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The metropolitan chapter of St. Vitus in Prague

About the metropolitan chapter

The history of the metropolitan chapter dates back to 973, when it was established as a group of priests. That makes it the oldest legal entity with continuous activity in the Czech lands. The chapter’s size, importance and role have changed in the course of history, but its mission remained – the organization of ceremonial services and management of the St. Vitus rotunda, that later became a basilica and eventually the St. Vitus, Wenceslas and Vojtěch cathedral. See more 🠆
St. Vitus Cathedral

Activities of the metropolitan chapter

The metropolitan chapter, in alignment with its mission, is the organizator of many activities. Some are organized independently, others the chapter participates at or supports. Some of the most significant activities are:
The maintenance of the St. Vitus cathedr The metropolitan chapter together with the Prague castle administration takes care of the operation of the St. Vitus, Wenceslas and Vojtěch cathedral, mainly in the area of ecclesiastical and cultural activities. It has a major part in the development of this most important cathedral in the Czech Republic. Chapter’s library The metropolitan chapter has always been collecting manuscripts and later printed books, for the purposes of its canons’ studies. Thanks to this activity, the library is one of the oldest ones in the Czech Republic today. It contains an extensive historical archive including a music collection and a book fund that is being catalogued. The library is available for scientific purposes. Spálené Poříčí castle The renaissance castle after a neo-gothic reconstruction in Spálené Poříčí is a cultural monument that is being managed and gradually restored by the metropolitan chapter. The castle mostly serves for accommodation purposes, with special dedication to school trips. St. Vitus Organ Nights The metropolitan chapter organizes the traditional festival of the Saint Vitus Organ Nights, that are being held under the auspices of the Prague archbishop, in cooperation with the management of the Prague castle. The festival takes place each June in the cathedral, and it offers an extraordinary experience of organ music, played by some of the most renowned organists within the monumental architecture of the cathedral. Prague cathedral school The school focuses on the Gregorian chant, continuing the tradition of this chant that’s being held in the cathedral since the 2nd half of the 14th century. The unanimous singing regularly accompanies the conventional service in the cathedral. Zvíkovecká kytička home The metropolitan chapter has long been in cooperation and support of the Zvíkovecká kytička home,
in the Pilsen area. Every year, the works from the art workshops of the home’s clients are being
presented in an exposition in the Mladota house.
St. Vitus treasure exposition Ever since its beginnings, the metropolitan chapter preserves and protects the St. Vitus cathedral treasure. Currently, a part of the treasure is exposed in the court St. Cross chapel at the Prague castle. The exhibition is being held under the auspices of the Prague archbishop and the president of the Czech Republic, in cooperation with the management of the Prague castle. Mladota’s house The ground floor of the house is currently being used by the chapter, in cooperation with various artists and organizations, for short-term exhibitions. The house used to be the chapter’s deanery and the seat of the chapter’s library. Dean Adam Ignác Mladota of Solopysky ordered a complete redesign of the house to a late-baroque style, according to a design by J. B. Santini. The redesign of the house in Vikářská ul. 37 took place between the years 1705 — 1706. The house got its name after the dean. Endowment fund of St. Vitus organ Together with the Prague’s archbishopric, the metropolitan chapter has recently made the preparatory steps for the acquisition of a new organ for the cathedral. The result of these steps was the foundation of the endowment fund that holds regular meetings, where its members talk about the further stages of this project. St. Vitus choirs The metropolitan chapter organizes the musical accompaniment of the cathedral’s liturgical ceremonies thanks to the Prague cathedral choir and the Children’s cathedral choir. The ensembles hold regular performances in the cathedral, but they also take part on various domestic and foreign festivals. The dramaturgy of the choir is focused on Czech and international spiritual music. Campanarii Sancti Viti Pragenses The St. Vitus bell-ringers of Prague are a group of volunteers that take care of the manual bell ringing in the cathedral, during regular as well as during special services. Thanks to them, the manual bell ringing has become a long-lasting tradition.