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Czech Museum of Silver - Hrádek

Originally Gothic patrician palace with a courtyard and a tower, built before 1420 by a master from the royal court building works. Nowadays it houses the Czech Museum of Silver.

In the first quarter of the 14th century, when the first written document of Hrádek originates, probably a wooden fortress was transformed into a stone palace, which came into possession of Wenceslas of Donín.

Its owners, families of the king’s favourites, municipal and royal officials and rich ore merchants, were passing through Hrádek. The most significant among them was Jan Smíšek of Vrchoviště, ore and copper merchant, owner of mines and several urban houses. The art stone carvings with mining motives as well as painted ceilings, the first expressions of Renaissance in Bohemia, were created during generous reconstruction of Hrádek in the Jagellonian age, come from that period. It was apparently secretly and illegally smelted silver ore and unscrupulous trades that made it possible for lord Smíšek to make such a great investment in his residence.

Later, Hrádek was used as the Jesuit Grammar School then as classrooms of an elementary school and teacher’s institute until in 1910 when the town purchased Hrádek intending to carry out its restoration and place a museum there. But this intention was not realized until after World War II. The Museum finally settled into the building and in the halls an exposition of the Mining Museum was operated until the 1970s. Then the exposition was closed and the interiors of Hrádek remained closed for almost twenty years and until the mid of 1990s when a new exposition was opened.

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