The epithet “Father of the Homeland“ (Pater Patriae of the Bohemian Nation) was for the first time used in the funeral speach by Master Vojtěch Raňkův of Ježov at the King and Emperor Charles IV funeral, and the latter fully deserves the designation. Under his reign the Czech Kingdom was awaken to life and earned back its significance. Charles IV did his best to raise it to prosperity and he ruled with wisdom and sensitivity.
Few rulers before, or after, Charles IV took their royal duties so seriously and devoted so much effort to overall development of the country. He was a highly educated man and a skilful diplomat, and that’s why he managed to bring to Bohemia money, education and culture and avoid unnecessary war conflicts. The buildings and structures he initiated are considered national symbols and Czech Mint dedicated a special issue to three of them. The issue containing gold ducats and silver medals is titled The Period of Charles IV and it celebrates three major Czech sights – St. Vitus’ Cathedral, Karlštejn Castle and Charles Bridge.
Charles IV was an unusually learned and perceptive man. He knew very well Gothic architectural style which he saw in France where he was brought up. He therefore decided to build a cathedral whose magnificence would surpass its French model. To fulfil this intention he, of course, needed a builder who could accomplish this aim, and therefor he summoned Mathias of Arras to Prague from Avignon. The foundation stone of St. Vitus Cathedral was laid jointly by Charles IV, his father John of Luxembourg and archbishop Arnošt of Pardubice on 21 November 1344. Simultaneously, the Prague bishopric was elevated to archbishopric. Matthias of Arras set to work immediately afterwards, but he died in 1352. After his death, the construction of the cathedral continued according to his plans, but in 1356 a new builder, German Peter Parler took on, and later on his sons. Compared with Matthias’s style, Parler’s style was distinctly freer and bore the marks of Late Gothic.
King Wladislaw II Jagielo continued in the vision of Charles IV with master builders Hanuš Spiess and Benedikt Ried. In 1541 the construction was hit by fire. The Lesser Quarter and the Castle flared up, all wooden parts of the cathedral burnt down, the bell was damaged and the three naves destroyed. The reconstruction was carried out under the auspices of Ferdinand I, who invited Paola della Stella and later on Bonifác Wohlmut to continue the work. It was completed at the end of 16th century. In 1621 the church was re-consecrated in relation to the development after the Battle on the White Mountain. Numerous minor alterations of the monument have been carried out since. Final part of the construction was realized by Svatovítská jednota (St. Vitus's Unity) at the turn of the 19th century and in 1929, on the occasion of the millennium of the murder of St. Wenceslas, the cathedral was consecrated. Between 1920 and 1997 the name St. Vitus Cathedral was used, while in 1997 the then Archbishop of Prague Miloslav Vlk reinstated the church’s original name Cathedral of St. Vitus, Wenceslas and Adalbert.
The gold ducat St. Vitus’ Cathedral was designed by proficient medallist M.A. Josef Oplištil. On the obverse he pictured the cathedral from an untraditional bird’s eye view. The reverse is dominated by the effigy of the ruler surrounded by notable structures that he initiated during his reign. The text on the reverse includes the name of the series and also years of the king’s birth and death. Czech Mint prepared the issue of the gold ducat in a limited edition of 1,000 pieces.
Gold suits best to the golden era of the Czech history. This confirms even a brief glance at the splendid gold ducat from the series The Period of Charles IV. And considering the fact that the sale price of gold is now close to its lowest level, the enrichment of your collection is also very advantageous. Use the favourable prices to refine your collection and deposit your money safely and smartly.