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St Vitus Cathedral

The Castle is probably the biggest attraction in Prague; one can make the case for the Charles Bridge, but I think the bridge just happens to be the best place to enjoy Prague’s cityscape. Prague Castle is the largest ancient castle in the world, but the definition of a castle may not quite match what most people think. In my mind, a castle should look like one big building from a distance. Prague Castle looks like a town in itself; I guess that’s why it is the world’s largest castle. It looks more like a town also because it has one standout building that is taller than the rest of the castle; that’s the St Vitus Cathedral.

There was a long line at the entrance when we got to the Cathedral. Most of the people were actually with tour groups. It rained a little that day, so it was kinda funny to see all those tour guide using umbrellas, instead of flags, to lead tour groups. It was also kinda interesting to see a group of French tourists standing next to us; I just have never seen a tour group that is not speaking Chinese or English. We have seen quite a few churches or cathedrals earlier on this trip, but this one is still quite impressive because of the sheer size of it. Also impressive is the stained glass windows and the Chapel of St Wenceslas.

It is true that you can spend the whole day wandering in the castle, but the Cathedral is the only Can’t-Miss building there. And it is free to visit the Cathedral (not so for other buildings of the castle) So technically you don’t have to spend a dime to visit the castle. We did purchase the ticket to visit all the other buildings (almost all, but the Old Royal Palace was not opened that day for some reason) and personally I think they are not that remarkable, except maybe for the Golden Lane, a small area within the castle where you need a ticket to access.

After spending most of the day exploring the castle, we visited some of the gardens just outside of the castle. The one near the exit (it’s really another entrance) is called Garden on the Ramparts, and that is where we get a nice view of red roof top houses. There is also the Palace Gardens that is on the slope leading down to the Lesser Town. Those gardens require separate admission, so we weren’t sure if we want to see it. We did go in after all, and the gardens were quite nice, but we thought it was a little pricey to get in.

We actually passed by the castle again on another day, around evening time. I thought it would be nice to hang around inside the castle after dark, but that wasn’t really the case. The castle is better looking from the outside, with the spotlight beaming at it.

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