Prague, Czech Republic: Saint Vitus Cathedral & Tomb of St. Wenceslaus
About Saint Vitus Cathedral:
Although the formal name on some maps may say “Metropolitan Cathedral of Saints Vitus, Wenceslaus and Adalbert”, the Cathedral generally is more commonly known as “Saint Vitus Cathedral”. Often referred to as the “Crown of the Kingdom”, it is actually located within Prague Castle and holds the relics of the first Czech saint: Saint Wenceslas.
The foundation of the church was laid in 1344 and the Chapel of Saint Wenceslas was consecrated in 1367. The rest of the Cathedral was completed over many years, culminating in 1770. Construction of the west part of the church is relatively new and was completed in 1929.
The Chapel of Saint Wenceslaus is without doubt its main attraction, where the tomb of Saint Wenceslaus can be found. It also contains thousands of precious stones and magnificent paintings adorning its walls. It is probably the most sacred place in the Czech Republic and attracts thousands of pilgrims each year.
There are daily and weekend Masses here, so check their website below for details.
About Saint Wenceslaus:
Perhaps you know his name from the Christmas carol, “Good King Wenceslaus”……..he was a real person who exemplified Christian values at a time when there was much political intrigue in Bohemia.
Born in 907 near Prague, son of the Duke of Bohemia, and raised by his grandmother Ludmilla, Much intrigue surrounded him and his mother was actually favoring anti-Christian factions in the country. Ludmilla was eventually murdered, but rival Christian forces enabled Wenceslaus to assume leadership of the government.
His rule was marked by efforts toward unification within Bohemia, support of the Church, and peace-making negotiations with Germany, a policy which caused him trouble with the anti-Christian opposition. His brother Boleslav joined in the plotting, and in September of 929 invited Wenceslaus to Alt Bunglou for the celebration of the feast of Saints Cosmas and Damian. On the way to Mass, Boleslav attacked his brother, and in the struggle, Wenceslaus was killed by supporters of Boleslav.
Although his death resulted primarily from political upheaval, Wenceslaus was hailed as a martyr for the faith, and his tomb here became a pilgrimage shrine. He is hailed as the patron of the Bohemian people and of the former Czechoslovakia.
We celebrate the Feast of Saint Wenceslaus on September 28.
Traveling to Saint Vitus Cathedral:
The Cathedral is located within Prague Castle and is open daily.
Address: III. nádvoří 48/2, 119 01 Praha 1
GPS coordinates: 50° 5′ 27.2112” N, 14° 24′ 1.8396” E
Click here for more information about Saint Vitus Cathedral and Prague Castle.