Emperor Charles IV 1316–2016

Date: 15.05.2016 - 25.09.2016
Place: Waldstein Riding School

The Czech-Bavarian exhibition Emperor Charles IV 1316–2016, marking the 700th anniversary of the birth of this outstanding ruler, will present an exceptional selection of cultural and artistic artefacts from his era. The exhibition will take place in the Waldstein Riding School in Prague (15 May – 25 September 2016) and in the Germanisches Nationalmuseum in Nuremberg (20 October 2016 – 5 March 2017). The undertaking is organised by the National Gallery in Prague and the House of Bavarian History in collaboration with the Centre for the History and Culture of East Central Europe at the Lepizig University.

The exhibition will present Charles IV as a unique figure of Europe’s political and cultural history, a pious, well-educated, single-minded and judicious ruler, who did not hesitate to use a wide range of diplomatic means, including ruse and tactics, to attain his goals. One of the typical features of Charles’ ruling concept was the programmatic use of arts and architecture to promote the imperial majesty. Charles IV has gone down in history as one of the most generous patron of arts and founders as well as one of the most often depicted rulers in mediaeval Europe’s history.

The exhibition seeks to show Charles IV devoid of distorting layers of ideological prejudice and offer to the public a multi-faceted portrait of the historical figure with his positive as well as negative qualities. Charles IV will be presented against the kaleidoscopic background of a broad contemporary cultural-historical 14th-century context, including, among others, climatic changes, droughts and floods, poor harvests, famines, plague epidemics, Jewish pogroms or financial crises. The admirable prosperity of arts and architecture of Charles IV will be set in this historical context with conspicuous overlaps to the present. Was the life at the imperial court so detached from the not always satisfactory reality of the mundane life of common people? How did his contemporaries perceive Charles IV? Where did he get the money for the spectacular and costly imperial presentation? How were the holy relics acquired and what was the role of arts in the service of Charles’ imperial policy? Who were the people who acted in the Emperor’s name and secured the support he needed so much?

The exhibition seeks answers to such questions by means of 170 exhibits of all disciplines in art and arts and crafts, cultural-historical documents loaned by more than a hundred most prestigious European and U.S. museums and church and private collections. Artistic ventures of Charles IV and members of his imperial court, which were undertaken in Prague, Nuremberg, Aachen, Frankfurt am Main or in any other artistic centre of the Holy Roman Empire will be displayed alongside their inspirational models of Byzantine, Italian or French origin.

The exhibition will be accompanied by a large multifarious program of activities in both venues, Prague and Nuremberg. The viewers will be able to see a number of exhibition projects in the partner museum institutions in Bohemia and Bavaria; they will be able to follow in Charles IV’s footsteps in the places linked with his life and admire the royal architecture and art in their original milieus. The accompanying program will include scientific symposia, workshops, theatre and musical performances on both sides of the borders.

After presenting in Prague the exhibition will continue in Nuremberg:
20.10.2016 – 05.03.2017 Germanisches Nationalmuseum, Nuremberg 

Exhibition authors:
Jiří Fajt (National Gallery in Prague)
Susanne Jaeger, Markus Hörsch, Christian Forster (Centre for the History and Culture of East Central Europe)
Michael Lindner, Olaf Rader (Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities)
Martin Bauch (German Historical Institute in Rome)
Eva Schlotheuber (Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf)
Wolfgang Jahn, René Küpper (Haus der Bayerischen Geschichte in Augsburg)

Curator: Jiří Fajt
Cocurator: Helena Dáňová 

The exhibition is held under the auspices of
Milan Štěch, President of the Senate of the Parliament of the Czech Republic,
Jan Hamáček, Speaker of the Chamber of Deputies of the Parliament of the Czech Republic,
Bohuslav Sobotka, Prime Minister of the Czech Republic,
Horst Seehofer, Minister-President of the Free State of Bavaria,
Cardinal Dominik Duka OP, Metropolitan Archbishop of Prague and Primate of Bohemia
and Adriana Krnáčová, Mayor of the City of Prague. 



Complete public programme to download here.

Reservations for the guided tours through website k700.eu.

