The cathedral was founded by the Emperor Charles IV in 1344 at the site of the former St. Vitus Basilica. While most European cathedrals were built within the city, the Cathedral of Prague grew up outside and far above the town, in the middle of the Prague Castle, which was not only the seat of rulers, but also kind of the sacred precinct with several churches.
From the beginning the cathedral was intended as a prominent feature of the Prague agglomeration. In addition, it was built with great artistic and mystical aspirations. St Vitus, St Wenceslas and St Adalbert Cathedral is the seat of the Archbishop of Prague and the sacred place where the saints, Bohemian kings, princes and Holy Roman emperors are buried - i.e. St. Wenceslas, patron saint of the country, is buried in the Cathedral in St. Wenceslas Chapel, a masterpiece of Gothic art.
Above the chapel is situated chamber guarding the crown jewels of Bohemian kings. The coronations of the kings of Bohemia were held in the Cathedral until 1836. The first architect Matthias of Arras, who was called by Charles IV from Avignon, mediated the model of the French cathedral architecture. Matthias´s successor, genius Petr Parléř, gived to the cathedral and its sculptural decoration features of artistic excellence.
After the death of Charles IV the building was suspended and the cathedral remained a torso. The construction was not completed until the beginning of the 20th century, when the western part was completed and decorated by leading artists of the era (V. Sucharda, A. Mucha etc.). The St. Vitus Cathedral is an excellent example of Gothic architecture and masterpiece of art.