Saint George’s Basilica - History and Facts | History Hit

Saint George’s Basilica

Prague, Prague, Czech Republic

St George’s Basilica is a tenth century church in the Prague Castle complex and home of the tombs of the Premyslid dynasty of princes.

Antara Bate

13 Jul 2021
Image Credit: Shutterstock

About Saint George’s Basilica

St George’s Basilica is a 10th century church rich with Baroque, Romanesque and Bohemian architectural elements located in the Prague Castle complex. The church has undergone a series of reconstructions so, whilst originally built in 920 AD by Prince Vratislav I, St George’s Basilica only retains the foundations from this period.

Saint George’s Basilica history

St George’s Basilica was rebuilt in 973 AD when a convent for Benedictine nuns was built beside it. It then suffered a fire in 1142, which devastated the building and led to its reconstruction in a Romanesque style.

The St. Ludmila chapel with the tomb of the saint was added to St George’s Basilica in the 13th century followed by the Baroque chapel of St. John Nepomuk designed by architect F.M. Kanka in the 18th century.

The Early Baroque period left its mark in the form of the present striking facade and the reconstruction of the whole convent. In the early 18th century, the architect F.M. Kanka added the Baroque Chapel of St. John Nepomuk to the church.

However, St George’s Basilica was once again subject to destruction in the late 18th century when it was occupied by troops. As a result, much of what can be seen today is the work of F. Mach, who reconstructed the building between 1887 and 1908 and attempted to recreate the Basilica’s Romanesque features.

Prague Castle has been a National Cultural Monument since 1962.

Saint George’s Basilica today

St George’s Basilica now serves as a concert hall. The Basilica serves as a final resting place to several important people in the history of the Bohemia Kingdom, including Ludmila of Bohemia. Ludmila was the grand-mother of King Wencelaus and a martyr as well as a saint, who is buried in the chapel dedicated to her.

Getting to Saint George’s Basilica

The Prague Castle complex is easily accessible by public transport. There are several tram stops nearby (Královský letohrádek, Pražský hrad, Pohořelec) and also two metro stations (Malostranská, Hradčanská). Most visitors use tram No. 22 (stop called Pražský hrad) – option 1. Then they leave the Castle through the Old Castle Stairs to metro station Malostranská – option 4.

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