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The castle was built on this site in the 9th century, and a Romanesque palace was erected there in the 12th century. In the 14th century, during the rule of Charles IV, it was rebuilt in the Gothic style. The Royal palace was re-built to the current shape under the Jagellos at the end of the 15th century, and at that time, the builder Benedikt Rejt added the now-famous Vladislav Hall, also in the Gothic style. The castle was enlarged in the 16th century, especially after a big fire in 1541. The Spanish Hall, in a new part of the castle, was added during the reign of Rudolf II, and it took its final form during the reign of Empress Maria Theresa, under the direction of the architect M. Pacassi. After World War I, the interior and gardens of the castle were renovated by architect J. Plecnik. Today, the Castle is the seat of the President of the Czech Republic, and it serves as the historical and political centre of both the city and state
St. Vitus, St. Wenceslas and St. Adalbert Cathedral
The Gothic St. Vitus cathedral is the spiritual symbol of the Czech state. It was founded in the late 9th century by John of Luxembourg and his sons Charles and John Henry. It took nearly six centuries to build. The current cathedral is situated on the site of a 10th-century rotunda. Designed by architects Mathias Arras and Petr Parler, its construction started in 1344. The final stage of construction was completed only in the period between 1873 and 1929. There are underground tombs in the cathedral of Czech kings. Parler also built the St. Wenceslas Chapel which is decorated with frescoes and semi-precious stones. The Czech crown jewels are deposited there, too.