Independent Czechoslovakia was proclaimed on October 28, 1918, but the celebrations will take place all year round. The Office of the President of the Republic, the Prague Castle Administration, the Military Historical Institute, the Department of Archival Administration of the Ministry of the Interior and the Postal Museum prepared for this anniversary a large exhibition project titled Founded in 1918.
The project consists of five separate exhibitions that will be held during the year 2018 at the Prague Castle. The first, admission free one, named At the Beginning of the Statehood, will take place in the Imperial Stables for only five days - from January 10th to January 15th. You can view rare original archival materials, such as the Coronation manuscript of Charles IV. or St. Vitus' manuscript that the first Czech King, Vratislav II, given to the St. Vitus Cathedral. The famous Sicilian Golden Bull confirming the privileges of the Czech kings will also be exhibited.
A New Way to View the Coronation Jewels
For just one week, from January 16th to 23rd, a follow-up exhibition, Symbolic power of the Bohemian Crown Jewels. will be held at the Vladislav Hall. The crown jewels will be displayed for the first time in a showcase so that the visitors can view them from all sides, allowing them to see the unique back side of the crown for the first time. St. Wenceslas' helmet, his armor and his sword will also be exhibited.
Along the way from the showcase with the prince Wenceslas‘ armor to the coronation jewels case, the visitor will pass a series of panels describing the fate of the jewels and the development of their symbolic meaning after 1918, when these status symbols of the Czech kings still play an important role.
Symbols of Statehood and Breakthrough Historical Moments
The third exhibition will be longer, from February 27th to July 1st, 2018. The most important moments in the development of the Czech State from the 10th century to the present day will be presented at the Imperial Stables. Perhaps the most interesting showpiece will be the so-called Vladislav's privilege of 1158 - the oldest preserved document proving the existence of the Czech State.
The fourth exhibition in the Prague Castle Riding School, opening on March 7th, will present the history of state symbols. Amongst the exhibited items will also be the Treasury in which you can see the highest state decorations awarded over the past hundred years as well as the unique archival materials related to the breakthrough moments of our modern history, which will be regularly changed during the exhibition. These include, for example, the text of the speech by President Benes after his abdication in 1938 with his remarks or letters from Milada Horáková from the prison.
Sokol Members - Castle Guard
The project’s closing exhibition entitled The Castle Guard will be held at the Teresian Wing of the Prague Castle, consisting of photographs and other items presenting the history of the Castle Guard. It will be symbolically launched at the time of the XVI Sokol Rally as the first unit of Masaryk's Prague Castle Guards were Sokol members.