The Czech Crown Jewels

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The Czech Crown Jewels
Petr Bonek / Alamy Stock Photo
Image ID: ANGWDF
Prague Castle as well as its protected area which also includes archaeological findings are recognized parts No 1 of the Czech cultural heritage The Czech Crown Jewels rank second to this national bequest The Crown Jewels are permanently safely kept in Prague Castle and may be displayed exclusively in its area But this occurs only on quite exceptional occasions In the twentieth century there were nine such moments in history the last time this happened was in 1998 to mark the 80th anniversary of the establishment of an independent Czechoslovak Republic The President of the Republic has the exclusive right to decide on the display of the Crown Jewels The Crown Jewels chamber in St Vitus Cathedral where the Crown Jewels of Czech kings are is under lock and key and without exaggerating it is the place least accessible in Prague Castle The door and likewise the iron safe has seven locks and there are seven holders of the keys the President of the Republic the Prime Minister the Prague Archbishop the Chairman of the House of Deputies the Chairman of the Senate the Dean of the Metropolitan Chapter of St Vitus Cathedral and the Lord Mayor of Prague who must all convene to facilitate opening the impenetrable door and coffer The tradition of the seven keys was established in 1791 by King Leopold II when he agreed to comply with the wish of the Czech Estates to return the jewels to Prague from Vienna They were put in safe in St Vitus Cathedral at Prague Castle this time in the crown archives beyond the St Wenceslas Chapel behind iron bars with five locks They were placed in a special chest with additional two locks whose two keys were given to two guards of the jewels Even though the jewels were later moved to another location the tradition of the seven keys has been maintained The value of the Czech Crown Jewels can in no way be expressed in terms of money Apart from possessing priceless historic value they have also become a rare symbol of Czech statehood The set of Crown J