Charles the IV and Making of Prague with Tereza Libichova

Charles the IV and Making of Prague with Tereza Libichova


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Charles the IV was not just a King of Bohemia, but also the Emperor of The Holy Roman Empire. This, therefore, made Prague the capital of this medieval Empire. Charles' very modern and yet very thorough ideas about the layout of a city have changed Prague's cityscape so much, that it stayed practically unchanged till the 19th century. At one point, Prague was the third-largest city in the whole of the Roman Empire. This conversation will examine the evolution of Prague since the days of this important Emperor and King, Charles IV, exploring its medieval roots to understand just where Prague’s history comes from.

Prague is a city that we could compare to a layered cake or a palimpsest - that's how complex and diverse it is. One of the most important layers of the urban landscape had been founded in the 14th century by a king whose fame has touched the stars (as one ancient Czech prophecy once indicated) - and spread beyond the borders of the nowadays tiny Central European state of the Czech Republic. King Charles the IV was well educated and well up brought offspring of the last purely Czech Queen from the Premyslid dynasty and the king John of Luxembourg.

Besides the notoriously known architectural pieces he is associated with in Prague, like Charles Bridge, Charles University, or St. Vitus Cathedral, the foundation of the brand new district of Prague made the town the third-largest city of the Empire, after Rome or Constantinople. What were the modern ideas behind this foundation and where did the modern of that time meet and respect the tradition? What was so stunning about it that until 19th century Prague existed within the boundaries given by the 14th-century ruler?

Led by an expert on Central Europe history Tereza Libichova, this interactive seminar will allow immersion into the sights and details that might ordinarily be overlooked on a visit to Prague. Designed to inform curiosity as well as future travels, participants will come away with an increased understanding of how this medieval urban landscape was born and some truths behind the myth of the "Father of Our Homeland" that the Czechs have created throughout the centuries.

Tereza is from the Czech Republic, Prague. Having spent the past 10 years traveling around Central Europe and revealing its secrets to visitors, the complexity of the region and all the states entangled within has become her major topic. She likes to use big historical events as a background for the "little" histories of the locals, which brings a vivid and broader perspective to the past events. Tereza studied Comparative Literature and East European Studies (with a specialization in Russian Language and Literature) at Charles University in Prague.

This conversation is suitable for all ages.

90 minutes, including a 30 minute Q&A.

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