Foreign language guided tours
In English: 1 June at 4 pm, 31 August at 5 pm
In German: 15 June at 4 pm, 7 September at 5 pm
In French: 22 June at 4 pm, 14 September at 5 pm

Price: CZK 380/300 (includes admission and expert guide)
The tour lasts c. 90 min / no booking required

Lecture series with international experts
Lectures will be held in May and June from 18.30 in September from 19.30 in the Wallenstein Riding School / without reservation / Free entry 

17. 5., 1.00 p.m.
Jiří Fajt, National Gallery in Prague
Introductory lecture: Charles IV. and the 14th century
In Czech language

26. 5., 6.30 p.m.
Stephen N. Fliegel, The Cleveland Museum of Art
The Cleveland Table Fountain and French Court Art in the First Half of the 14th Century
In English

2. 6., 6.30 p.m.
Eva Schlotheuber, Heinrich-Heine-Universität Düsseldorf
Karl IV. und Venedig – ein Empfang mit Hindernissen
In der deutschen Sprache

16. 6., 6.30 p.m.
Stephan Albrecht, Otto-Friedrich-Universität Bamberg
Gedanken zum französischen gotischen Portaltyp: Das sichtbar werdende Unsichtbare. Das Südquerhaus der Kathedrale von Paris (1258)
In der deutschen Sprache

23. 6., 6.30 p.m.
Jeffrey Hamburger, Harvard University
Bloody Mary: Traces of the peplum cruentatum in the Prayer Book of Ursula Begerin
In English

30. 6., 6.30 p.m.
Olaf B. Rader, Berlin-Brandenburgische Akademie der Wissenschaften
Gold, Eisen, Holz und Stroh – die Kronen Kaiser Karls IV.
In der deutschen Sprache

1. 9., 7.30 p.m.
Jürgen Bärsch, Kath. Universität Eichstätt-Ingolstadt
Fronleichnam in der Prager Kathedrale Karls IV. – Eucharistieverehrung in der spätmittelalterlichen Frömmigkeit nach dem Zeugnis des Liber breviarius von ca. 1384
In der deutschen Sprache

8. 9., 7.30 p.m.
Marc Carel Schurr, Universität Strasbourg
Die Zeit Karls IV.: Als West und Ost verbunden waren
In der deutschen Sprache

15. 9., 7.30 p.m.
Zoë Opačić, London, Birkbeck College
Charles IV at 700 – an Emperor on Display
In English

22. 9., 7.30 p.m.
Johannes Tripps, Leipzig, Hochschule für Technik, Wirtschaft und Kultur Leipzig
Das Grabmal der Margarethe von Brabant in Genua, Erreichtes und offene Fragen
In der deutschen Sprache

Lecture series with international experts to download here.

Education programmes prices

Commented tour in Czech
group of 1–15 persons: 1400 CZK + 140 CZK/person (lecture + entry)
group of 16–28 persons: 1800 CZK + 140 CZK/person (lecture + entry)

Commented tour in English, German or French
group of 1–15 persons: 2400 CZK + 140 CZK/person (lecture + entry)
group of 16–28 persons: 2800 CZK + 140 CZK/person (lecture + entry)

Programmes for schools

Pupils from the age of 11:
class up to 20 persons: 1000 CZK + 60 CZK/person (lecture + entry)
class of 21–30 persons: 110 CZK/person (lecture + entry)

Pupils to the age of 10:
class up to 20 persons: 1000 CZK/group
class of 21–30 persons: 50 CZK/person

For more information and booking options visit the exhibition website


Admission for Waldstein Riding School
- basic: 280 CZK
- reduced: 190 CZK (children 10 to 15 years, students up to 26 years, senior citizens over 65 years)
- family: 500 CZK (two adults + children up to 10 years)
- school group: 60 CZK/person
- group of more than 10 persons: 140 CZK/person
- children up to 10 years: free of charge
- accompanying teachers: free of charge
- guide with a group: free of charge

20% discount after presenting a Czech Railways ticket
20% discount after presenting a ticket from the National Technical Museum
20% discount on individual admission after presenting a ticket from the Prague Spring Festival

Admission fee for the exhibition to download here.

Opening hours
May–June: 9 am – 6 pm
July–August: 10 am – 7 pm
September: 9 am – 7 pm
(open daily also on Mondays)

Extended opening hours in September:
1718 September: 9 am – 10 pm
24 September: 9 am – 10 pm
25 September 9 am 8 pm




In cooperation with



Supported by

Project realized with the financial support of the Ministry of Culture of the Czech Republic. 


Under the auspices of



Main partner




General media partner


Main media partners


Media partners


Main shipper


National shipper


Public programme partners




Film partners (From Tuscany to Brandenburg in the Elbe River Region)

io post, Karlštejn Castle, Nuremberg City, Montecarlo Fortress, Montecarlo City, Lauf an der Pegnitz, Lucca City

The film shown as part of the exhibition was produced with the financial support of the City of Prague and CzechTourism.

Opening hours
Open daily, except Mondays, 10.00 am - 6.00 pm.

