King Rudolf II. Renaissance Court Banquet in Prague
Experience an unforgettable renaissance feast in the magnificent setting of the ancient halls of Martinic Palace in Hradčanské square in Prague Castle.
You will be involved in the typical atmosphere of Prague 16th century banquet gladdened by the sound of authentic music, sweet voice of a soprano and dance choreography from the renaissance era.
Musicians, dancers and the alchemist, all dressed in beautiful renaissance costumes will make you feel part of the evening.
Live like royalty for a while during this 2-hour Renaissance banquet in a Martinic palace which includes a welcome drink and 4-course menu.
You will be able to choose from large selection in our Drinks menu.
Drinks are not included in the price.
We kindly ask you to arrive at least at:
12.45 pm for lunch banquet
19.15 pm for dinner banquet
You will be seated by our friendly staff.
about 2 to 2.5 hrs
lunch banquet starts at 13.00 pm
dinner banquet starts at 19.30 pm
89 Eur per person
Starting on Sunday 1st April
lunch banquet at 13.00 pm
dinner banquet at 19.30 pm
May, June and September: Fri and Sat
July, August: Tue, Wed, Thu, Fr and Sat
Please notice that a cancellation of tickets is not possible.
If there are any problems with your reservation please contact us via
The renaissance court banquet in Martinic Palace, which takes place at the end of the 16th century and which you can join yourself, will be initiated by Emperor Rudolf II himself , a great patron of artists, astronomers and alchemists, who made Prague the city of its empire. The Emperor’s interest in art, natural sciences, occultism and astrology brought to Prague many artists and scholars from all over Europe. The Danish astronomer, astrologer and alchemist Tycho Brahe had leading position at the court.
The English alchemist, Master Edward Kelley, also joined the services of the Prague Imperial Court. This legendary mage and cheater appeared in Prague for the first time in 1584. His first presentationt in front of the emperor was great, because with his special mercury he could turn any metal into pure gold. There was also a black anthracite mirror in his possession, which he could use to intercept foreign calls and see at a distance. History tells us that Edward Kelley was able to evoke the spirit in order to find the treasure, and that he managed to dominate the space-time loop.
The magic of the court alchemist and his art which will surprise not only you but the emperor himselfA magnificent banquet will be accompanied by the music and singing of the court band. The master of the dance of His Imperial Grace will take care your entertainment.
Fabritio Caroso da Sermoneta
Il Ballarino, Venice 1581
Nobilita di Dame, Venice 1600
Cesare Negri Milanese
Le Gratie d´Amore, Milan 1602
Nuove Inventioni di Balli, Milan 1604
Orchesographie, Langres 1589
Terpsichore, Germany 1612
Newe Paduanen, Galliarden, Intraden und Currenten, Nach Englischer und Frantzösischer Art, Leipzig 1611
Giovanni Giacomo Gastoldi
Balletti à cinque voci, con li suoi versi per cantare, sonare e ballare, Venice 1591
Balletti à tre voci per cantare, sonare & ballare, Venice 1593
REGII CAROLI REGIS
Regii Caroli regis is a dance and theater ensemble striving for a faithful interpretation of period dances. The origins of the ensemble dates back to 1997 when we have got inspired by the international exhibition project of the Czech Republic at Prague Castle and the Waldstein Palace in Prague – „Rudolf II. and Prague – Kings court and the residential town as a cultural and spiritual center of Central Europe. „
The center of our attention is the late Renaissance in the 16th century – Mannerism – when the Roman Emperor Rudolf II ruled the Czech lands. From this period, We have been studying dance reconstruction of choreographic records from this period according to the traditions of the famous dance masters from Italy, Fabritia Carosa da Sermoneta and Cesare Negri Milanese, who was the teacher of the young Austrian prince, the future Emperor Rudolf. In the dance and theatrical program, we draw on the study of written and visual documents about life and festivities at the ruler’s and nobility courts, which helps us to create the authentic atmosphere of each performance. Costume designs are based from preserved wall paintings, illuminated manuscripts, graphic sheets, or pictures of Renaissance painters. Reconstruction of each garment corresponds to the appearance of period materials and respects the production technology, including applications and hand embroidery. Regii Caroli regis is the organizer of many cultural events – concerts, educational programs, seminars and courses, historical festivals, parades and theater productions. The artistic director of the ensemble since 1997 is Mgr. Miroslav Smaha, art historian, professional dancer and choreographer.
