Varadzin, Ladislav:

Discovery of a triconch at Prague’s Vyšehrad. Preliminary report on the find and its processing

At the Premyslid stronghold of Prague-Vyšehrad (4 km to the south of the Prague Castle), an exploration of the foundations of a pre-Romanesque structure with a central disposition, dated tentatively to the 2nd half of the 10th or the 1st half of the 11th century, was completed in 2014. The remains of this structure are surprising for the unusually large dimensions (the interior surface area equates to ca. 290 m2) and the type of disposition (the structure is a triconch with a square nave and three apses) that find no analogy in the Czech Premyslid setting of that time. The find sheds a new light on the beginnings of the earliest architecture in Bohemia, opens the question of the provenience of this type of structure, which can be dealt with only on a broader European scale, and last but not least points to the marked significance of Vyšehrad already in the earliest period of its occupation on which only very little has been known so far. The paper shall present the first-hand findings of the archaeological exploration, results of the expert analyses, and possible ways of interpretation of this architecture.

Mgr. Ladislav Varadzin, Ph.D., graduated in 2002 in Institute for Archaeology, Faculty of Arts, Charles University in Prague, Czech Rep., with doctoral thesis devoted to selected issues of the archaeology of Early Middle Ages. Since 2002 he has been working in Institute of Archaeology, Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic, Prague. He has directed dozens of archaeological excavations in Bohemia and as an external collaborator of the Czech Institute of Egyptology in Egypt and Sudan. Since 2003 he has been working at Vyšehrad – residence of the Czech rulers in Middle Ages and the second place of the Czech statehood. His main fields of interest are processes of formation of early states, production specialisation and exchange, and methods of archaeological excavation.