Celebrations at Prague Castle to mark the 700th anniversary of the birth of Charles IV

Prague Castle will celebrate the 700th anniversary of Charles IV’s birth with seven major exhibition projects

Prague Castle will be commemorating the 700th anniversary of the birth of the Czech king and emperor Charles IV with seven main exhibition projects. 

The significance of this anniversary will be highlighted by the special exhibiting of the Czech Crown Jewels in the Vladislav Hall from 15 to 29 May 2016, which otherwise only happens when the president of the Republic is elected. The Crown of Saint Wenceslas created by Charles IV will as usual rest in the historic Gočár display case along with the orb and sceptre added to this set of coronation insignia during the reign of the Habsburgs. Entry to the exhibit will be free of chargé. 

Other exhibition projects at Prague Castle will be open from 15 May until 28 September:


The principal exhibition will be The Sceptre and the Crown in the Imperial Stables, the main benefit of which will be to bring light to some forgotten contexts: for the first time in modern history the focus will be on the original (Gothic) composition of the royal insignia from the time of Charles IV: the royal Czech Crown of Saint Wenceslas has been complemented with the orb and sceptre, artistic replicas of which will be specially restored and exhibited together with other objects used during the coronations of Czech kings, which took place according to Charles IV’s Coronation Rules up until the 19th century.


The second most significant event will be symbolic access to the inner and outer triforia of St Vitus Cathedral, in the form of a simplified three-dimensional reconstruction in the Prague Castle Riding School. The triforium is historically the most guarded area and therefore the walkway on the outer and inner side of the cathedral’s main nave, which is richly decorated with sculptures, is inaccessible to the public. This narrative exhibition, in which visitors will also find the burial cloth of the royal tomb, will be called The Crown of the Kingdom.


The Crown of the Mother of Cities exhibition in the Teresian Wing will also look at the cathedral as the country’s foremost building where rare photographs from Prague Castle’s Archive taken during the completion of the cathedral in the 19th and 20th centuries will be exhibited.


Visitors will be transported to Charles’ time with the project entitled The Crown in the Palm which will present the crown as currency in the Rožmberk Hall. Children, in particular, will enjoy learning about the architecture of that time in the interactive Architecture for the Crown exhibition which will be housed in the Convent of St George in cooperation with the organisers of the Playful Architect project.


Visitors will be brought back to recent history by the exhibit entitled The Kingless Crown which, in the rooms where the crown jewels were walled up during the Second World War, will tell the story of this most valuable national relic in the dramatic 20th century.


As well as these exhibitions which are being financed by Prague Castle Administration from its income, an extensive accompanying programme is also being planned: the year of Charles IV will begin on 2 April 2016 with the official start of the summer tourist season. The second year of the Chivalric Festivities will also be held in the spirit of Charles IV’s time. Visitors will also be able to walk in the footsteps of Charles IV during guided walks through the Castle grounds.


All the exhibitions relating to Charles IV’s anniversary will be open to the public from 15 May and will last until 28 September 2016, with the exception of the Architecture for the Crown exhibition for our young visitors which will go on until 10 October.




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