The vocal instrumental ensemble Ludus musicus has been devoted to the interpretation of classical music for many years. It consists of graduates from various professional music and other art schools. Regularly works with a number of specialists in individual historical themes. Its work focuses on the music of the Middle Ages, Renaissance and Baroque. In an attempt to get closer to the history of music, we use a of copies of contemporary musical instruments and keep the demands of historically well-known interpretation.
The content is spiritual and secular, vocal and purely instrumental. They are deliberately referred to as works of art well known and popular, as well as works that are forgotten in spite of their quality. The permanent effort of the ensemble is to present the repertoire played by the band during the reign of „His Imperial Grace“ Rudolf II when he was in the heart of the Czech Kingdom in Prague. Thanks to our longstanding interest in this period, we have detailed knowledge of the composition, activities, level and contacts of the members of the court band. The artistic legacy they left behind is known both from the available historical sources and from the studies of contemporary music scholars. The artistic director of the ensemble is František Běhounek, a music teacher and a professional musician.
Chateau game pate
with green pepper, cherry with hip foam
South Bohemian potato soup
with mushrooms and bacon
Roasted duck leg on trunk,
homemade Carlsbad dumplings,
old Bohemian cabbage, Viennese onion
with fresh raspberries and whipped cream
Exclusive vegetarian menu
Old Bohemian roll
filled with baby cabbage, baby spinach
and cheese on rocket
South Bohemian potato soup
with porcini mushrooms
Mushrooms au gratin
filled with roasted peppers on fresh thyme,
mushed potatoes with crispy onions
with fresh raspberries and whipped cream
Venue – Martinic Palace, Prague
One of the most beautiful late-Renaissance palaces in Prague, it was originally built in two stages separated by approximately eighty years, i.e. in 1550–1630, when a couple of older gothic houses were expanded and rebuilt.
In the second half of the 14th century, four gothic buildings used to stand where the palace is today. One of them was owned by the famous chronicler Benesch of Weitmile who was commissioned by Charles IV. to oversee the construction of the St. Vitus Cathedral. Another house was occupied by lady Ofka, Queen Elizabeth’s lady-in-waiting. According to legends, lady Ofka sometimes appears after midnight, accompanied by a burning dog running away from the palace in the direction of the Nový Svět Street where it disappears.
In 1541, both the Malá Strana, and Hradčany quarters were affected by a huge fire which laid a complete waste to the buildings. Several years later, Andrew Teyffle of Zeilberg, a military commander of a Hungarian fortress, bought the premises and started reconstructing them in Renaissance style. In 1583, Teyffle sold the estate to George Bořita of Martinice, a provincial judge and later chief chancellor of the Kingdom of Bohemia, who immediately embarked on rebuilding the property.
At the time, the Hradčany Square was a seat for aristocrats from the king’s circle, e.g. members of noble families with representative seats near the Prague Castle (House of Rožmberk, House of Lobkowicz, etc.). The palace was owned by the House of Martinic until 1788 when the entire family became extinct in the male line. Their burial chapel is in the St. Vitus Cathedral – St. Andrew’s Chapel or the Martinic Chapel.
The Martinic Palace gained its current shape in 1618 when Jaroslav Bořita of Martinice, a nephew of the previous owner, began to rebuild it. However, since Jaroslav Bořita of Martinice was defenestrated in 1618 along with other governors, the reconstruction was suspended and finished only in 1730’s.
At this time, the building gained a new floor, north wing with a large hall, and painted beam ceilings. The front façade was enhanced with a red marble plate with the Martinice coat of arms – a star and waterlily stalks with roots.
