Prague Castle, or Hradčany, is the most dominant structure of Prague and symbolically terminates the historical Royal Route, on which the Grand Hotel Praha is located. Being the seat of the Czech rulers and, nowadays, presidents, it belongs among the most important historical sights of the Czech Republic.
Even though it has always been perceived primarily as a seat of rulers, many palaces and churches in almost all architectural styles of the past millennium were gradually built on its premises.
The most credit for the expansion and development must go to the Emperor Charles IV. He founded, in 1344, the most important part of Hradčany - St Vitus's Cathedral. The St Vitus's Cathedral is the largest of Prague's cathedrals; besides church services, coronations of Czech kings and queens also took place here. The Czech rulers rest here in their graves and it stores the Czech crown jewels. The cathedral is a symbol of the identity of the Czech nation. Besides the relics of the rulers, it also guards the relics of saints, aristocrats and archbishops.
Each Czech ruler participated in the construction or reconstruction of certain parts of Prague Castle. Ladislaus Jagiellon (Vladislav Jagellonský) built the first building with renaissance elements in Bohemia here - the famous Vladislav Hall, decorated with a gorgeous vault. Also, the Emperor Rudolf II., known for his interest in esoteric science, had his influence on development and architecture. Also, the Empress Marie Theresa ordered, in the 18th century, a significant reconstruction.
Prague Castle, to which the old castle steps lead, from the Little Quarter along the rampart, is now a set of precious monuments, for example, the Golden Lane, with miniature houses originally inhabited by goldsmiths. Also worth mentioning are the splendid castle gardens, St George's Basilica, Lobkowicz Palace - seat of the noble Lobkowicz family and the renaissance style Royal Summer Palace of Queen Anne, so called Belvedere.
Hradčany, through its diversity, captivates, without question, every visitor. The Royal Route from the Grand Hotel Praha to the heart of Hradčany - St Vitus's cathedral will provide an unrepeatable historical experience.