We found our way on the tram up to the entrance to the castle grounds, and joined the MANY other tourists making their way into the castle.
Just one of the many beautiful windows--all except one window were made up of tiny pieces of glass, in very intricate design.
But the most beautiful window is one designed by Alphons Mucha, the great Art Nouveau artist. This window was commissioned during reconstruction work, and was installed in 1931. It features St. Wenceslas in the center, surrounded by scenes depicting the lives of St Cyril and St Methodius. The emblem at the center bottom is that of the bank that funded the window.
Here are a few photos--but they really don't do it justice--it is stunning! If you're on an iPad--be sure to zoom in on the details--amazing!
This next room is The Chapel of St. Wenceslas, where the relics of St Wenceslas are kept. It's pretty ornate--the lower part of the walls are decorated with over 1300 semi-precious stones. The paintings are from the original chapel, 1373. The public can't enter the room, only view it from the doorways. There is also a small door in one corner of the room, and it has 7 locks. This door leads to the Crown Chamber, where the Czech Crown Jewels are kept. They are displayed only one every 8 years or so. Each of the seven locks are different, and each key is given to trusted officials such as the prime minister, the bishop of St Vitus, etc. All 7 must be present to unlock the door!
After our visit to St Vitas Cathedral we again joined the throngs of other tourists visiting the castle. The origins of this castle date to the 9th century, and in it's current state from the mid 1500's. It's now considered the seat of The Head of State of the Czech Republic. It has had many restorations and reconstructions, but one can still see some of the original "bones", and the architecture is very interesting.
There are still some remnants of the original frescos:
Franz Kafka lived here at #22, which now houses a gift shop
We stopped into a small, cozy restaurant to have a "sit-down" and a couple of beers.