St. George’s Basilica

Today, the Basilica is a popular place to catch an evening concert. It sits within the castle grounds and is the oldest as well as most preserved church in the Prague Castle area. The outside of the Basilica looks a lot larger than it actually is because in the late 10th century a convent was added to it.

The St. George Basilica serves as a final resting place to three very important people in the history of the Bohemia Kingdom. Ludmila of Bohemia, the grand-mother of King Wencelaus and a martyr as well as a saint, is buried in the chapel dedicated to her.

Ludmila of Bohemia was born daughter of a Slavic prince but then married the first Christian duke of Bohemia, thus converting her religion from Catholic/Orthodox to Christianity. Ludmila spent most of her days raising little Wencelaus. This made his mother jealous of the influence she had over him. Eventually the jealousy ran so strong that Wencelaus’s mother, Drahomira, had hired two men to kill Ludmila by strangling her with her veil. Originally, Ludmila was buried at St. Michaels in Tetin (near Beroun) but about 70 years after her death she was moved to St. George. Ludmila is now viewed as the patron saint of Bohemia and is the saint of the problems with in-laws and widows. Buried with Ludmila, is her son, Vratislav, and great-grandson, Boleslaus II.

The Basilica was rebuilt in 1142 because of fire damage. However, the Baroque facade didn’t make its appearance until the late 17th century.

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