Prague, Jan 23 (CTK) – Some 32,300 people came to see the crown jewels that were displayed in the Vladislav Hall of the Old Royal Palace of the Prague Castle, the seat of Czech kings and presidents, for eight days as of last Tuesday, Jakub Tichy, from the Castle press section, told CTK on Tuesday.
President Milos Zeman and another six key holders will return the crown jewels to the chamber in St Vitus Cathedral at the Castle on Wednesday.
The exhibition entitled “The Symbolic Power of Czech Crown Jewels” was held within the celebrations of the 100th anniversary of Czechoslovakia’s birth and 25 years of the establishment of the Czech Republic.
The rare exhibition, which is free of charge, was held between the first and second rounds of the direct presidential election, in which Zeman is defending his post. He and academic Jiri Drahos will fight in the runoff this weekend.
The crown jewels are put on display on rare occasions only. This happened for the third time during Zeman’s five-year mandate.
The first exhibition took place in 2013, after Zeman was elected head of state for the first time, when some 31,000 visited it. The crown jewels were shown to the public for the second time in May 2016 on the occasion of the 700th birth anniversary of King of Bohemia and Holy Roman Emperor Charles IV (1316-1378). More than 40,000 visitors saw the exhibition then.
After the establishment of the Czech Republic in 1993, the original crown jewels were regularly displayed in five-year intervals corresponding to the president’s term in office.
The crown jewels include the Crown of Saint Wenceslas, the royal orb and sceptre, the coronation vestments of the Kings of Bohemia and the relevant accessories. The crown was produced on Charles IV’s order in 1346, the other items are less old.
The crown jewels are preserved in a special safe case in the crown chamber, which is part of the St Wenceslas Chapel in the Cathedral.
There are seven locks on the door to it. The seven keys are held by the president, the prime minister, the heads of the two houses of parliament, the mayor of Prague, the Prague archbishop and the St Vitus Chapter dean.