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CZ: Prague - Vyšehrad Chapter House - Final Resting Place Of The First King

Published: 9.3.2012
Check with us on one of the most memorable places of our capital city.

Royal Collegiate Chapter of St. Petr and Pavel at Vyšehrad was established by the first Czech king Vratislav in 1070. Due to disagreements with his brother Jaromír, Bishop of Prague, Vratislav relocated from Prague to Vyšehrad Castle and founded a chapter house, which was directly subordinate to the papal curia and was donated her considerable assets (eg city Prachatice), which had become a counterweight to the bishopric of Prague and St. Vitus chapter. In 1092 Vratislav died and was buried in the Vyšehrad Chapter church.

Till 1420 Vyšehrad Chapter house had a special position in the Czech Republic because it was directly subordinated to the papal curia and the highest performance - prior - was directly substituting the king and in 1222 held the rank of the royal chancellor, thus could affect the internal and foreign policy of the state. The capitular´s dignitaries were members of prominent aristocratic families, members of the ruling dynasty of Přemysl and Luxembourg and other leading figures such as prior Jindřich Břetislav (later the Czech prince), Petr of Aspelt (later Archbishop) Jan Volek (half-brother of Queen Elizabeth of Bohemia, and the Bishop of Olomouc ), etc.

Turning point in history of Vyšehrad were the Hussite wars, during which it was destroyed by the Hussites - the chapter has never had such a privileged position as before the 1419th Until the first half of the 18th century, its further development, which were held baroque rebuilding of church the Petr and Pavel.

In the second half of the 19th century with a great contribution Vyšehrad was to restore and convert local cemetery to national cemeteries. Important role in this recovery should priors Ruffer, Štulc and Karlach, thanks for them Slavín was built and realized neo-Gothic church of the chapter.

During the First World War and later the state department of Czechs and Slovaks in 1918, there worked Zapletal, who became the provost and later bishop of Prague, and Stašek, one of the founders of the Czechoslovak People's Party, a fighter against Nazism.

In 1948 Vyšehrad was nationalized and lost most of his assets, including the cemetery. After the Velvet Revolution was returned to the chapter Vyšehrad most buildings, so that it could resume its activities after the reconstruction was carried out by the chapter of St. Peter and Paul, etc. In 2003 Pope John Paul II. granted to temple of St. Apostles Peter and Paul the title of papal basilica minor.

Cathedral of the Holy Apostles Peter and Paul is a three-aisled church with chapels in the side aisles, the sides of the facade are two towers. The church facade is neo-Gothic.

St. Martin's Rotunda is small building with a boat circular apse plan, separate from the boat concession. It was built probably in the second half of the 11th century, in 1878, was restored to its present form. It is one of the most important and best preserved Roman buildings in the Czech Republic.

Currently, in the Basilica of St. Apostles Peter and Paul and St. Martin's Rotunda people could go to religious worship, which celebrates prominent churches, for example Cardinal Miroslav Vlk, Prague Auxiliary Bishop Václav Malý. The Chapter organized lectures and concerts (eg lecture by Cardinal Miloslav Vlk on St. Ludmila topic), pilgrimage tours to places associated with the spiritual and religious life (August 2011, Austria - visit the baroque monastery of St. Augustine. Florian, etc.). The Chapter Library and Archives is the oldest and most valuable libraries in the Czech lands, there is deposited 40 incunabula, hundreds of prints from the earliest times to the end of the 18th century, the 1500 foreign-language Bohemian prints from the years 1500 to 1800 and hundreds of other rare ancient works.

Text and photo: Maxim Kucer

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