point. After that, to get a closer look, you need to purchase a ticket.
Lots of gargoyles to help the water drain off the roof. We were near here during a pretty heavy downpour so got to see them up close and in action. 
A view of some of the stained glass. I have quite a few photos of the windows, but I just can't get them to turn out.
Here's a view of the organ. They have concerts here as well each evening, but we didn't end up fitting one in. I'm sure it's amazing acoustics.
These are the actual crypts of some of the Hapsburg royalty who play a prominent role in Prague history. What I found interesting is that they are in the middle of the church itself. Those are pews on either side. Not sure I'd be that comfortable sitting next to them during Sunday mass.
Confessionals. I love the contrasting colors in this picture.
All along the far end of the church are these small separate chapels paying homage to various rulers, patrons or saints of the church. They each have their own style, which makes for an eclectic hodgepodge of a collection, but very interesting. 
For example, this is the crypt of John Nepomuk who was one of the queen's confessors. When the king insisted he spill the queen's secrets, he refused and was then thrown off the Charles Bridge. He now has this monstrosity (all silver and weighing many tons) in St. Vitus and has his own larger chapel in another part of the castle grounds.

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