Permanent exposition 'The Story of Prague Castle'

The exhibition tells the tale of the main castle complex in the country and the people associated with it – from monarchs and presidents to nobility and courtiers, famous artists, builders, architects and scientists to craftsmen and servants. It is the story of a complex bearing the secret of the last resting place of the most important Czech princes and kings and patron saints of our country, of a place preserving the Czech crown jewels, St. Vitus’ Treasure, as well as a place representing a respectable residence of the head of the Czech Republic.

The story begins in ancient history – in prehistory – and continues to the present time, recording more than 5,000 years, which mostly became fateful moments for Czech history and the history of all its inhabitants.

The main route leads through particular eras, to which are connected thematic branches – stories representing interesting items associated with Prague Castle, such as the Story of Coronation, Burial, Czech Patrons of the Church and Cathedrals. Part of the exposition is a special program for children, called Play Castle, and other interactive programs and projections.

Admission: Full 140 CZK : Reduced 70 CZK : Family 200 CZK

The Exhibition is open daily except 28.10 and 24.12, from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. during the summer (1.4. – 31.10.) and from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the winter (1.11. – 31.3.).

The entrance can be reached through the Third Courtyard and the North Courtyard. There is also an entrance from St. George’s Square.

EXHIBITION “The Story of Prague Castle” in Detail

The exhibition tells the story of the main castle complex in the country and the people connected with it – from the rulers and presidents to the aristocrats, courtiers, famous artists, builders, architects, scholars, tradesmen and servants. It is a story of a complex that conceals the mystery of the last place of rest of the most important Bohemian rulers and saints, a place that houses the Czech crown jewels and the St Vitus treasury, but also a place that serves as the dignified seat of the head of the Czech Republic.

The permanent exhibition The Story of Prague Castle is divided thematically into two sections that are interconnected both in terms of information and location.

The main route of the exhibition outlines the development of the castle from the prehistoric period to the Romanesque, the Gothic, the Renaissance, the Baroque and the 19th and 20th centuries up to the present. This basic route is located in the rooms on the Gothic floor of the Old Royal Palace. It includes models of Prague Castle during the various stages of development, supplemented by ‘superlative’ objects: the oldest, the rarest, the most valuable, the most ordinary, the most mysterious … Visitors an opportunity to get an overview of the transformation of the castle complex and to see pieces from its collections. In addition, they are able to look through all the rooms and learn curious facts about their history.

The main route is situated in the following rooms:
Old Land Rolls (Prehistory, Prague Castle before 918, Prague Castle 918-1135), Room above The Ducal Chamber (Romanesque), Charles Hall (Gothic), Old Registry (Renaissance and Baroque), Hall of Columns of Vaclav IV (19th Century), Depository for the Court Rolls (20th Century).

‘Stories’ – on the same floor of the Old Royal Palace, the basic route is supplemented by thematic digressions. These in-depth exhibitions are located in the newly accessible rooms of the Old Royal Palace, which are connected to the main route of the exhibition:

Jagiellon Arcade (The Story of the Patrons of the Bohemian Lands, the Story of the Church and Cathedral, the Story of Burials), Cold Storage (the Story of Banquets), Bohemian Chamber (the Story of the Residence), Western Residential Tower (the Story of Scholarship) and Romanesque Southern Gate (the Story of Catastrophes).

The extensive project The Story of Prague Castle gives visitors an opportunity to see and experience the changes to the castle, showing individual episodes as well as their place in the whole. After leaving the exhibition spaces, the visitors will have a chance to walk through the entire complex again and study its nooks and corners from the perspective of the newly acquired information. The programme designed for children and student groups of various levels has the same aim. Special tours with a ‘detective’ angle have been prepared for them. At the beginning of the exhibition route, each young visitor will choose a specific role connected with the castle history. He or she will then be led through the exhibition in such a way as to find out as much as possible about the figure he or she has chosen.

The permanent exhibition is supplemented by interactive programmes, spatial computer models, music, sounds and video programmes.

Last but not least, a forty-minute artistic documentary about the fascinating transformation of Prague Castle has been filmed as part of the project. A CD-ROM will also be released in October 2004; it will include many digitally processed stories that could not be presented fully in the limited exhibition spaces. A book (in English and Czech) has also been published on the occasion of the exhibition – a mosaic of about ninety stories about the castle setting, with many artistic photographs and other illustrations.

The unique permanent exhibition presenting Prague Castle to a broad public, both Czech and foreign, is both informative and entertaining and encourages visitors to come and experience the story again and again.

Authors: Klára Benešovská, Milena Bravermanová, Jan Frolík, Eliška Fuèíková, Martin Halata, Petr Chotìbor, Zdenìk Lukeš, Jana Maøíková-Kubková, Ivan Prokop Muchka, Marek Suchý
Architectural design: DaM, s. r. o. – Petr Malinský, Richard Dole?al, Petr Burian, Michal Pokorný
Graphic design: Robert V. Novák, Tereza Fantová

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