KARLOVY VARY 2016
Karlovy Vary hosted the annual meeting of members of European aristocratic families at the end of April. They were joined by an increasing number of visitors from aristocratic families from throughout the world.
Besides the competitive races on the horse track, there was a competition for the most beautiful hat. Many of the hats, worn by the ladies, were true creative artistic pieces. The prestige of this event is increasing and, therefore, the prize for the winner is not only supposed to bring back happy memories but also to have its own story and symbolism.
This is why we have created for the winner of the contest a special prize of a handmade jewel commemorating the 700th anniversary of the birth of King Charles IV.
Celebrations of the 700th anniversary of the birth of Charles IV are under way in Karlovy Vary (Carlsbad) in 2016. During his reign, the Father of the Motherland, Holy Roman Emperor and the King of Bohemia transformed the Kingdom of Bohemia into one of the most important states in Europe.
Centuries later, the heritage from the era of Charles IV, monarch from the House of Luxembourg, speaks to us mainly through architecture and sights in Prague and other cities. During his life Charles IV established the New Town quarter in Prague. This is one of the areas that comprise the historic centre of modern day Prague. He also founded the Charles University in the city which was the first university in Central Europe, built a new royal palace as well as the castle Karlštejn and built the famous Charles Bridge which is regarded as the heart of Europe, which inspired sculptors at the time to create their pieces for the bridge and which has given an inspiration for many poets since.
The celebrations of the 700th birthday of this great man, which brought the Kingdom of Bohemia to prosperity, has Europe-wide significance. Carlsbad spa town was established thanks to Charles IV experience with spa towns in Northern Italy, therefore the town naturally also commemorates the birthday of its founder.
Crown jewels, belonging to a set of priceless and historically and artistically important artifacts related to the coronations of bohemian kings are also closely tied to Charles IV. Although these artifacts ceased to serve their original purpose after Czechoslovakia declared independence from the Austro-Hungarian empire in 1918, their importance as a symbol of independence and statehood of the Czech Republic remains. For his coronation in 1346, Charles IV had ordered a set of jewels to be made. The Crown of Saint Wenceslas, the Royal Orb, the Scepter and the Coronation Pall were declared a national treasure in 1962.
The Bohemian Crown Jewels and the anniversary of the birth of Charles IV inspired Ralton from Jablonec nad Nisou to create a unique cross shaped jewel, as a prize for the woman with the most beautiful hat 2016 contest in Karlovy Vary. The Crucifix is the uppermost symbol of Christianity, crucifixion of Jesus Christ and the victory over death and earthliness. The stones on the jewel are of unique shape and size. The most dominant stone on the original cross is a sapphire and represents spiritual strength and purity. Each one of the rest of the stones has a defined position on the cross, carrying deep messages of kings and prophets. Pink and red amethysts and pink tourmaline arranged in a cross like pattern symbolize the crucified, which is then permeated with green emeralds arranged in the shape of a triangle, symbolizing the eye of the divine providence.
This special jewel carries not only a spiritual meaning, but also an array of colours with beautiful stones, telling a story of ancient times and traditions kept to this day.