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News from Charles University Prague

10 July 2018

St. Wenceslas rotunda at Charles University obtained prestigious EU Prize!

St. Wenceslas Romanesque rotunda (which dates back to the late 11th century) situated inside a one of the buildings of Charles University and newly discovered during the construction works in 2004, obtained the EU Prize for Cultural Heritage / Europa Nostra Awards 2018 in the Conservation Cathegory.

St Wenceslas rotunda
photo: Martin Frouz

The jury appreciated “The display of the archaeological layers and the efforts in presenting and interpreting these remains. The project is an example of good in situ preservation”.

The finds are now accessible via a footbridge complete with lighting and steps, and a replica of the original floor was laid on one side of the nave. There is installed a new multimedia exhibition for the visitors as well.

Watch the video.

Charles University acquired rare medieval documents

In the last days of June 2018 Charles University acquired two documents of enormous historic significance dating back to the founding of the university in Prague 670 years ago.

Both documents outline the history of the founding of the university in Prague; they date back to the university’s very beginnings. Both were issued between 1347 and 1348 and prepared the ground for the university’s founding.

Medieval documents
photo: Vladimír Šigut

The first document is a papal letter is from Pope Clement VI (dated 26 January 1347); the second parchment is a notarial act, written at the behest of the Prague metropolitan chapter.

The papal letter of 26 January 1347 is written on Italian parchment and is in good condition. It is furnished with an attached leaden papal seal, with a depiction of the apostles St. Peter and St. Paul on the obverse side, while the reverse contains the name of Pope Clement VI, who was the tutor of the future king and emperor Charles IV. during his sojourn at the Parisian royal court. The letter states that in response to Charles’s petition, Pope Clement VI granted his consent for the foundation of a university in Prague.

Both medieval documents will no doubt be the subject of considerable study, with follow-up findings or publications in the future.

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