Prague lives with a rich cultural life. Many interesting events is currently taking place, others are going to happen very soon. We want to tell you more about one of them – the newly opened St. Vitus treasure exposure.
The beginnings of the Treasury are related to the construction of the first shrine of St. Vitus, which was built in about 922-935 by order of the prince St. Wenceslas. The first relics was the St. Vitus shoulder – its skeletal remains are stored in the gold box studded with cameos that mimic the shape of the hand. Later in addition to the relics of St. Wenceslas there were saved his belongings as a sword, spear, helmet and armor. Another rare sight is the banner directly manufactured by St. Ludmila.
As time went on, the treasure was magnified and enriched, but it waned at the same time, for example through involuntary donations, robbery, fire of Prague in 1142 or wars. The best known donor was a Czech king and Holy Roman Emperor Charles IV. During his reign gathered a large number of precious objects and relics. In 1346 he instructed to make the king crown (which was later used only for coronation). It is called the St. Wenceslas crown becouse it was inserted in the skull of St. Wenceslas.
Royal Crown is one of the only four that survived in Europe. Its weight is 2,5 kilograms and is encrusted by 91 jewels and 20 pearls. Of the 9 largest known sapphires there is 6 on the Czech crown, the largest is located at the head of Crown. Many of the items collected in the course of history, however, perished. The worst time for the temple and its treasures occurred after 1619. There were crosses, paintings, sculptures and liturgical objects disappeared or destroyed and so we can only read about it now. During the reign of the Habsburgs became part of the treasure imperial crown jewels and other objects of the coronation of kings. Number of items in the treasure was changing over the centuries.
St. Vitus treasure excels in his old age, written and documented records are from 1069. Today the treasure is kept in St. Vitus Cathedral. Exceeds 400 items and includes a variety of monuments, jewelry, commemorative coins, medals, pots, swords, helmets, reliquaries, liturgical utensils and vestments. But probably the most precious object called a coronation cross, is of pure gold, and almost one meter high. There should be saved relics associated with the Passion of Christ. The cross is also decorated with gems and cameos.
Metropolitan Chapter of St. Vitus in Prague under the auspices of the President of the Republic is preparing this year a permanent exhibition of St. Vitus treasure. In December 2011 it will come back to the newly renovated Chapel of the Holy Cross on the 2nd courtyard. It is envisaged that there will be installed 139 of the 400 surviving subjects. Repair of the chapel itself lasted two and a half years and cost 28 mil Czech Crowns. Among other things, particular attention was paid to the security system. Access to individual space will always have a maximum of 45 people.
Visitors and Czech history lovers can see the exhibition on Friday, 16 December at noon. The fact that this is an extraordinary event, is indicating the opening ceremony speech of President Vaclav Klaus and Prague Archbishop Dominik Duka. Come and see it. And if you love also other events or sightseeings, stay in Prague longer. Bohemia Apartments will be happy to provide you accommodation in luxury apartments in Prague centre.