PRAGUE – The Bohemian Crown Jewels used during the coronations of past Czech kings, including an orb, a scepter and the St. Wenceslas Crown, went on display in Prague on Tuesday, offering locals and visitors a rare chance to see them.
The precious royal regalia, among the oldest in Europe, was exhibited to mark the centenary of the Czechoslovak declaration of independence and the 25th anniversary of the founding of the Czech Republic, according to Prague’s official tourism website.
“For the first time, the St. Wenceslas Crown will be exhibited in the way that visitors can admire it from all sides,” the site said. “They will see also the back part of the Crown where there is a sapphire from Sri Lanka.”
Weighing almost 2.5 kilograms (5.5 pounds), the 22-carat pure gold crown is the oldest item of the crown jewels.
It was made for Charles IV’s coronation in 1347 and subsequently used for the coronations of the Czech kings who followed.
The headpiece features an array of precious stones, including 19 sapphires, 44 spinels, one ruby, 30 emeralds and 20 pearls, according to Prague Castle, which permanently houses the collection.
Displayed alongside the crown were the Royal Apple – an 18-carat fine gold orb weighing 780 grams – and the Royal Scepter, made of the same quality gold as the orb and weighing just over one kilogram.
Both items are believed to have been made in the first half of the 16th century, according to Prague Castle.
The jewels, which are usually displayed every five years, are set to be on show from Jan. 16-23 at Vladislav’s Hall at Prague Castle.