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Prague Castle – The supreme Burgrave’s house

A building called the old Burgrave’s house you can see when you reach Jirska Street. You will be captivated by four coats-of- arms(heraldry) of the supreme burgraves that are located above the entrance gateway. They originate from the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. These are coats-of-arms of Adam of Wallenstein, Jaroslav Borita of Martinic, John Joseph of Vrtba and Karl Egon of Furstenberg. So, let’s go on.

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Who actually was the burgrave? The supreme Burgrave’s house
A person who was once a castle castellan, then he could become a burgrave. Burgrave’s task was to deputize for the sovereign in the event that he is not currently at the Castle. Who could get such an important position? The office was held by members of the most important noble families.

How did the burgrave palace look like?
At first, the building was the seat of the castellans and later the burgraves moved in here. The building probably was already here in the Romanesque period. In the 14th century the Burgrave’s House served as the temporary residence of the later king and emperor Charles IV. After the fire of 1541 the palace was rebuilt in Renaissance style. The building was modernized by a preserved Romanesque tower and facade with graffiti. Part of the palace is not only the Burgrave’s House but also a tower which served as the gateway to the Roman fortifications. It’s called the Black Tower and also served as a prison. In this dungeon were locked up mainly debtors. The name was derived from the time of the fire, during which the whole tower got black because of the smoke. At one time executions took place here. For instance, Dalibor was executed in the courtyard.

Surprisingly, original decorations have been preserved from the 16th century in the room of the Burgrave court. A painted wooden ceiling and frescoes are worthy to be mention. In the sixties of the twentieth century there was a House of Czechoslovak children. Since 1994, Summer Shakespeare Festival has taken place in the area of the Burgrave. The first Shakespeare’s comedy that was played here was Mids

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ummer Night’s Dream.

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The supreme Burgrave’s house TOY MUSEUM
What does the building serve for today? Numerous fine art exhibitions take place in the Burgrave’s premises nowadays. In the north wing of the Old Burgrave you can see the Toy Museum.

Visitors have the opportunity to see part of private collection of the film maker and cartoonist, Ivan Steiger, who brought the exposure to these premises from Munich. Exhibits, which reach the age of 150 years, are located on two floors, sixty showcases, and seven halls of the old Burgrave. You can see here toys well advanced in years. Steiger’s family hands down this tradition from generation to generation. Not only children but also adults can see here the classic wooden and tin toys, dolls and their closets and models of city and noble houses, which are furnished to the smallest detail. Then your heart will jubilate on the premises where are placed carriages, cars and motorcycles, airplanes, airships, paddle steamers and ocean-going ships, children’s railway with the oldest Marklin engines, trains and a nice station.

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You can see here plenty of animals that are placed in country buildings, in a circus or in a zoo. An exhibitor did not neglect to include in his collections teddy bears. The collection was also enriched by the American Barbie dolls. For men are prepared tin robots, steam engines, Schuco cars, toy building bricks and games, physical toys, optical toys, music toys and many other surprises. There are also the most famous and precious tin wind-up wonders, originating from France, Germany and America.

Address:
Prague Castle
Prague 1

GPS: 50 ° 5′29 .04 „N 14 ° 24′1 .08″ E

Public transport:
tram:
number 1,8,15,18,20,22,26,
subway station , underground stop –  Line A – Malostranská
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