Important political events, such as presidential elections or awarding state decorations take place in the Vladislav Hall in the Old Royal Palace at the Prague Castle. This room has been used as a representation hall for several centuries already. Since it was built around 1500, it has seen many coronation festivities, banquets, estates assemblies, markets with artistic goods and even knights´ tournaments.
The largest hall of medieval Prague
It was the largest hall in medieval Prague and a largest secural hall in the whole Central Europe. It is 60 metres long and 16 metres wide and the arches of the room are 12 metres high. The name Vladislav Hall reminds the King Vladislav Jagiello, who had it built.
It is unknown when exactly was the Vladislav Hall built, but there are dates 1493 and 1500 written on the walls.The architect Benedikt Ried built it in Late Gothic style with some Early Renaissance features. It is assumed, that some unknown expert from Southern Europe, probably Italian, helped him with the building.
Early Renaissance Italian windows
There is a mighty arched rib-vaulting with five domes, two of which collapsed while being lifted up at the time. Large Italian windows are probably the oldest pieces of Renaissance architecture outside Italy. The Vladislav Hall is lightened by five bronze Renaissance chandeliers from the first half of the 16 th century.
Festivities and tournaments in the Vladislav Hall
The original purpose of the room was to become a throne hall, but since Prague was no longer a residence of Habsburg rulers in the 17 th century, it was used for various purposes mentioned above. Knights could ride to the Vladislav Hall on their horses, through the Riders´ Staircase nearby and take part in the tournaments.
The presidential elections take place there since the republic Czechoslovakia was founded in 1918. Various ceremonies and celebrations of important days of Czech history are held there too.