Visit Vyšehrad cemetery | National Burial Ground for Famous Czechs
Located adjacent to the Basilica of St. Peter and St. Paul, Vyšehrad cemetery is one of Prague’s most significant sites, with over 600 famous people buried here – from writers, doctors, and scientists, to poets, artists, actors, composers, and politicians. Among the many imminent personalities buried here, some famed names are the poet Jan Neruda, composer Antonin Dvorak, and the writer Božena Němcová.
About Vyšehrad Cemetery
The Vysehrad cemetery has held immense significance in Czech history and is renowned as the final resting place of eminent personalities from the country’s past. Not only that, but it is also special since it is Vysehrads last standing cemetery dating from the Middle Ages.
Today, the Vyšehrad cemetery is the resting place of 600 notable names from all fields of Czech culture and politics. Among the famous personalities buried here, are the music composer Bedřich Smetana; the writer Karel Čapek; painter Alphonse Mucha; and the inventor František Křižík as well as the Nobel Prize laureate Jaroslav Heyrovský.
Can I Enter the Vysehrad Cemetery?
You can pay a visit to the Vysehrad Cemetery that is located in the Vysehrad fort complex. Your Vysehrad tickets include a tour of the cemetery, a prominent resting place in the city which is the final resting place of over 600 famous Czechs.
History of Vysehrad Cemetery
The Vyšehrad cemetery was built in place of a pre-existing cemetery dating all the way back to 1260. The present cemetery came up in the 1870s, built by Václav Štulc, devoted as he was to resurrect the glory of Vysehrad. Within the compound, the Slavin Tomb is dedicated to Czech history’s prominent names and was constructed between 1889 and 1893 based on the designs of Antonin Wiehl. Inscribed on it are the names of the first 15 persons buried within it. Julius Zeyer, the poet, was the first person to find a resting place here. You can find verses from his epic poem titled Vyšehrad decorating the pedestal of statues to the side.Vyšehrad History
Who is Buried at Vysehrad Cemetery?
Today, the Vyšehrad cemetery is notable as the resting place of over 600 remarkable Czech personalities from a diverse array of historical and cultural backgrounds.
This Czech actress and director worked mainly with children and young people. She opened the first professional theater for children in 1935, titled the Prague Children's Theater. Not only was she a director for the group until 1945 – but she also financed this theater for several years. Mellanová also led the Experimental Youth Ensemble at the theater from 1943, where young people (15-18 years) were coached and guided for work in the theatrical world.
Mikoláš Aleš was a famous Czech painter, with an estimated 5,000 published paintings to his name. Aleš painted images for magazines, decks of playing cards, and even for textbooks. Although his following was concentrated within Bohemia, many of his paintings are still widely available across the world, and he is regarded as one of the greatest artists from the Czech Republic.
As one of the first composers of the Czech Republic to achieve worldwide recognition, Antonín Dvořák’s lasting legacy has impacted Czech music in unquantifiable ways. Every year, The Dvořák Prague International Music Festival celebrates his life and works through a series of major concerts and performances. His two most successful orchestral works are Symphony No. 9 (New World Symphony), and the Cello Concerto.
This Czech chemist and inventor is widely known as the father of the electroanalytical method. He received the Nobel Prize in 1959 for his work on the discovery and development of the polarographic methods of analysis – since polarography was his main field of work. This work was mainly begun in 1922 after which he concentrated all his further scientific study on the development of this new branch of electrochemistry.
The establishment of the Slavín tomb at Vyšehrad cemetery, and its eventual transformation into a nationally renowned burial ground for 50 prominent Czech personalities, was initiated by the work of the Vyšehrad provost in the 1880s.
While Josef Mauder was responsible for the sculptural decorations, Antonín Wiehl was the designer of the monumental Slavín tomb – the construction of which took place between 1889 to 1893. Located on the eastern end of the cemetery, the Slavín tomb was decorated and inscribed with the names of the first 15 people to be interred within it.
In 1901, eight years after the tomb was completed, the famous poet Julius Zeyer was the first person to be buried inside it. Out of the total of 55 people who found their resting place here, the last person to be put to rest was the conductor Rafael Kubelík, whose ashes were interred beside the grave of his father in the year 2006. In all, the Slavín tomb mostly contains burial tombs with coffins, but there are also some urns.
Other Famous Czechs Buried at Vyšehrad Cemetery
The International Federation of Football History & Statistics (IFFHS) honored Josef Bican with a "Medal of Honour" in 1998, recognizing him as one of the world's most successful top division goalscorers of all time. He was also awarded the "Golden Ball" in 2000 for being the greatest goalscorer of the 20th century. The award commemorated Bican’s achievement of the post of top scorer in his domestic league a total of 12 times.
This figure skater competed for Czechoslovakia and became a bronze medalist at the 1968 Olympics, as well as a two-time World bronze medalist (in the years 1967 and 1968). She was also the 1968 European champion. Her tomb at the Vyšehrad cemetery is decorated with the figure of a winged female that was made by Jan Štursa.
Ludmila Dvořáková was a Czech operatic soprano. In 1972, she received the National Prize of the German Democratic Republic., followed by the Antonin Dvořák Prize in 2012, presented to her by the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague, for her active role in promoting and popularizing Czech music.
Not only did this multifaceted artist invent the word “robot” – but he was also a notable writer and poet. Some of his famous works include The Land of Many Names, Lelio, and Pictures from the Insects' Life. Capek also worked as a cartoonist for the Prague newspaper Lidové Noviny. However, he was arrested in 1939 due to his critical takes on national socialism and Adolf Hitler. He died in the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp, where he penned Poems from a Concentration Camp.
Karel authored several politically charged pieces pertaining to the social turmoil of his time. He is best known today for his science fiction works – such as his novel War with the Newts and the play Rossum's Universal Robots, which famously introduced the word robot, coined by his brother. Karel Capek was greatly influenced by American pragmatic liberalism and he often campaigned for freedom of expression while strongly opposing the rise of fascism and communism in Europe.
Frequently Asked Questions About Vyšehrad Cemetery
A. Over 600 famous Czech people are buried Vyšehrad Cemetery. Some of them are, the music composer Bedřich Smetana; the writer Karel Čapek; painter Alphonse Mucha; and the inventor František Křižík as well as the Nobel Prize laureate Jaroslav Heyrovský.
A. Among the famous personalities buried at Vyšehrad Cemetery, are the music composer Bedřich Smetana; the writer Karel Čapek; painter Alphonse Mucha; and the inventor František Křižík as well as the Nobel Prize laureate Jaroslav Heyrovský.
A. Over 600 famous Czech people are buried Vyšehrad Cemetery.
A. Slavín is a tomb in the Vyšehrad Cemetery. Many notable Czech personalities are buried here.
A. Antonín Dvořák is one of the first composers of the Czech Republic to achieve worldwide recognition. He is buried at Vyšehrad Cemetery.
A. You can visit Vyšehrad Cemetery free of cost. However, a guided tour enhances the experience of your visit as there is a lot of history behind all the monuments at Vyšehrad. Book your Vyšehrad tickets here.