Press Advisories

21. 5. 2007 13:25

Items on view at the exhibition about Karel Kramář and his wife include a rare large diamond

During the first week of June, the public will have a unique opportunity to see the interiors of Kramář Villa, the official Prime Ministerial residence, and learn more about its history.

Also on view at the exhibition prepared by the Office of Czech Government in collaboration with the National Museum on the occasion of the 70th anniversary of the death of the first Czechoslovak Prime Minister, showing this outstanding politician and his wife Nadezhda in their “home” environment, will be one of the largest inset diamonds in Central Europe.

The exhibits include archive documents and personal objects from the Kramář family inheritance, among which the Nadezhda Kramářová’s necklace in which the diamond is set is the most precious. This extraordinary jewel will be on public display for only the second time in modern history.

The exhibition will start on 1st June and close on 7th June, and will be open daily from 10 a.m. till 6 p.m.

Karel Kramář had the villa built in Neo-Baroque style on the site of an old rampart for his wife Nadezhda at the beginning of the 20th century. At the time of the First Czechoslovak Republic (1918-1939), it used to be called “Rival Castle”, in reference to the tensed relations between Kramář and President Tomáš Garrigue Masaryk. One of its purposes was to provide a meeting place for Russian émigrés. Its interior decoration reflects the taste of Nadezhda Kramářová, a native of Russia.

Between 1991 and 1993 the villa was renovated, and since 1998 serves as the residence of Czech Prime Ministers. During the communist era it was used for accommodating foreign delegations.

The last Prime Minister to actually live in it was Vladimír Špidla, his successors Stanislav Gross, Jiří Paroubek and the current Premier Mirek Topolánek did not wish to move into it. The residence comprises 56 rooms, of which five form a private apartment available to the Prime Minister and his family and the rest are used for official and social functions. The Cabinet of Mirek Topolánek holds coalition meetings in it.

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