OLD ROYAL PALACE

The Old Royal Palace is located in the middle of the south wing of the Prague Castle and it is one of the most valuable architectural landmarks of the castle. The foundations and the ground floor are in the Romanesque style and they date back to the time of Princ Soběslav (beginning of the 14th century). Above that there is a so-called, Luxembourg floor, from the age of Jan of Luxembourg and Charles IV. In this time, Petr Parléř built the Chapel of All Saints here but it was damaged in the 1541 fire. During the Hussite’s wars, the Palace was badly damaged and the Czech rulers moved into the Kings Court, (today´s Municipal House) which is in the Old Town.
It was the Vladislav Jagellon, who returned the castle to its importance and glory. Around 1490, he began the grand reconstruction or rather the construction of the Prague Castle in the late Gothic style and sometimes, it is referred to as the Jagiellonian Gothic. In the years 1490-1502, the architect, Benedikt Ried, built the magnificent Vladislav´s Hall, which still amazes people with its size. It is 62 m long, 16 m wide and 13m high. The Gothic hall also has the Renaissance features of the beautiful Renaissance windows. The hall hosted celebrations and feasts but also, jousting competitions and the knights could enter the hall by the special Riding stairs that were modified for the horses. The hall also traditionally holds the election of the Czech President.
During the reign of the Habsburgs, offices, courts and Provincial Council resided here. At the edge of the Vladislav´s is Ludwig’s south wing of the Royal Palace. The Czech office was here and it was on the same level as the Vladislav´s hall but the Imperial Court office was one storey above. It was on May 23rd 1618 that the two Habsburg governors, and their scribe, were defenestrated from the Czech Office. They survived the fall, due to the amount of garbage that was stored below the windows. However, the Czech anti-Habsburg act of rebellion did not go unpunished and the war that broke out, and later involved most of Europe, lasted for almost thirty years.
In the underground of the Palace there is the exposition called, The Story of Prague Castle, which explains and illustrates the whole history of the Prague Castle in a pleasant way.

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