The Philadelphia Museum of Art will return a ceremonial shield to the Czech
Republic that had been looted by Nazi authorities during the occupation of
the Bohemian castle Konopiště.
Museum Director Timothy Rub told Czech diplomat Antonín Hradilek that new documentation had offered proof the shield was taken from Konopiště, the Swiss Jewish publication tachles reported. The Nazis had intended to include the shield, crafted during the Italian Renaissance, within Hitler’s planned “Führer Museum”.
The Czech government had asked the museum to acknowledge Czech ownership of the shield based on a Declaration passed in December 1998 by 44 nations at the Washington Conference on Holocaust-Era Assets.
There is a place in the south-east of Czechia that will strongly remind you of London or the Royal Palace of Windsor. Surprised? That might be understandable, but the fact is that the romantic ideas of the English Gothic Revival or neo-Gothic architecture traveled far and wide in continental Europe. Lednice Chateau in South Moravia, very close to the Austrian border, is a prime example of such architectural ideas easily moving from the British Isles to the heart of Central Europe.
The Czech Republic’s famous Karlštejn castle, built by the Bohemian King and Holy Roman Emperor Charles IV, as a treasury for the crown jewels and other precious royal artefacts, is marking an important anniversary this week. It is exactly 670 years ago, in 1348, when the foundation stone of the Gothic castle was ceremoniously laid.
400 years ago this May, Bohemian noblemen threw a pair of Hapsburg officials out a Prague Castle window. That act of rebellion, known as the “Defenestration of Prague”, sparked a revolt in the Czech lands. It was also a catalyst for the outbreak of the “30 Years’ War” in Europe – one of the longest, most destructive conflicts in human history, waged in the name of religion.
Private owners of historic buildings in the Czech Republic have opened their doors to the public and organised special events for their visitors as part of European Private Heritage Week, which takes place until Sunday. The aim of the event, which takes place under the banner ‘Our House, Your Heritage’ is to raise awareness about the contribution private owners of heritage buildings make to society as a whole.
Czechs will join millions of people around the globe in turning off their
lights for 60 minutes on Saturday night starting at 8:30pm local time in a
symbolic show of support for the Earth Hour campaign against climate
Earth Hour will dim some of Prague’s best known landmarks including Prague Castle, Charles Bridge, Old Town Square or the Žižkov TV tower.
Prague and other cities around the Czech Republic first marked Earth Hour in 2012. Thirteen cities and eighty towns and villages are expected to join the campaign this year.
Thousands of people braved the cold this week, queuing up for hours in rain and snow, for a rare chance to see the Bohemian crown jewels which went on display at Prague Castle on the occasion of the centenary of the birth of Czechoslovakia in 1918. Who were the coronation jewels made for and what are some of the legends attached to them? Czech Radio spoke with the jeweler whose family has been in charge of their maintenance for years.
Seven senior state and church representatives unlocked the chamber that
holds the Czech crown jewels on Monday. The valuable treasures, which are
among the symbols of Czech statehood, are only removed from the chamber in
Prague’s St. Vitus Cathedral on special occasions.
From Tuesday they will be on display at the Vladislav Hall at Prague Castle as part of an exhibition entitled Founded 1918 marking the centenary of the establishment of Czechoslovakia.
The crown jewels consist of a crown that belonged to St. Wenceslas, a royal orb and sceptre and a number of other items.
Seven representatives of church and state are set to unlock the chamber in
Prague’s St Vitus cathedral on Monday in which the Czech crown jewels are
stored. The valuable artefacts will be put display for the general public
on Tuesday at Prague Castle’s Vladislav Hall, the traditional site of the
coronation of kings.
The crown jewels are regarded as the symbol of Czech statehood and history and consist of St. Wenceslas’ crown and the royal orb and sceptre. They are kept permanently under lock and key in a reinforced safe and are only put on display on very special occasions.
The exhibition at Prague Castle is part of a major exhibition marking the centenary of the establishment of Czechoslovakia and is open to the public for free until January 23.
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