Prague Castle Displays the Czech Coronation Jewellery
The Czech crown jewels are precious and extraordinary masterpiece and important cultural heritage of the country. Though their original purpose has lost its true meaning after the creation of Czechoslovakia in 1918, they remain to be symbols of Czech statehood and did not lost their importance.
The Czech Crown Jewels consist of the Crown of Saint Wenceslas, the Royal Sceptre and the Royal Orb, together with a bag and coronation vestment with ermine accessories. The rarest is the Crown of Saint Wenceslas, designed by Czech King and Holy Roman Emperor, Charles IV in 1346. Normally the jewels can be seen during the election for a President or some special occasion decided by the President of the Czech Republic. The 700th birthday of the Charles IV is definitely an exemplary case. Due to the celebrations marking the this significant anniversary, the crown jeweles will be displayed from the 15th May at the Prague Castle premises. The admission is, as usual, for free.
Two doors and seven keys...
The Crown Chamber, where the jewels are safely hidden, is located in the St Vitus Cathedral. Without exaggeration, the chamber is the least accessible place of the Prague Castle. The jewels are protected by double doors, each of them having sevel locks which can be opened only when all seven keyholders get together. The keys are entrusted to the Lord Mayor of the Prague, the Prague Archbishop, Prime Minister or the President.
St Wenceslas Crown
The oldest and most valuable coronation jewel is made of pure gold of about 21-22 carat and weights over 2 kilograms. It is dedicated to the Patron Saint Wenceslas and every monarch had to pledge endless devotion to the heritage of St Wenceslas. Moreover, the crown is decorate with various precious stones such as sapphires, rubies, pearls and spinels. When not on display, the crown is kept in a leather case made specially for it.
The national myth says, that anyone who puts the crown on his head without authorization will die soon. The famous Natzi protector Reinhard Heydrich ridiculed the legend and to proof his power he put on the crown. Six month later he was assassinated by Czech parachutists in 1942.