May 14th marks Charles’ IV 700th birthday. Charles IV was a beloved king of Bohemia and Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire in the 14th century. He was born in Prague and loved his country very much. He became a patron of culture and arts, since he founded various institutions, namely Charles University, and built many monuments and castles that are still around to this day. He is still remembered as a great and fair ruler and many Czech citizens like to say that world leaders could take a page out of his book and rule as fairly he did.
In honor of Charles IV, there are many special events in the Czech Republic this summer. Here are our top 5 events that are definitely worth going to! There are countless other events that will be interesting, but this is what we are planning on seeing.
From May 15th until May 29th you can go see the the Crown Jewels of Charles IV at the Prague Castle. This only happens on special occasions, so the last time they were available to see was three years ago when a new president was elected. I definitely suggest you go see this, but be prepared for crowds. When we went in 2013, we got there before the opening at 10am and we still had to wait in line for 5-6 hours. After waiting for such a long time, we were let into the room and we got to see the jewels for a couple of minutes and then we had to leave. So it is up to you, if you want to dedicate so much time, but the jewels are rarely seen, so you might as well take advantage of it!
The Diamond Museum in Prague just opened and as part of the celebrations of Charles IV, part of their exhibit includes gemstones from Charles’ IV era as well as equipment they used to saw the stones. The rest of the exhibit are diamonds and gemstones from the 21st century, probably still worth the visit! The special exhibit for the gemstones from the 14th century lasts until the end of August, so you should definitely go see them, while they are there!
Reenactment of the Coronation of Charles IV
One of the biggest events planned for the celebration of Charles IV will happen on September 2 and 3. There will be a historically accurate reconstruction of the coronation ceremony and all the rituals that are a part of it. Since this is such a special event, and on top of that free, be prepared for huge crowds, but if you are in Prague this will be a spectacular event that you should go to!
The Karlstein Treasure is a collection of 400 small items from the era of Charles IV. They include buttons, other accessories and objects used in the day to day life in the 14th century. During the Hussite wars, the residents of the castle hid these objects in the walls, so that the precious objects wouldn’t fall into the hands of the rebels. There they stayed hidden for the next 600 years, until the castle was being reconstructed and they fell out. Usually the Karlstein Treasure is in Prague, but in honor of the 700th anniversary of Charles IV, they were brought back to the castle.
Noc na Karlštejně
Noc na Karlstejne, will be a stage adaptation of a Czech musical film from 1974. It is a musical telling the story of Charles IV and his wife Elizabeth. Of course this stage production will be in Czech, so for those who do not understand the language, this might not be the right event for you. However, it will be a beautiful event that takes place right on the courtyard of the castle. I suggest you buy tickets soon, because they will probably sell out their 12 shows quickly.
If you are in the Czech Republic this summer and beginning of fall, definitely look into these events! There is a lot more that you can do in honor of Charles IV 700th anniversary, just keep your eye out for these events!