REMAINS OF THE MEDIEVAL BASILICA OF SAINTS PETER AND PAUL AND THE ROMANESQUE ‘BRIDGE’

Prague 2, Vyšehrad

Štulcova Street

Lost early medieval architecture, partly presented in situ.

The remains of the Romanesque corridor are presented at the site of the finding; western apse of basilica of St. Peter is not accessible, the foundations of the choir in the burial ground are covered.

St Peter’s Basilica (in the 12th century renamed the Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul) was founded by Prince Vratislav II around 1070 as a chapter church. It has undergone a complex building development, the evidence of which is hidden under the terrain level of the cemetery to the east of the Neo-Gothic pseudo basilica and partly engulfed by its masonry. The two-choir hall basilica with a crypt was the first structure. The church was the place of the eternal rest for the chapter’s founder Vratislav II and his family members. The Romanesque basilica masonry has survived in the significant part of the extant structure (especially in its nave and south aisle). The western choir has survived directly under the floor of the current church’s chancel.

An unexpected discovery of the foundations of the vanished long Gothic choir, whose erection is associated with the activities of Elisabeth Přemyslid, introduced a brand new idea to this structure development in the 14th century. During the reign of Charles IV who ordered that the basilica be reconstructed based on cathedrals in southern France the church was the largest sacral building in Prague (110 metres long). However, the outbreak of the Hussite Wars hindered the its completion.

In the Early Middle Ages, the ruler’s residence – acropolis – was situated to the south of the church. Encompassing two hectares, a moat separated it from the rest of the castle. It included a palace and other buildings. Assumingly, there was a church as well. In addition to the chapter basilica, a smaller Basilica of St Lawrence was at the eastern perimeter of the acropolis. A stone corridor, crossing the moat over a bridge, connected the chapter church and the acropolis. The south part of the former Romanesque bridge, which was uncovered during archaeological research in the first half of the 1930s, is visible. The structure was built from low marlstone ashlars. The bridge was comprised of two longitudinal walls connected with a barrel vault. In places, 1.8 metres of the above ground part of the longitudinal walls are still visible. Apparently, it was a corridor covered with a flat ceiling, analogies of which are found in the Romanesque Prague Castle.

Datum vložení: 21.1.2019 | Datum aktualizace: 31.8.2020
Autor: Ivana Boháčová

Použité prameny:
  • Kašička, F. 2007: Tři poznámky k podobě přemyslovského Vyšehradu. In: Královský Vyšehrad 3, Kostelní Vydří, 360–367.
  • Moucha, V. – Nechvátal, B. – Varadzin, L. et al. 2015: Vyšehrad. Knížecí a královská akropole. Praha.
  • Nechvátal, B. 2004: Kapitulní chrám sv. Petra a Pavla na Vyšehradě. Archeologický výzkum. Praha.