Basic280 CZK
Reduced190 CZK
Family500 CZK
School groups60 CZK
Valdštejnská 3, Prague 1

Getting here
Metro A - Malostranská, Tram 12, 18, 22 - Malostranská
Related photos
Attached files
20150819_vystava-v-narodni-galerii-v-praze-poprve-predstavi-vzacnou-korunu-karla-iv-z-cach.pdf (20150819_Výstava v Národní galerii v Praze poprvé představí vzácnou korunu Karla IV. z Cách.)
20150819_the-exhibition-in-the-national-gallery-in-prague-will-be-the-first-to-show-the-rare-crown-of-charles-iv-from-aachen.pdf (20150819_The exhibition in the National Gallery in Prague will be the first to show the rare crown of Charles IV from Aachen)
20150819_eine-ausstellung-der-nationalgalerie-in-prag-prasentiert-erstmalig-die-kostbare-krone-karls-iv-aus-aachen.pdf (20150819_Eine Ausstellung der Nationalgalerie in Prag präsentiert erstmalig die kostbare Krone Karls IV. aus Aachen)
20151130_narodni-galerie-predstavila-logo-700-vyroci-narozeni-karla-iv-.pdf (20151130_Národní galerie představila logo 700. výročí narození Karla IV.)
20151130_the-national-gallery-in-prague-has-presented-a-logo-of-the-700th-anniversary-of-birth-of-charles-iv-.pdf (20151130_The National Gallery in Prague has presented a logo of the 700th anniversary of birth of Charles IV.)
20151130_die-nationalgalerie-prasentiert-das-logo-zum-700-jahrestag-der-geburt-karls-iv-.pdf (20151130_Die Nationalgalerie präsentiert das Logo zum 700. Jahrestag der Geburt Karls IV.)
20160513_pressebericht_die-nationalgalerie-zeigt-karl-iv-aus-einer-neuen-sicht.pdf (20160513_Pressebericht_Die Nationalgalerie zeigt Karl IV. aus einer neuen Sicht)
20160513_cisar-karel-iv-1316-2016-narodni-galerie-prinasi-novy-pohled-na-karla-iv--1.pdf (20160513_Císař Karel IV. 1316-2016 Národní galerie přináší nový pohled na Karla IV.)
20160513_press-release_the-national-gallery-brings-a-new-perspective-on-charles-iv-2.pdf (20160513_Press release_The National Gallery brings a new perspective on Charles IV)
20160513_pressebericht_die-nationalgalerie-zeigt-karl-iv-aus-einer-neuen-sicht-2.pdf (20160513_Pressebericht_Die Nationalgalerie zeigt Karl IV. aus einer neuen Sicht)
20160805_vystavu-cisar-karel-iv-1316-2016-videlo-ve-valdstejnske-jizdarne-jiz-50-tisic-navstevniku.pdf (20160805_Výstavu Císař Karel IV. 1316–2016 vidělo ve Valdštejnské jízdárně již 50 tisíc návštěvníků)
20160805_50-thousand-visitors-have-already-seen-the-exhibition-emperor-charles-iv-1316-2016-at-the-waldstein-riding-school.pdf (20160805_50 thousand visitors have already seen the exhibition Emperor Charles IV 1316–2016 at the Waldstein Riding School)
05082016_die-ausstellung-kaiser-karl-iv-1316-2016-haben-in-der-waldstein-reitschule-schon-uber-50-000-besucher-gesehen.pdf (20160805_Die Ausstellung Kaiser Karl IV. 1316–2016 haben in der Waldstein-Reitschule schon über 50 000 Besucher gesehen)
10092016_tz-ng_vystava-cisar-karel-iv-1316-2016-konci-jiz-za-dva-tydny-zatim-ji-videlo-pres-65-tisic-lidi.pdf (10092016_TZ NG_Výstava Císař Karel IV. 1316–2016 končí již za dva týdny, zatím jí vidělo přes 65 tisíc lidí)
10092016_press-release_more-than-65-000-people-have-visited-the-exhibition-emperor-charles-iv-1316-2016-which-will-come-to-an-end-in-two-weeks.pdf (10092016_Press release_More than 65,000 people have visited the exhibition Emperor Charles IV 1316–2016 which will come to an end in two weeks)
10092016_pressebericht_die-ausstellung-kaiser-karl-iv-1316-2016-endet-schon-in-zwei-wochen-und-konnte-bisher-uber-65-tausend-besucher-verzeichnen.pdf (10092016_Pressebericht_Die Ausstellung Kaiser Karl IV. 1316–2016 endet schon in zwei Wochen und konnte bisher über 65 tausend Besucher verzeichnen)
Permanent exhibitions

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