Vyšehrad Park | Lush Gardens, Sculptures & Architectural Gems
The parks near Vyšehrad have been the site of multiple settlements and monuments throughout the history of this hilltop fort. Taking a walking tour of this park complex offers a pleasant break from the crowds of the city, and is filled with historic attractions that tell the story of its illustrious past.
Vyšehrad Park: An Introduction
Among the many events that they have been witness to, the Vyšehrad parks have seen a colorful past of settlements galore and various forms of agricultural production – as well as sieges, fire, and the reign of several monarchs.
People of all ages can find riveting activities, including specially curated guided tours that unfold the history of Vyšehrad along with its collection of sculptures. Your children can find their dose of enjoyment at the playground nearby, while you take a moment to pay your respects at the famous Vyšehrad cemetery.
Since these parks have seen countless monuments come up and crumble away, there is a long list of archeological discoveries that have also taken place here. It was when the famous hilltop fortress began declining in military importance back in the 1880s, that the Vyšehrad parks were transformed into this historic, tranquil getaway.
Things to Do & See in Vyšehrad Park
Rotunda of St. Martin
The Rotunda of St. Martin is the only Romanesque building in Vyšehrad which has been completely preserved. As the oldest structure of Prague, there is a vast history around it. Built in the year 1100, it was initially surrounded by a cemetery till the year 1300. The building survived the devastating Hussite Wars and was thereafter used as a prison for the Town of the Vyšehrad Hill. It was a gunpowder storage unit during the Thirty Years’ War, from 1700 to 1750. After this period, it was renovated and reconsecrated in order to function as a chapel. However, in 1784, ownership was passed to the military management, so they could resume its use as a warehouse and manufacturing facility for cannon ammunition.
The children’s playground at Vyšehrad has a unique origin. Located on the mound situated across from the Rotunda of St. Martin, this playground was the vision of the very same children who first played in it! In a novel approach, children from the Na Bučance kindergarten were asked to draw pictures depicting their ideal playground and its many elements. Thereafter, the builders were able to take inspiration from the children’s colorful imaginations and create this playground filled with unique elements drawn from childhood stories. Some elements depict legendary heroes that the children knew from The Ancient Bohemian Legends by Alois Jirásek. While visiting, try to spot Přemysl the Ploughman; and the sisters Kazi, Teta, and the Duchess Libuše. The playground is meant for children from 3 to 15 years of age.
The Devil’s Column
The Devil’s Column is a formation of 3 stone columns, located in the Karlach Gardens in the Vyšehrad complex. As the story goes, in the year 1700, a priest wagered that he could celebrate Mass quicker than the Devil would be able to bring a column of stone all the way over from the Basilica of St. Peter in Rome. Legend holds that the devil lost the bet and threw the column onto the ground in a fit of rage, creating the formation that exists today. The first mention of this tale was found in the book Bellum Hussiticum. However, geologists believe that the column is cut out of granodiorite and originates from a central Bohemian quarry somewhere from the surroundings of Sázava.
Scenic Views of the City
The location of Vyšehrad is breathtakingly beautiful, offering an enchanting view from the top of a scenic hill overlooking the Vltava River and the Botič Valley. From here, you’ll be able to appreciate the panoramic landscape of the surrounding Prague Basin and the steep ravines off in the distance – which is rendered altogether more pleasing by the defining Baroque fortifications. You’ll be spoiled for choice with the highly Instagrammable pictures you’ll be clicking of the distant view of the city from here. Whether you’re here for just a day, or even two – you will not regret making a stop at this historically important site. You will be thinking about the view from atop the fortification wall, for days to come.
Frequently Asked Questions About Vyšehrad Park
A. Vyšehrad Park is a complex of lush green grounds located near the historic fortification at Vyšehrad in Prague.
A. The opening times of Vyšehrad Park are from 9:30 AM to 5 PM in the winter (November to March), and from 9:30 AM to 6 PM during the summer (April to October).
A. Since Vyšehrad Park is an open space with plenty of ventilation and room for social distancing, you can rest assured that you will be able to safely explore the grounds while following the necessary safety protocols in light of Covid-19.
A. You can get to Vyšehrad Park by using either line C of the Metro, or line 7, 8, 24, 3, 17, or 16 on the Tram.
A. Vysehrad Park is home to the only Romanesque building in Vyšehrad, the Rotunda of St. Martin, which has been completely preserved. There is also the Basilica of St. Peter and St. Paul that is an architectural marvel.
A. Yes, there is a children's playground at the park. While visiting, try to spot the statues of Přemysl the Ploughman; and the sisters Kazi, Teta, and the Duchess Libuše.