Vyšehrad

Slow time right down in one of Prague’s most peaceful areas

Away from the main tourist attractions of Prague lies the area of Vysehrad. Located in the south of the city overlooking the river Vltava it is a picturesque and peaceful area, ideal if you want to get away from the hustle and bustle of Prague and see an area that locals love. The fortress of Vysehrad has had a turbulent past dating from the 10th century having being attacked and sacked several times throughout its history. The fort was also used through the time of the 30 Years War. However, today the fortress’ gates welcome people to come and enjoy their time rather than keep people out.

The brick ramparts that surround the fortress and the powerful gatehouses of Vysehrad look far from hostile today, they offer a fantastic view to you when approaching from any side of the fortress and provide a great opportunity to take some stunning photos. The walls and gates date from the 17th century Baroque remodelling of the area which now looks timeless across the skyline of Vysehrad. Being from the North East of England they remind me of the fortifications which surround Berwick, a town close to the Scottish border. Within the fortress which is now a public park, there are several points of interest which can all been seen whilst taking your time walking around the area. These include the Romanesque Rotunda of St. Martin which dates from the 11th century, the Church of St. Peter and Paul which dominates the entire fort which originated in the 11th century and also the Cemetery attached to the Church, the resting place of several famous Czechs.

Today the fortress is used as a public park and is a popular area to walk throughout the year. You can walk on the ramparts as well as through the various grassy areas of the interior of the fort. The views of Prague from the ramparts are incredible and offer additional perspective to those of Petrin or Zizkov tower. Looking to the south you can see the further expanses of Prague while getting a great view of the river Vltava which runs through the city, if you are lucky you will also see people out enjoying the river in various types of boat. Placed along the length of the ramparts there are many benches to sit back and enjoy the views from. The ramparts extend around to look onto the north of the city so you can admire the breath-taking view of Prague’s many beautiful buildings. From the ramparts it is also possible to experience the sunset in Prague, something you should do at least once during your time in Prague. Many couples walk this area because of this and because the area is so peaceful and relaxing.

When the sun comes out many people head to Vysehrad to meet with friends and family for picnics and other activities. The open grassy areas sheltered by the ramparts mean it is an ideal area to sit and enjoy lunch in the sun. Break out the blankets and food and a great time can be guaranteed. The area is also big enough to take your favourite sporting equipment along, whether that be rackets or a ball of some kind to enjoy your time there. Many people also go running through the area because of its hilly nature. There is a café located in front of the Church where could can buy hot and cold drinks (including beer) and another café in through one of the gatehouses so you are spoilt for choice if you need drinks or snacks.

Vysehrad is an area of Prague where time just seems to slow down and the atmosphere becomes more relaxed than the rest of Prague. It is a fantastic place to unwind after any kind of day and you almost feel refreshed and recharged when you leave the area. It is genuinely one of my favourite areas of Prague and I often find myself sitting on the ramparts just taking in the rest of the city. Perfect to visit with friends, family and partners, it is truly a beautiful area of Prague.

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