St. Vitus’ Cathedral This truly striking piece of architecture, similar to Notre Dame in Paris, is the work of centuries. It began as a chapel, and gradually grew to the soaring edifice so often photographed today. The full name of the cathedral is an impressive one: The Metropolitan Cathedral of Saints Vitus, Wenceslas, and Adalbert. In keeping with its hefty title, it is the largest cathedral in the Czech Republic. It was established by the legendary Wenceslas (Vaclav) I of Bohemia, the murdered duke who was the inspiration for the 19th-century Christmas carol “Good King Wenceslas”. In the beginning, the cathedral was a small Romanesque rotunda dedicated to St. Vitus. Prague itself was only a very small settlement in theRead more.

In 1382, Anne of Bohemia (daughter of the powerful King and Holy Roman Emperor Charles IV) married King Richard II of England. With this royal alliance came increased communication between the two countries. Czech students attended English universities, and English students attended Charles University. Far more importantly, the works of English authors were translated into Czech. This was to have a lasting effect on this small country. Jan Hus came from Husinec, moving to Prague when he was very young. He was a student at Charles University, where he obtained a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1393, and a Master’s degree in 1396. Having been ordained as a priest in 1400, Hus quickly began to preach reformation of the CatholicRead more.