The palace was completed in early Baroque style. It’s richly decorated with exterior sgraffiti; the side facing the Kanovnická street (on the left) features three scenes created at the end of the 16th century and showing Joseph of Egypt: Joseph’s Brothers Tear Off His Robe; The Temptation of Joseph by Potiphar’s Wife; and finally Joseph at Pharaoh’s Court.
Entering the Martinic Palace, we find ourselves at a courtyard with a sgraffito depiction of the Legend of Samson: Samson Ripping apart a Lion, and Samson Carrying the Gate of Gaza Up the Mountains, all on the first floor on the western wall of the eastern wing. The cycle was inspired by the illustrations from Luther’s Wartburg Bible (1534).
The left part of the wall features sgraffiti inspired by the deeds of Hercules: Hercules Carries a Column; The Punishment of Nessus the Centaur; and The Lernaean Hydra. Models for this décor haven’t been discovered.
It’s estimated that both cycles were created at the end of the 16th century. The décor continues on the northern wall of the south wing, above the balcony. Here, you can see a depiction of two warriors, with a tree between them and a plate with the inscription JOSVE above; this might be a scene depicting Joshua, the successor to Moses and a chieftain of Israelites who conquered first Jericho, and then Canaan.
In the first half of the 17th century, a main hall was built on the first floor of the south wing. Apart from an original working fireplace, the hall used to also have a cassette ceiling with 43 cassettes. However, the ceiling didn’t survive to this day, and thus only the preserved engravings tell us that the cassettes used to show church allegories: The Feast in the House of Tobias, and The Feast of Balthazar in Babel, along with secular subjects of temporal pleasures and hunting.
A chapel is attached to the hall, decorated both inside, and on its sides. The original appearance of the chapel is still preserved. Around the entrance, opening to the main hall, damaged paintings of Adam and Eve can be seen, probably inspired by the 1504 engraving of Adam and Eve by Albrecht Dürer. On the right, an original fresco of a unicorn is also worth noting.
What’s very interesting is the ceiling décor of chapel’s arch with 4 sectors. The eastern side depicts the Holy Trinity with the Virgin Mary (The Assumption of the Virgin Mary); the northern sector shows The Last Rites which suffered the most damage; the western side contains The Last Judgement; and the final sector features St. George Fighting a Dragon. As a point of interest, St. George was a patron saint of House of Martinic due to his connection to George Bořita of Martinice, the original owner of the palace.
The scenes with three theological virtues – Faith, Love, and Hope, portrayed on the ceiling in the former suite on the first floor – are also related in terms of subject.
Martinic Palace is noteworthy not only for its sgraffito décor, but also due to a high number of well-preserved beam ceilings which were created during the second construction stage, dating back to 1720’s and 1730’s. Such style elements can be found, too, on the painted beam ceiling in the Lichtenstein Palace in Prague.
Valuable mural paintings and painted beam ceilings in almost all rooms owe their well-preserved state to the order issued by Joseph II. which prescribed they be tamped with reeds and plastered due to frequent fires.
In 1799, the palace passed into the ownership of Josepha Weitenweber who wanted to set up as many rental apartments as possible in there. In 1814, the palace had 26 housing units, but also a police station. Its condition was decrepit, though, and there are even records suggesting that the building caught on fire after being hit by lightning in 1835.
In 1967–1973, the palace was reconstructed according to a plan developed by the architect Zdeněk Hölzel. The project was created for the Institute of the Chief Architect in Prague. During the reconstruction, the palace was partially rebuilt and the Renaissance and early Baroque parts conserved, along with arches, painted beam ceilings, and fresco or sgraffito décor. The project also focused on reconstructing the main hall which involved working with preserved sketches done by Felix Weitenweber, as far as the proportional layout of plates was concerned. New tiles from Vračan limestone and marble were created. A fountain sculpted by Josef Vitvar, still preserved, was left in its original state. The horse stable and its surrounding area used to feature illuminative glass sculptures by the glass-making artist René Roubíček which are now deposited at the Museum of Decorative Arts in Prague.