Castle’s Courtyards

Mathias Gate

The sculpture of Ignatz Platzer’s battling Titans dominates the entrance from Hradcanske namesti to the first courtyard. The changing of the guards takes place here, the big ceremony starts everyday at noon, the usual change is every one or two hours depending on season.

Mathias Gate, barouge portal from 1614, takes you to the second courtyard. Stairs on the left leads to the Spanish Hall, which is opened to the public only at special occasions. The decor hasn’t changed much since the 19th century when it was done up for the occasion of the coronation of the Emperor Franz Joseph I. Since about 1950 it was used by politicians.

Obelisk at Prague Castle

In the middle of the courtyard is a seventeenth-century baroque fountain and the Chapel of the Holy Rood, which was rebuilt in late 19th century. The state rooms of the courtyard used to house Rudolf II’s art collection. Some of it was taken away by Swedesh soldiers, the rest is shown in the Prague Castle Picture Gallery.

There is a high(17m) monolith granite obelisk created by Jože Plečnik, in the third courtyard, which is a memorial to the dead of World War I. Close the the Golden Portal is the entrance to the Old Royal Palace.

Golden Portal used to be the main entrance to the Cathedral until the 19th century. Above it is a mosaic of The Last Judgment by 14th century Venetian Craftsmen.