Prague Minos Guide

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16. - 17. století

Rudolf the Second and the Imperial Court

A Holy Roman Emperor and his multifarious court
Significant photo
Info text

During Emperor Rudolf the Second´s reign, Prague experienced a period of great development, not comparable to that of Charles the Fourth but still very important.
Emperor Rudolf the Second, as Charles the Fourth, chose Prague as his place of residence. During his reign, Prague became a city of art, culture and science. In addition, thanks to the Emperor's generosity, Baroque architecture underwent tremendous development. There is for instance the "Císařský Mlýn" (Imperial Mill), which was built in Prague's Stromovka with artificial caves and lakes which were a European rarity in its days. Rudolf's Tunnel is also significant though it remained a project, it would have connected Stromovka

to the Vltava River.
During his reign Prague also became a place where famous personalities of the days from various fields conducted their activities. The most renowned were astronomers Tycho de Brahe and Johannes Kepler, mathematician and occultist John Dee, the sculptor Vries or the painter Arcimboldo. During his life, Rudolf compiled an art collection which was unique in Europe. Unfortunately, it was damaged and looted during the Thirty Year War. This still is a great loss for the Czech Nation and its cultural heritage.
After Rudolf's death, Prague slowly became a provincial town of the Habsburg Monarchy, and it has never reached its previous significance and influence again.


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