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Secret of St. Wenceslas Crown – Czech kings

St. Wenceslas Crown

St. Wenceslas Crown is the most significant part of the Crown Jewels. It ranks among the most remarkable symbols of our Land and it is surrounded by many mysteries. St. Wenceslas Crown is together with the Crown Jewels kept in the Crown Chamber of  St. Vitus Cathedral in Prague Castle. The set also contains a case for the Royal Crown, the Sceptre and the Apple and also St. Wenceslas Sword. Now we will learn more about the Jewels but especially about the Royal Crown.

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The Jewels Czech Crown Jewels
Besides the Crown, the Royal Apple and the Sceptre from the period before 1550 also form an important part of the Crown Jewels. The Royal Apple is twenty-two centimetres high and weights seven hundred and eighty grams. Its centre is crossed by a two-centimetre band which is gorgeously decorated with pearls and gems. The main part of the Apple is a cross, set by gold and gems. It also contains sapphires and spinels and pearls from the Persian Gulf. Another exceptional elements are the golden miniatures and unique wrought reliefs with Biblical scenes.

The Royal Sceptre was made together with the Apple and it is sixty-seven centimetres long and weights more than one kilogram. The gorgeous handle is decorated with leaves, flowers and tendrils with fine pearls placed around at their tips. However, the main part is the base of the Sceptre which forms a bloom set by pearls and precious stones.

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Czech Crown Jewels - Crown St. Wenceslas Crown
St. Wenceslas Crown was made at the request of Charles IV who consequently consecrated it to the patron of Bohemia - St. Wenceslas. He got crowned by this crown as the King of Bohemia on September 2nd, 1347. The sovereign further defined strict rules when the Jewels can be displayed. It was on remarkable occassions and it was allowed to display the Jewels in the Prague Castle premises only. Even at present they can only be seen on special occassions and their display has to approved by the President.

If the Crown Jewels shall be collected, seven keys are needed. The holders of the keys are exactly defined. They are: the President, the Prime Minister, the Prague Archbishop, Chairman of the House of Parliament, Chairman, Chairman of the Senate, the Dean of the Metropolitan Chapter of St. Vitus Cathedral and the Lord Mayor of Prague. All the named people need to be present during the collecting of the jewels.

Back to St. Wenceslas Crown now. The Crown is made of 21 – 22 carat gold. It is set by exceptional precious stones of inestimable value. The stones are red, blue, green and white. The symbolism is according to the historians very important because this colour combination demonstrates the imperial and royal powers. Right here the puzzle related to the Crown opens up. The positioning of the stones, whereas red and blue prevails at the lower part, is also very important. The colour red symbolises the shine of life, blue the shine of the spirit. Many people believe that the stones have, besides magical power, also healing power. The gems create together not just aesthetically perfect image.

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Possible symbolism of the Royal Crown Czech Crown Jewels - Crown of St. Wenceslas
Charles IV was not only very educated  and spiritually oriented sovereign. He attached mystical significance to many facts and Karlštejn Castle became his spiritual residence where he often indulged in prayers. For this purpose he got built a Chapel of the Holy Cross in the second storey of the castle tower where the imperial and later the Czech Crown Jewels were kept. There is a gallery of 127 tablet paintings of the saints and female saints on the walls of the chapel. The interior of the chapel is very richly decorated and also the mystic painting Revelation of St. John, also familiar as the Apocalypse, is placed here. As we had already mentioned, Charles IV was a very religious person. He believed in so-called Heavenly Jerusalem which is contained in the mentioned picture. The Heavenly Jerusalem is a mystical town descending from Heaven. The town is said to have been built from precious stones and all saved people get into this town. Charles IV believed in the significance of the Heavenly Jerusalem and even the historians and scholars found certain symbolism and continuity between Jerusalem and St. Wenceslas Crown. Based on the extant records the town stands on twelve precious stones, it is composed of four main walls and there are three gates in each of the walls. The lower part of  St. Wenceslas Crown contains twelve precious stones and it is composed of four parts from which three lily leaves rise. Therefore thee historians believe that Charles IV got the Crown made according to the model of the visionary Heavenly Jerusalem.

There can be various speculations about the symbolism of the mythical biblical town.  However, there is certain continuity and especially parallel. The symbol of Bohemia is a very special work, whose significance goes much deeper, than anybody could think of. The St. Wenceslas Crown will stay surrounded by a shroud of mystery.

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