National Archives to show documents from Charles IV

Most items were handled by the king and have never been shown to the public

The National Archives will be showing some rare documents from the era of Charles IV for just a few days, from Oct. 28 to Oct. 31, with free admission. The exhibition is titled Archive of the Czech Crown: Written Treasures of Charles IV, and is part of the part of the celebration of the 700th anniversary of the birth of Emperor Charles IV. Most of the documents have never been shown to the public before.

Almost all of the papers in the exhibition would have been handled by Charles IV in his official capacity as Bohemian king and Holy Roman emperor. They relate to political and diplomatic activity in the era.

A charter ensuring the position of Bohemia within the empire is the most important to be shown. Other items are a charter from Sept. 1, 1347, with a golden seal that grants the Bohemian king the right to anoint bishops; a document from April 7, 1348, that confirms the privileges granted to Czech kings; and a document with a golden seal from Oct. 9, 1355, that incorporates new territories into Bohemia.

A document from March 12, 1350, has a list of holy relics, including ones allegedly from the Crucifixion, and imperial regalia in possession of the Czech crown. A further document is an agreement with royalty and nobility from France, Poland, Hungary, Austria and Bavaria. The exhibition will be accompanied by a series of lectures in Czech.

The current National Archives has its roots going back to the era of Charles IV. It is a state administration office as well as a central state archives directly controlled by the Czech Ministry of the Interior. It is directly linked with the work of the central archive institutions of the Czech state continuously from the early Middle Ages. The archives also has a library with more that half a million volumes that is open to the public.

The archives is located in Prague 4 at at Archivní 4/2257 and can be reached by bus or with a bit of a walk by subway from the Chodov stop on the Metro C line.

For more information, visit

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