the historical nucleus of the city of Prague, the fortified residence of Czech rulers and archbishops. It was founded in the ninth century on the site of an ancient Slavic town. It is situated on a hill on the left bank of the Vltava River and consists of an intricate complex of buildings dating from the 11th to the 20th century, including three main courtyards. On the site of the Hrad are the remains of stone walls and towers dating from the 12th to the 15th century, the Romanesque Basilica of St. George (12th century; western facade, 18th century), and the Gothic cathedral of St. Vitus (built on the site of a tenth century rotunda-shaped church and of a Romanesque basilica of the 11th century). The choir of the cathedral was built in 1344–99 by the architects Matthias of Arras and Peter Parler; the western facade was completed in 1929. In the interior are the remains of mosaics and frescoes and busts of the 14th century and Gothic, Renaissance, and baroque chapels and tombs. Also within the Hrad is the royal palace (built from the 12th to the 16th century and enlarged in the 18th century) with its late Gothic Vladislav Hall (built at the end of the 15th century by the architect B. Rejt). The buildings of the Hrad contain rich historical and art collections and the residence of the president of the Czechoslovak Socialist Republic.
REFERENCEPrazhskii Grad, 2nd ed. Prague, 1967. (Translated from Czech.)
E. B. GEORGIEVSKAIA