The Czech National Library has purchased a prayer book from 1655 at an
auction in London. The price was 148,000 crowns (approximately 5,700
euros), the National Library’s spokeswoman, Irena Maňáková, told the
Czech News Agency on Tuesday.
The valuable manuscript, which also served as a diary, belonged to Anna Kateřina Karbanová from Volšany, a daughter of a Prague noble man and city councillor.
In the world of advanced information technology there are still remnants of an era when all human knowledge was painstakingly collected in libraries that reflected the social status of their owners. Deep in the bowels of Kinski Palace, on Prague’s Old Town Square, the Kinski family library is preserved as it served the family for generations. Its administrator for the National Museum Richard Sipek took me around one of the two remaining palace libraries in the city.
One of the city’s most precious book collections is to be found in the Nostitz Palace Library in Prague’s Lesser Town. The Early Baroque building, former residence of the noble family of Nostitz-Rieneck, is now home to the Czech Ministry of Culture. The precious library within, which is only open to visitors on special occasions, is administered by the National Museum. I asked Richard Šípek who administers the priceless collection of ancient books to take me through the library and show me some of its treasures.
A Museum of the Bible will soon open its doors to the public in the town of Pelhřimov. Organized by the Biblical Theological Seminar, a non-profit organization that provides theological training in the Czech Republic and Slovakia, the museum will display a large number of bibles in different languages –from rare old prints dating back to the 16th century to a Lego Bible for children. I asked one of the organizers of the project, theologian Vladimír Donát to tell me more about the museum and how the idea to establish a permanent exposition of this
The oldest preserved translation of The Bible in Czech has been put on display at the museum in the town of Litoměřice in north Bohemia. Completed in 1414, the Litoměřice-Třeboň Bible was created for Petr Zmrzlík, a friend of the religious reformer Jan Hus. It features two types of spelling of Czech due to the fact the language was evolving so rapidly at the time. The bible, the property of the Litoměřice bishopric, can be viewed by the public until the end of the month.
On July 6th, it will be 600 years since the death of Jan Hus, the celebrated priest and reformer, who was burned at the stake for heresy against the Catholic Church. In this programme, Zdeněk Uhlíř of the historical and musical collections section of the Czech National Library, and also Vlasta Urbánková, a guide at the Bethlehem Chapel where Hus preached, will help to piece together what we know about the man, his beliefs, and some of the myths surrounding this “Greatest Czech”.
The Green Mountain Manuscript (Rukopis zelenohorský) and the Queen’s Court Manuscript (Rukopis královédvorský) were important texts in the Czech National Revival of the 19th century, helping to underpin burgeoning national consciousness and becoming part of the broader culture. However, the compendia of Czech legends and folklore turned out to be forgeries. David Cooper of the University of Illinois is currently in Prague doing research into and translating the manuscripts. He discussed them on a visit to our studios last week.
Tempus Libri is a Czech company specialising in the production of authentic copies or ‘clones’ of rare historic manuscripts, often of immense cultural value. To date, the most significant tome the firm copied is the Vyšehrad Codex, dating back to the Romanesque period. The manuscript, made up of one hundred and eight parchment folios – 26 of which are illuminated – focusses on numerous topics, including the genealogy of Christ. The Codex also depicts the first Czech King Vratislav II and features a reference to St. Wenceslas, the patron saint of