The Supreme Burgrave´s House in the Prague Castle area used to be a seat of the Supreme Prague Castle Administrators – “Burgraves“. This office became so important, that when the sovereign was out of the country, the Supreme Burgrave was the highest authority. Nowadays, there is the Toy Museum in the building: a fascinating collection of toys from various countries and of various age.
History of the Supreme Burgrave´s House
The Supreme Burgraves used to reside in the area probably already in the Romanesque era, because there are some remains of a Romanesque tower. It had to be a luxury residence at the time, because even the Emperor Charles IV. chose it as a place to stay when the Old Royal Palace was being rebuilt in the 14 th century. The building burned down in 1541, as well as many other houses at the Prague Castle. A new residence was built in the Renaissance style.
The office of the Supreme Burgraves was abolished in the 18 th century by Emperor Joseph II. The Prague Castle employees lived there then.
Inside the Supreme Burgrave´s House
There are coats-of-arms of four Supreme Burgraves on the wall by the gate to the house. The most valuable part of the interior is the former courtroom with a Renaissance timber ceiling. At the present time, there is the Toy Museum in the Supreme Burgrave House and also a gallery for exhibitions of creative art, mostly photography.
The Toy Museum is located in the northern wing of the Supreme Burgrave´s House and it offers a chance to see hundreds of toys from European and American countries. It focuses on the 150 years long history of toys, but the most valuable item is a doll from Greece, which is about 2000 years old. Various wooden horses, old railway models, ship models, even circus arenas with iron-plate clowns, or carriages with iron-plate horse teams and many more can be seen there.
Shakespeare Summer Festivities
In the courtyard of the Supreme Burgrave´s House there are popular “Shakespeare Summer Festivities” held every year. Various theater ensembles perform plays of the most famous playwright there.
Ghost of the Supreme Burgrave´s House
Some people, who had spent a night in the house, told that they got scared by inexplicable unprompted movements of the furniture and some other things. A similar story is written in the memoirs “Vita Caroli“ by the Emperor Charles IV. The Emperor wrote, that he heard somebody walking around the room where he slept and that he saw shadows moving around. Then he saw a glass smash itself on the wall spontaneously. But the truth is, that the Emperor had drank a lot of wine there and that may be the cause of the whole vision.