Celebrations of October 28 and the awarding of state decorations in danger. Reconstruction at the Castle is stalled
Without tourists, there is a lack of resources
The Prague Castle might resemble a "deserted island", because there are woefully few tourists in Prague due to the coronavirus pandemic, but it's bustling with activity inside. The builders and restorers are working on the necessary repairs. The reconstruction has already cost the Castle 42 million crowns - part of which amount, however, is missing in the budget due to the lack of visitors. Yet the renovation of the representative space is about to be completed soon regardless.
The renovation should be completed by the end of this year.
"We are working on cleaning the walls and repairing the windows of the Vladislav Hall. If the state awards ceremony on October 28 goes through, the scaffolding will be removed and the work will be interrupted,"
said Vít Novák, spokesman for the Office of the President of the Republic.
"But at this point, we don't know if the celebrations will take place or not,"
admitted Novak. However, President Miloš Zeman cannot imagine there would be no celebration on the occasion of a national holiday commemorating the establishment of Czechoslovakia, even at the cost of the guests having to wear face masks. He would only cancel the subsequent reception.
Windows and walls like new
The reconstruction of the largest ceremonial area of the medieval part of the Castle has been underway since 2008, when the vaults were being repaired. The floors were repaired a year later and now it's finally time to work on windows and walls. In addition to the walls, the restorers are also repairing joints and possibly stone blocks. Aside of the hall, there has been a renovation of riding stairs and adjoining rooms.
The entire hall isn't hidden under scaffolding at the same time; it is moved along the individual walls as reconstruction progresses. The repair works began on the north wall, which features high segmented windows that had to be repaired by carpenters on site. Right now, the same process is underway on the opposite south wall, where the windows are temporarily covered.
The cleaning of the wall progresses in several phases. In the first phase, the grime is roughly removed with spatula and brushes, after which the dust is vacuumed and the wall can be steam cleaned.
The adjacent outdoor terrace by the Vladislav Hall, particularly its metal railing, which was affected by temperature differences, has been repaired too.
The reconstruction is being carried out during operation
Repairs in the Vladislav Hall are now being carried out during uninterrupted visitor traffic, which is, however, minimal compared to the usual state of things due to the coronavirus pandemic. But for those who do pay the building a visit, it is an exciting sight to behold.