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Prague Castle to mark Maria Theresa, Czechoslovakia’s anniversary

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Prague, Jan 17 (CTK) – Prague Castle will remember the 300th birth anniversary of the Queen of Bohemia and Holy Roman Empress, Maria Theresa (1717-80), this year, David Sebek, spokesman for the Prague Castle Administration, has told CTK.

He said a standing exhibition on the Queen of Bohemia will be installed in the Rozmberk Palace known as the Institute of Noblewomen.

Prague Castle has already started preparations for the centenary of establishment of the independent Czechoslovak state in October 2018, Sebek said.

Maria Theresa was the sole woman on the Czech throne. She was crowned in Prague in 1743. She lent the current construction form to Prague Castle, which was strongly damaged during the War of the Austrian Succession (1740-1748).

“The theme of the ruler will be first mentioned within an exhibition ‘Early Spring’ in the Royal Garden from March 3-12,” Sebek said.

The summer tourist season will begin symbolically at Prague Castle on Saturday, May 13, the date of Maria Theresa’s birth. Entry to all major destinations at the Castle will be free, Sebek said.

He pointed out the Enlightenment reforms with which the queen significantly modernised the Czech Lands.

The permanent exhibition on Maria Theresa will be opened this autumn in the former Rozmberk Palace, whose repairs unleashed the reconstruction of Prague Castle under builder Nicola Pacassi. He led the construction works in 1753-74.

The buildings west to the Old Royal Palace were rebuilt and completed in late classicising baroque style.

This gave rise to three newly conceived yards in the western part of the Castle. The Matthias Gate of 1614 was integrated into the new wing in the first courtyard. The St Cross Chapel was built in the second courtyard, while the Old Palace was preserved.

The northern facade of the Castle was almost completely preserved in its medieval shape.

A second floor was added to the Renaissance Rozmberk Palace in the 1720s already. Under Maria Theresa, it was radically rebuilt into the Institute of Noblewomen.

Further adjustments to the palace followed in the 20th century. It was reconstructed for 15 years from the early 1990s, with conservationists wishing to restore it to its original shape. It was opened in 2008 and it has hosted occasional exhibitions since then.

Sebek said in addition to the remembrance of Maria Theresa, Prague Castle will also host short-time exhibitions this year.

In the autumn an exhibition on the impact of impressionism on Czech artists will be staged.

The exhibition The First Czechoslovak Decade, which will also open this autumn, will be a prologue to the celebrations of the centenary of Czechoslovakia.

It will present the construction changes to the Castle during the first decade of the presidency of Tomas Garrigue Masaryk (in office 1918-35), founder of the republic.

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