Manuscript Worth a Billion Kept in The Library

Explore the most important and valuable manuscript in National Library of the Czech Republic: Codex Vyssegradensis

Codex Vyssegradensis - St. Wenceslaus in the initial (1070)National Library of the Czech Republic

Codex Vyssegradensis is considered the most important and valuable manuscript kept in the Czech Republic. Its value is estimated by experts at up to one billion CZK.

Due to the hypothesis of scholars that it was intended for the royal coronation of Vratislav II (or for its later commemoration), which took place on 15 June 1086, it is sometimes ranked among the Czech crown jewels.

Text for reading on the holiday of St. Wenceslas

Initial 'D', with the figure of St Wenceslas enthroned, with the hand of God rising from a cloud above him, supported by a cross.

On the left-hand side of the initial there is an inscription 'S. Venzezlavuz dux'.

Codex Vyssegradensis - The Last Supper of the Lord (1070)National Library of the Czech Republic

Illuminations showing scenes of the Last Supper...

...and foot washing.

The Codex is part of a larger, relatively homogeneous group of manuscripts (one of which is now housed in the Prague Chapter Library and two others in Poland), characterized by elaborate figural decoration.

Four painters participated in its creation. They drew on a relatively wide repertoire of designs. The manuscript was probably commissioned by one of the Bohemian Benedictine monasteries.

Because of its extremely rich iconography and other visual components, the codex is considered one of the most precious illuminated manuscripts of the second half of the 11th century in Europe.

The Baroque Library (2023)National Library of the Czech Republic

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Continue your journey through the collection of the National Library of the Czech Republic and piece together the puzzles with family and friends!

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