St. Vitus Cathedral, St. Wenceslas and St. Adalbert, Prague, Czech Republic

St. Vitus Cathedral, St. Wenceslas and St. Adalbert is located in Prague, the Czech Republic and is the seat of the archbishop of the city. It is the biggest and most important church in the country, located within the Prague Castle. Henry the Fowler offered to the Duke Wenceslas 1 a relic of Saint Vit around the year 925 and to house it, the Duke Wenceslas built a church on a place of pagan site dedicated to the goddess of mythology Slavic life (Siwa). In 973 the church was chosen as the seat of bishopric and in 1060, a Roman basilica is raised instead. Through the centuries, the original church took the form of what is now a mainly Gothic church. St. Wenceslas Chapel contains the tomb of the saint, it is adorned with murals on the top, representing the saint’s life and in the lower part there are semiprecious stones. The crown jewels are locked in the chapel. There is also the burial crypt of Czech kings, which contains the tombs of Charles IV, Wenceslas IV and Rodolphe II. St. John of Nepomuk has a tomb in silver. The windows date mostly from XX century. Zygmunt Bell (the biggest Czech bell, 1548) is in the south tower. There is also a carved monumental cross, in wood, dating from 1899.

Tips

Do not leave without climbing the south tower from where you can have a beautiful panoramic view of the city. Guided tours in the cathedral are organized by the Administration of Prague Castle but you can not just buy the visit to the Cathedral, this visit will be included by purchasing one of two tours offered. Tickets are on sale in the Information Center. There are discounts for children and adolescents under 16, seniors 65 and over and families.

The Holy Sepulchre, Jerusalem, Israel

The Holy Sepulchre is, according to Christian tradition, the tomb of Christ, that is to say, the cave where the body of Jesus of Nazareth was laid on the evening of his death on the Cross. It is said that the Emperor Hadrian had built in the second century, a temple dedicated to Venus on the location of the Holy Sepulchre to conceal the tomb where Jesus was buried. Constantine the Great, the first Christian emperor, replaced the temple by a church. A marble shrine was built above the tomb and it is this that we can see today. In the following years, a series of commemorative buildings draw a path through which the pilgrims slip in the life, death and resurrection of the Messiah, it was the place of pilgrimage in the Middle Ages. Jerusalem was under Muslim rule from the VII century, so they perceived an entrance fee from each pilgrim. Today, we found there two successive pieces, as in Jewish burials from the Roman period: the Chapel of the Angel, where the body was prepared (washed, perfumed) and the Tomb Room.

Tips

Usually the Holy Sepulchre is open at 4:00 and closes at 19:00 from October to March and 21:00 between April and September. In the evening, at the time of closing, the three sacristans (one representative for each community) are present, to decide who will open the next day. The opening is in turn of the three communities.
Holy Mass presided by the Latin in the Edicule of the Holy Sepulchre begins at 4:30 am and follows every half hour until 7:45. At 8:30 the brothers celebrate the Mass of the day sung in the antechamber of the Edicule. Simultaneously there is the Holy Mass at the Calvary, in the right aisle from 5:00 to 6:30. Every day at 16.00 the Franciscan community do its daily procession in the Basilica of the Holy Sepulchre.

Basilica of Saint-Denis, Saint-Denis, France

The Basilica of Saint-Denis is a gothic style church located in the centre of the city of Saint-Denis, Seine-Saint-Denis, 5 kilometres north of Paris. It was originally an abbey, but today it is the Cathedral of the diocese of Saint-Denis. The old royal abbey was named ‘Basilica’ in the Merovingian era. The church stands on the site of a Gallo-Roman cemetery, burial place of saint Denis martyred around 250. The transept of the abbey, of exceptional magnitude, was intended to accommodate the royal tombs: it is the necropolis of the kings of France. It is surrounded by a garden that is part of the classification of historic monuments. In our days the church is divided into three spaces, the first two are open to the public: the nave and the aisles which serve the function of Church and where the Catholic ceremonies take place. the transept, the choir and ambulatory, and the crypt where there is a museum where the tombs of the Kings and Queens of France even as many of their servants are. You can find the tombs of Louis XII, François 1st, Anne of Brittany, Henri II, Catherine de Medici, Claude of France among others; the archaeological crypt that contains the oldest tombs of the monument, with the Merovingian and the burial place supposed of Saint-Denis and the lapidary in the Orangery and in the garden (East of the bedside) where many partscould be highlighted as part of an exhibition space.

Tips

You can visit the church by taking the metro (line 13) and get down to the ‘Basilica of St-Denis’ station. It is located 400 metres from the exit of the station.
If you want to visit the Museum, call or see on internet in advance because it is closed when there are ceremonies.
You can take a day to visit the church and ethen njoy walking in the surrounding area. There are many shops and restaurants and nice cafés to take a break. If time permits, you can enjoy beautiful terraces too.
Look at the calendar of activities of the church because there are several events that will take place throughout the year.