Prague Castle – Entrance Gate and the First Courtyard

Let’s start our tour of Prague Castle beauties at the Hradčanské square which spreads directly above the main face of the Castle. Not only can we enter the First Courtyard from here but we can also, apart from splendid historical buildings, enjoy the magnificent and unforgettable view of the whole city from the castle walkway in the south. Let’s set out together across the square which has seen several important events, towards the main entrance gate of the Prague Castle.

All about Prague Castle  more read here

The main gate remembering the empress Maria Theresa: Prague Castle - The main entrance gate
This glorious entrance gate is a part of Rococo railing which comes from the period of the reign of the empress Maria Theresa. Above the main gateway, you can see a partly gold-coated wrought arch with a royal crown at the top. Sides of the gate are formed by bulky square columns bearing sculptures of fighting giants from 1768. There are other beautiful sculpture works on other columns but not as monumental as the first ones. In front of the largest columns, you will always find members of the Castle Guard on duty. If you have already seen the gate and the guards, enter the First Courtyard.

The Courtyard – a venue for many ceremonies: pha1-prazsky-hrad-prvni-nadvori002
The First Courtyard of the Prague Castle
is known under the name Square of Honour and it is the main entrance to the Prague Castle. It is situated between the New Palace and the access front which encloses it in the west. The square was established in 1763 – 1765 as a Courtyard of Honour. It was founded in the place of former ramparts. This courtyard is a scene of reception ceremonials and among others you can also see here the changing of castle guards. This act is performed publicly directly at the Courtyard.

Buildings of the First Courtyard were built in 1760s and they were designed by a Viennese architect N. Pacassi. Notice plastic signs with military trophies on antiques of buildings. They are the original work of Ign. Platzer. The author of the last courtyard modifications from 1920–1922, was the prominent architect Josip Plecnik.

State rooms: Prague Castle- Matthias Gate
Now, when we are standing behind the gate, I can tell you something about the building in front of us. It is the western wing with state rooms. One of the main dominating features is the Matthias Gate which is the entrance to another courtyard. Then there are two high flagpoles with flags of the Czech Republic. The flagpoles are made of pine tree trunks and were renovated in 1962. Pacassi staircase leads from Matthias Gate on the right directly into the New Palace, i.e. into state rooms in the southern wing, then the Hall of Columns with the Rothmayer Hall leading into great halls of the northern wing. These rooms are not generally open to public, however they open to public twice a year – in May on the occasion of Liberation from Fascism and in October on the occasion of Establishment of the Czechoslovak Republic.

Matthias Gate:
I should say few words about the entrance gate leading to the Second Courtyard because this gated is believed to be the earliest Baroque work of art in Bohemia. The Matthias Gate comes from the workshop of an Italian architect Giovanni Maria Filippi and dates back to the 17th century. Originally, the gate was standing separately in the area between the Hradčanské square and the Prague Castle as an antique arch used as a gateway to the royal palace. The stone gate took its name after the Emperor Matthias II. Every visitor pauses at the inscription in the gate escutcheon. It represents an imperial sign of Matthias and lists his titles. Under the ledge, there are also signs of his countries. That’s all from me so far, so let’s move on.

Pražský hrad
119 08 Praha 1

GPS: Loc: 50°5’23.591″N, 14°23’59.79″E

Public transport:
subway (underground)  line A – Malostranská station (stop)
tram: number 22 – Prague Castle station (stop)

Transport connection:
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Information on Prague transport: click here
Information on Prague public transport: click here

Also visit:
All about: Prague 1 Monuments
All about: Prague 2 Monuments
All about: Prague 3 Monuments
All about: Prague Castle
All about:
Royal route and the coronation of King
All about: Jewish Prague
All about: Old Town Square
All about: Petrin Hill
All about: Prague gardens and Parks


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