Vyšehrad

Article

January 24, 2022

Vyšehrad is a historic fort, castle and fortress in Prague, on a rock above the right bank of the Vltava River on the southern edge of the historic city, in the Vyšehrad district. In the Vyšehrad cemetery with Slavín near the church of St. Peter and Paul are buried important Czech personalities, there is also the oldest Prague rotunda of St. Martina. Today, the park-like and publicly accessible area has been a national cultural monument since 1962. Vyšehrad is associated with a number of legends from the beginnings of Czech history, it was said to have been founded by the legendary Prince Krok. The actual origin of the princely fortified settlement dates back to the second half of the 10th century. At the end of the 11th century, the first Czech king, Wrocław II, lived here, who established the Vyšehrad chapter. In fact, Vyšehrad became part of Prague under Charles IV, who rebuilt it and connected it to the fortifications of the newly founded New Town. In 1420 the castle was burned down by the Hussites, in the middle of the 17th century it was rebuilt into a Baroque fortress as part of the expansion of the town fortifications. From the 15th to the 19th century, Vyšehrad, with its castle grounds, was a self-governing town, until 1848 it was subordinated to the Vyšehrad Chapter and annexed to Prague in 1883. At the same time, a national burial ground was established and Vyšehrad was modified to its present form. In 1904, a tunnel was breached by the Vyšehrad rock, which opened the right-bank road of Prague with its southern surroundings.

Position

Vyšehrad is located just over 3 km southeast of Prague Castle on the right bank of the Vltava. The Pankrác Plain with an altitude of about 230 m in these places extends to the northwest approximately 600 m long watchtower, wedged between the Vltava River and the valley of the Botič stream. The northern, western and southern slopes of the hill are very steep, the southwestern edge is even formed by a 42 meter high rock made of Ordovician shales, falling directly into the Vltava, which in this place also has the greatest depth in the whole of Prague. The cadastral territory of Vyšehrad is bounded on the west by the center of the Vltava River, on the south and east by the walls of the fortress above Nusle, and on the north side by Na Slupi, Botičská, Na Děkance and Svobodová streets. From the top of the rock there is a beautiful view of Prague and the Vltava riverbed (practically from Braník to the Old Town); it is one of the most beautiful natural viewpoints in Prague.

Legends

Legend has it that Vyšehrad was founded by Prince Krok when he was looking for a safer seat. During his time at Budča, he sent messengers to find a safer place. On a steep rock above the Vltava, the prince ordered a forest to be cut down and a castle built there. When Krok died, his daughter Libuše took over the government. But the men did not want a female government, so Libuše sent messengers to follow her horse, who would find their new ruler. The messengers went for two days and on the third day they came to the village of Stadice, where Přemysl was plowing in the field with a pair of bulls. The horse stopped at him, and the messengers knew he was their future ruler. He was transported with great glory to Vyšehrad, where he was already greeted by Libuše. And so Přemysl sat on the throne next to Libuše and together with Libuše he ruled over the Czech people. In memory of the fact that he was called from the field, he was named Oráč and became the 4th Czech ruler (according to legend). The legend of the knight Horymír, who was imprisoned in Vyšehrad for Prince Křesomysl because he destroyed silver mines, also relates to Vyšehrad. As a last wish, before his death, he wanted to ride his faithful horse to Šemík for the last time. There was nothing valid that Křesomysl had all the gates closed. Šemík also jumped over the walls with Horymír and jumped straight into the Vltava. Horymír saved himself, but the brave Šemík died as a result of the jump. He still has a tombstone in Neumětely. There is also a legend similar to the one about the Knights of Blanice: the Vyšehrad hill hides a secret cellar where a golden treasure is hidden. Above the treasures

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