Anniversary of King Charles IV - the Greatest Czech

Autor: Nuala Casey and Oldrich Holecek

Protecting the seat of the President of the Czech Republic at Prague Castle requires that the Castle Guard are responsible not only for the permanent sentry service of the compound, but also for the ceremonial procedures associated with all festive events, as well as the exceptional occasions when displaying the Bohemian Crown Jewels.

The Jewels are presently being exhibited to the public in celebration of the 700th anniversary of King Charles IV's birth, known as the Greatest Czech.

"Four soldiers from the Castle Guard carried the Jewels in a special box set on a litter from St. Wenceslav Chapel to Vladislav Hall, and then on to St. Vitus Cathedral for the church service which was celebrated by Cardinal Dominik Duka," said the Commander of the Castle Guard, Colonel Petr Prskavec.

Almost all of the Castle Guards participated in conveying the Jewels from inside the vault, with 50 of the soldiers serving as flag bearers when the Jewels were moved within the compounds of Prague Castle. The ceremony was attended by the Czech President, Milos Zeman, Chairmen of both Chambers of the Czech Parliament, members of the Czech National Trust and armed soldiers.

The Bohemian Crown Jewels, which include the St. Wenceslav Crown, Sceptre and Orb, were commissioned by Charles IV for his coronation as the Czech King on 2nd September 1347. According to ancient tradition and keeping with the express wishes of Charles the Fourth in the 14th century, the Jewels are exhibited only to mark special occasions. Exhibitions should take place at Prague Castle and are usually displayed once every five years. The exhibits this year can be seen in Vladislav Hall from 15th to 29th May 2016. Entry is free.

By Nuala Casey and Oldrich Holecek

May 25, 2016