The Cathedral of SS. Vitus, Wenceslas and Vojtěch

The Cathedral of St. Vitus

Prague is also known as the city of a hundred spires, and its architecture is indeed full of vertical movement. This culminates in the cathedral, the spiritual centre of the Czech nation, whose spires reach up towards the heavens. It was built on the site where the body of Duke Wenceslas, patron saint of the Czech lands, has rested for more than a thousand years. At the heart of the cathedral is the chapel of St. Wenceslas, built in the Middle Ages to represent the heavenly Jerusalem. The mediaeval frescoes on its walls sparkle with semi-precious stones and gold.
Behind a secret door with seven locks the crown jewels of the kings of Bohemia are hidden, decorated with precious stones and pearls. Those who wore these jewels, the ancient rulers of the Czech lands, are now resting in the royal vault in the crypt of the cathedral.
The whole character of the interior of the cathedral is determined by the lively interplay between horizontal and vertical forces. The reticulated vaulting of the ceiling has a horizontally uniting and vertically liberating effect. The separate sections of the dematerialised vaulting are joined in a flowing curved movement, creating the impression of an ecstatic liberation from the earth.
The spiritual quality of the architecture leads our gaze upwards and assures us that though heaven may be far away it is not out of reach.