It was still fun before the holidays. Former President Václav Klaus celebrated his 80th birthday here. For 261 thousand crowns, the Castle provided cleaning for Klaus, prepared tables and tents, sound engineers, air conditioning and a plumber. The price also included firefighters and security services. However, such an action was in the period since the reopening of the Castle survived, which was violated only by President Milos Zeman reverential action for the victims of covid-19 with burning candles in beer mugs.
At the entrance to the Prague Castle complex, the editor of MF DNES was checked by two smiling police officers. After handing over the metal objects and successfully passing through the security frame, it was let in in a few tens of seconds. In pre-ancestral times, due to these inspections, long queues often formed, which were mainly complained about by tourists. The inspections began in 2016 and were canceled at the beginning of April this year, when the castle gardens and part of the Jelení ditch were opened after the pandemic measures were relaxed. However, the cancellation took only a few days.
“Checks at Prague Castle were renewed by the Police of the Czech Republic,” said Jan Pastor on behalf of the Prague Castle Administration. “Prague Castle did not decide on this step,” added Jiří Ovčáček, a spokesman for the president.
“It is with regard to the recommendations of security experts, including from the Police of the Czech Republic. It is a reaction to the security situation in the world, and therefore in Europe, “said Ondřej Moravčík from the Police Presidium. According to him, there is no specific threat to the decision.
Checks and few people
Immediately after the opening, not many people went to Prague Castle. However, this trend began to change in August, when traffic began to grow. “We are far from reaching the pre-pandemic numbers. Compared to last year, this year we are seeing an increasing number of foreigners among visitors, while the number of Czechs has decreased compared to the previous risk. This is also due to the fact that foreign organized groups have returned to Prague Castle with travel agencies, “first Ovčáček.
Attendance was not saved even by school groups, which normally attend the Castle in large numbers. Only a few of them managed to book and carry out the tour. “In the new school year, schools and teachers are still waiting for the development of the situation regarding measures against covid, and therefore the order is less, including tours of Prague Castle,” informs Miloš Pospíšil from the travel agency CK2.
Opening hours of Prague Castle
Exhibitions In The Royal Summer Palace
An exhibition of paintings by Ivan Exner is currently running and at the Prague Castle Riding Hall you can currently see the largest exhibition on domestic architecture called Czech architecture from Art Nouveau to the present day.
The capital is trying to help increase the number of visitors to monuments, for example through a campaign for tourists in Prague as at home 2. “The project was the second most visited monument in the program and during its duration castle and the Great South Tower of the Cathedral of St. Vít, Václav and Vojtěch were used by 18,000 tourists, “says Klára Malá, a spokeswoman for Prague City Tourism.
People can enter Prague Castle only from the Powder Bridge, from Hradčanské náměstí through the fourth courtyard and through Opyš in the direction from Malostranský. It is not possible to enter the Castle through the first courtyard, it is still reserved only for leaving the complex. The Prague Castle complex has been closed in connection with anti-pandemic measures since mid-October, and for the same reasons it was closed for more than two months last year, as expected.
We are waiting for another trial
Nevertheless, the closure of Prague Castle bothered the people of Prague. Kverulant was the most seen organization. She called on the president of the first letter to make the complex accessible. Then decide to hold an assembly at Prague Castle, due to which the city court began to deal with the situation.
“He came to the restriction that the closure has no basis in law, that the castle is a public space and that the organizers of the assembly do not have to ask the castle administration for approval,” says Vojtěch Razima, the founder and director of Kverulanta.
The complex is now accessible, but the Ministry of the Interior and the Prague Castle Administration contradict the statement of the city court. The controversial issue of whether the areas at Prague Castle are public spaces will be dealt with by the Supreme Administrative Court (SAC). The Ministry of the Interior and the Prague Castle Administration filed cassation complaints. According to its database, the NSS has already started the proceedings, but has not yet decided.
“We are optimistic, because three years before the covid the IPR (Institute of Planning and Development of the Capital City of Prague, ed. Note) mapped all passages of Prague Castle and called it a public space,” said MF DNES Razima.