Czech history on display at Prague Castle

The next phase of the 100th anniversary exhibitions is starting

The next phase of the exhibitions to mark the 100th anniversary of the founding of Czechoslovakia is starting at Prague Castle.

The Labyrinth of the History of Czech Lands (Labyrintem dějin českých zemí) opens Feb. 27 and runs until July 1 at the Císařská konírna (Imperial Stables) of Prague Castle. Unlike the previous two events, the Foundations of Statehood and the Power of the Crown Jewels, there is an admission for this part, Kč 100 for adults and Kč 50 for students and seniors.

The lines should also e much smaller, as this new part will run for several months and not just days. The line to see the crown jewels was often more than three hours long.

The Labyrinth of the History of Czech Lands will show original documents from modern and medieval history. Some documents are fragile, and will only be shown for a short time, and then replaced by copies. But the originals will rotate, so at any given time there I a mix of originals and copies. This will also encourage true history buffs to visit more than once.

The most precious exhibit will be the original of the Vladislav Privilege of 1158, the oldest preserved document proving the existence of the Czech state.

The exhibition begins with modern history and gradually tracks back to the very beginning of the history of the state. People can also sit in a retro chair and watch TV news from communism or sit on a wooden bench to see period documentaries from the Nazi occupation.

There are authentic sound recordings, and contemporary images projected on walls. People can use a touchscreen to explore documents. But Czech language skills are needed for some of these elements, such as audio and video clips.

The exhibition will also show NATO and EU accession treaties. The past century is represented by a draft of the declaration of independence written by Tomáš Garrigue Masaryk and the bloodstained shirt of Franz Ferdinand d'Este, which he wore during the Sarajevo assassination in 1914 that started World War I.

Visitors can also read acting Reichsprotektor Reinhard Heydrich's telex describing his first measures in Prague after taking office. He was known as “the butcher of Prague.” His assassination as told in two recent theatrical films.

Older documents include an invoice from executioner Jan Mydlár, asking to be paid the execution of 21 Czech lords in Old Town Square in 1621. Stone crosses mark the spot on the square.

The celebrations of the anniversary will culminate in October 2018, with the reopening of the National Museum and the restarting of the Astronomical Clock on Old Town Square.

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