Vysehrad is surrounded by many legends from the beginning of the history of the Czech nation. The first of these is the story of Prince Krok, who established castle with his daughters. The legend says that Krok’s daughter Libuše prophesied the size of Prague from Vyšehrad. Another myth relates castle to the story of Knight Horymir, who was imprisoned here by Prince Křesomysl. His last wish was to ride his horse Šemík. With him he drove off and leaped from the Vysehrad walls. They both fell into the Vltava River. Unfortunately Šemík died as a result of the jump. Today, Šemík has his grave in the village Horymir’s village Neumětely.
Documented history dates back to the end of the 10th century, when the first church was situated and the Czech princes and kings lived here.
At the end of the 11th century, the local basilica of St. Peter and Paul, which has been rebuilt many times since then, and the rotunda of St. Martin, which is still there. Then for two centuries Vysehrad was abandoned by the king, and the re-development of Vyšehrad came under the reign of Charles IV, when the fortifications were strengthened and connected with the city. This development was stopped by the Hussites when they conquered and burned it in 1420. After that, Vyšehrad was populated by poor peasants and was disconneted from the city again.
During the Thirty Years’ War, castle was rebuilt to fortress, which supposed to defend the southern side of the city. This rebuilding eventually stretched over the course of two centuries, but Vyšehrad has never been under siege. The army later withdrew from Vyšehrad. From this epoch we have preserved the entire fortifications of Vyšehrad including three gates: Brick Gate, Leopold Gate and the oldest Gate of Tábor.
At the turn of the 18th and 19th centuries, cemetery (Slavín) was founded, which is the place of rest of many Czech historical figures and artists. The Basilica of St. Peter and Paul, near the cemetery, was converted from the Baroque style to the Neo-Gothic form at the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries and also got its two towers.
Vyšehrad is the ideal place for a walk. Those interested in adventure can visit casemates under the huge walls that served as a storehouse of food and gunpowder. Besides the casemate.There is a beautiful view on Vltava, Prague Castle, Old Town … so it is definitely place in Prague that you should visit 😊
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