The palace is located in the corner of the third courtyard of Prague Castle by the former southern wall. Its modest facade conceals a building whose architectural style spans several centuries. From the 11th century, the Royal Palace was the residence of Bohemian princes and kings. A Romanesque palace forms the cellars of the present building. Above this, two more palaces were added between the 13th and 14th centuries. In 1502 the massive Gothic Vladislav Hall with its rib vaulting was added and is now the place the President is elected. In the 17th century, the hall was used as a meeting place, but in earlier times, royal tournaments were held there with competitions in horsemanship. The horses have ridden up a wide, gently sloping staircase to the hall, which is now used by the many groups who tour the palace. Serious business went on in the two rooms leading off Vladislav Hall. The Bohemian Chancellery was used for Bohemian government business, and it was from this room that two governors and their clerks were defenestrated in 1618, precipitating the Thirty Years War. Diet Hall was the medieval parliament room. In 1924 the palace underwent a great deal of renovation.
Old Royal Palace also houses The Story of Prague exhibition, which uses castle models, films and artefacts to tell the history of Prague Castle.