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Prague Castle exhibitions to mark Czechoslovak birth centenary

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Prague, Aug 16 (CTK) – The Golden Bull of Sicily, funerary insignia of King Ottokar II and other valuable historical items will be shown at three exhibitions Prague Castle will host next year to mark 100 years from the birth of Czechoslovakia, presidential spokesman Jiri Ovcacek told CTK on Wednesday.

He said a memorandum of a joint preparation of the exhibitions was signed by representatives of the Presidential Office, the Prague Castle Management, the Military History Institute, the Interior Ministry and Czech Post on Wednesday.

“The ‘Established In 1918’ exhibition project consists of three exhibitions that will open at Prague Castle in 2018,” Ovcacek said.

The first one will run in the Imperial Stables from January to June. It will use original archive documents and other items to highlight the milestones of the Czech state’s development since the 10th century.

The visitors will be able to see the funerary insignia of Ottokar II, the 13th-century “Iron and Golden King” of Bohemia from the Premyslid dynasty, the original Golden Bull of Sicily, an imperial decree granting the royal title to the sovereigns of Bohemia in 1212, and the Letter of Majesty, by which the Habsburg Holy Roman Emperor Rudolph II granted religious tolerance to Catholics and Protestants in Bohemia in 1609.

Also on display will be the “land tables” or documents that are the old Czech source of law, and the Washington Declaration, by which the Czechoslovak resistance movement declared Czechoslovakia’s independence in October 1918, still before the collapse of the Austro-Hungarian Empire and the WWI end.

Another exhibition will open in Prague Castle’s Riding School premises in March and run through October.

“This exhibition, mainly focusing on the history of state symbols, is to be exceptional in the context of other events prepared on the occasion of the centenary, not only by concentrating absolutely unique exhibits but also by its architectonic design,” Ovcacek said.

The exhibition will offer the stories of the rare items on display, including top state awards, unique archive documents, the presidential Skoda VOS car, the text of president Edvard Benes’s radio speech following his abdication in the wake of the 1938 Munich Agreement, and letters that deputy Milada Horakova wrote from a communist jail.

From July to October, an exhibition about the Prague Castle guard and their history will be held in the castle’s Theresian Wing.

Czechoslovakia was officially established as one of Austria-Hungary’s successor states on October 28, 1918. It peacefully split into two independent states, the Czech Republic and Slovakia, as of January 1, 1993.

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