Preservation Project of St. Wenceslas Rotunda at the Lesser Town Square in Prague

The EHP-CZ06-OV-1-026-2014 Preservation Project of St. Wenceslas Rotunda at the Lesser Town Square in Prague is an official project of the Faculty of Mathematics and Physics, Charles University in Prague, and is part of the CZ06 – “Cultural Heritage and Contemporary Art” and the PA16 – “Conservation and Revitalisation of Cultural and Natural Heritage” programmes supported by the EEA Fund.

In the process of extensive reconstruction works on the former Jesuit Professed House, now part of the Faculty of Mathematics and Physics, a torso of St. Wenceslas Romanesque Rotunda was discovered. An exceptionally valuable fragment of Romanesque ceramic tiling from the 11th century was discovered in its original bedding within the rotunda. The finding is of world-scale importance. Other related findings (e.g. Romanesque masonry, a stone circle dating back from the time of the first settlements in the Prague Basin area) also point to the uniqueness and importance of this site for Czech history. Both the extraordinary authenticity of the space and the certain magic surrounding it demand that the rotunda be rendered accessible to general public. The site is significant alone for its direct connection with St. Wenceslas and his legacy for Czech history. Since the monument had been lost for many centuries, it is presently in greatly damaged condition and requires that urgent action be taken for its preservation.

Over the past few years primary archaeological research has been carried out at the site, followed by basic stabilisation of the monument, careful treatment of unearthed historical constructions, and urgent structural adjustments necessary for the preservation of the historical terrain. Basic climactic conditions absolutely indispensable for its preservation were also secured. Among the crucial activities still to be carried out within the Preservation Project of St. Wenceslas Rotunda at the Lesser Town Square in Prague are restoration, archaeological, and construction works, including the securing of climactic conditions. One of the implementer’s objectives is making the archeological site and its individual historical fragments accessible and presentable to the public, both expert and lay.