Once I was a clever boy learning the arts of Oxford... is a quotation from the verses written by Bishop Richard Fleming (c.1385-1431) for his tomb in Lincoln Cathedral. Fleming, the founder of Lincoln College in Oxford, is the subject of my research for a D. Phil., and, like me, a son of the West Riding. I have remarked in the past that I have a deeply meaningful on-going relationship with a dead fifteenth century bishop... it was Fleming who, in effect, enabled me to come to Oxford and to learn its arts, and for that I am immensely grateful.

Friday, 28 September 2012

St Wenceslas and the Crown of Bohemia

Today is the feast of St Wenceslas, patron of Bohemia and of the Bohemian monarchy. I posted about him last December in Good King Wenceslas  and  a year ago about the crown made in the fourteenth century which bears his name in The Crown of St Wenceslas. From 2010 there is  The Crown of St Wenceslas  which deals with the same topic ( and also the related post on Treasure from the age of Charles IV ). All these posts are illustrated and give accounts both of the life of the martyred ruler and also of the Bohemian regalia. The crown was made in 1347 and the last Bohemian coronation in 1836. There is an illustrtaed list of Dukes and Kings of Bohemia here.

The regalia is kept in its own strong room in St Vitus cathedral in Prague adjacent to the chapel of St Wenceslas in the south transept, and is relatively rarely on public display - unlike, for example, the Austrian or Hungarian regalia. Hence perhaps the making of the following films in recent years
Here from YouTube is a short film showing the Crown of St Wenceslas and the other regalia:

There are also three parts of a programme about a scientific examination and recording of the Bohemian regalia, which includes more close ups of the crown, orb and sceptre which can be viewed here:

Now all that is needed is to organise the coronation of the legitimate King of Bohemia, King Charles IV, or perhaps one should say King Karel IV.

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