Charles IV Royal Procession re-enacted to boost tourism in Central Bohemia

Photo: CTK

This weekend, Central Bohemia was taken back to the fourteenth century as actors and politicians took part in a re-enactment of Holy Roman Emperor Charles IV's traditional annual journey from Prague Castle to Karlstejn. The two-day procession was accompanied by various other events, introducing visitors to everyday life seven centuries ago. It was the first of an annual event launched by the governor of Central Bohemia, the aim of which is to help boost tourism in the region.

Photo: CTK
Hundreds of people welcomed Emperor Charles IV at Prague's Old Town Square this weekend as the royal procession made a brief stopover in the city centre on its way to Karlstejn. The role of the Holy Roman Emperor was played by Czech actor Vladimir Cech. He was accompanied by Lord Mayor of Prague Pavel Bem as Wenceslas of Luxembourg and the Governor of Central Bohemia, Petr Bendl, as Margrave of Moravia John Henry of Luxembourg.

Photo: CTK
But why was the royal procession so important and what was its purpose? Veronika Dlouha is from the Central Bohemian governor's office:

"We know that Charles IV gained the Imperial crown jewels in 1350 and a few years later he had them put in the Chapel of the holy Cross at Karlstejn Castle. Each year after the Easter holiday, though, Charles IV had the crown jewels displayed at the Corpus Christi Chapel on Cattle Market Square in the New Town of Prague. Pilgrims from every corner of Europe came to pay their respects to the crown jewels. After this special occasion or celebration, Charles IV took the crown jewels back to Karlstejn Castle and this journey was a kind of spiritual journey for everyone who was involved."

Karlstejn Castle
Once the procession arrived at Karlstejn Castle the next day, Charles IV, other members of the imperial court, and his distinct guests ceremoniously deposited the crown jewels in Karlstejn Castle's Big Tower chapel. The two-day event came to an end with a theatrical performance of the popular Czech musical "A Night at Karlstejn".

The festivities will be held every year, says Martin Kupka - spokesman for the office of the Governor of Central Bohemia:

Photo: CTK
"I hope that this event will be the strongest event in the Central Bohemian region. For us, it's also a way to invite people from Europe, America, and the rest of the world. It was the first time that this event took place and now we know that it is also an attractive event for residents of Prague and the Central Bohemian region. We attracted more than 26,000 people during the two days."

The main aim of the re-enactment of the royal procession is to highlight Central Bohemia's tourist attractions. The procession made stopovers at the villages of Dobrichovice, Lety, Revnice and Hlasna Treban. Visitors to each of these places encountered fourteenth century knights, and were entertained with a fencing tournament, traditional crafts, medieval music, and rides in horse-drawn carriages.