Thursday, 24 April 2014

Experts uncover medieval moat in Havel Library's future seat

4 December 2012

Prague, Dec 3 (CTK) - Experts have uncovered a medieval trench filled with ground layers coming from a cemetery and containing a number of human bones during research into the courtyard of a Prague building that is to host the Vaclav Havel Library after reconstruction, Jana Marikova Kubkova told CTK.

Marikova Kubkova is the spokeswoman for the Archaeological Institute carrying out the research.

The planned reconstruction of the historical house, built in the 16th century near Prague Castle, has stirred up stormy discussions.

A couple of years ago, the house was bought by businessman Zdenek Bakala, whose foundation sponsors the Vaclav Havel Library. The reconstruction design was presented by Spanish architect Ricardo Bofill. Apart from publicly accessible premises, the building is to offer accommodation capacities and a private flat.

The project still needs a construction permit. For the time being, experts have conserved the house's valuable architectonic elements such as the originally baroque roof timbers. They also uncovered the original Renaissance ceilings, that were later covered by additional construction.

In the meantime, archeological research confirmed the supposition that valuable historical finds can be expected anywhere in Prague Castle's vicinity.

The most valuable find in the house's courtyard was the trench, four metres deep and seven metres wide, with bones and other objects brought there from an old cemetery by a water stream, such as pottery dating back to the 11th and 12th centuries and a coin from the Premyslid Prince Vratislav II's period, minted around 1090.

Experts say the trench was used from the latter half of the 13th century to the mid-16th century.

The find's significance rests in that it has been well preserved and is the first find of its kind found in Prague's Hradcany historical quarter.

The archeological research will continue until mid-December, afterwards its results will be assessed.

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