New finds by archaeologists under the floorboards of Prague Caste have helped to show the richness of life there during the renaissance and baroque periods. Finds at the imposing Vladislav Hall at the Old Palace include playing cards, remnants of letters and pages from books, buttons, safety pins, pipes, and beads. One of the biggest discoveries is a pocket sundial watch. Archaeologists worked at the hall from November until mid-February ahead of the reconstruction of the floor. They are expecting further discoveries from analysis of the timbers. The overall research is already painting a much fuller picture of place life in the 16th and 17th centuries.
Alžběta Pezoldová, heiress of the Schwarzenberg aristocratic family, has won a court battle over a family crypt after a court in Jindřichův Hradec, southern Bohemia, confirmed her claim on Tuesday. She lost several court cases in a protracted battle for the property but in January of this year the Czech Constitutional Court cancelled all previous verdicts in the case, making way for today’s ruling. Ms Pezoldová has filed lawsuits for the return of billion of crowns’ worth of former family property around the country.
The Czech Republic is famous as a country of castles but this week I had a chance to visit one that is truly exceptional: the renowned Konopiště Chateau, found just 40 kilometres south of Prague. Konopiště, together with its wide surroundings and gorgeous interiors, is of course particularly famous for its ill-fated last owner – the heir-apparent to the Austrian throne, Archduke Francis Ferdinand, assassinated, together with his wife, in Sarajevo in 1914 - the spark that set off the First World War. In this edition of Spotlight we visit some of
A rare collection of stamps bearing the likeness of French Emperor Napoleon has gone on exhibit at the Slavkov (or Austerlitz) Chateau on the anniversary of the Battle of the Three Emperors. In 1805 Napoleon routed Russian and Austrian forces at Austerlitz, cementing what is regarded as Napoleon’s greatest triumph. The collection, which features some 1,000 stamps from around the world, was bought by the chateau following the death of the collection’s original owner.
The Story of Prague Castle is a permanent exhibition at Prague’s most famous site, covering its magnificent thousand-year history – from its architecture to the lives of the Czech kings. But, this week, a new small exhibit was added, one that will be of most interest to those passionate about jewelry. Around 30 items in gold and silver, dating back to the 9th and 10th centuries, in other words the early medieval period, have been put on display.
An exhibition of traditional Christmas nativity scenes has opened at Prague Castle. It features around four dozen nativity scenes of various ages and made of various materials, including wood, cardboard and gingerbread and was put together by the Spolek českých betlemářů (Czech nativity scene makers association).
The activities of Czechoslovak armed units on the side of the Allied powers during World War I helped Czechs and Slovaks win consent to form their own state when the conflict ended in 1918. The legions that had been fighting in Russia, however, became embroiled in that country’s civil war, and didn’t get home until two years later. Their fascinating story is the subject of a new exhibition in Prague.
It took 60 years but the Kumpera family will now be given back the Baroque Koloděje Chateau, confiscated by the state in 1948. On Monday the Prague Municipal Court rejected a final appeal and upheld a ruling from earlier this year which said that the property had been unfairly seized. Now nothing stands in the way of the property being returned its rightful owners.
A verdict ordering the Czech state to hand back a Baroque chateau to its pre-war owners has been upheld by a Prague court this Monday. The state confiscated the Koloděje chateau in 1948, but earlier this year was ordered to hand it back to the Kumpera family, who were deemed its rightful owners. The chateau has been used by the Czech state since the 1950s for ceremonial events and meetings, but in January, a court ruled that it had been unfairly confiscated. On Monday this ruling was upheld. Vítězslav Kumpera, who will now inherit the chateau, is locked in further legal battles with Koloděje Town Hall over the property.
A number of hugely important historical moments have been remembered in the Czech Republic this year: the communist takeover of 1948, the Soviet-led invasion of 1968, and the signing of the Munich agreement in 1938. But there is also one anniversary that Czechs can mark with pleasure – the foundation of Czechoslovakia 90 years ago, on October 28th 1918. Among the institutions marking that day is Prague Castle, which has organised several events.
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