The Old Diet
Originally part of the palace of King Charles, the Old Diet, part of the Old Royal Palace was rebuilt around 1500. The Old Diet was destroyed in 1541, during the great fire of that year, and was subsequently rebuilt between 1559 and 1563 by Bonifaz Wohlmut.
The Old Diet was used mostly for sessions of the Supreme Provincial Court, and the Estates gathered here until 1847. The royal throne dates from the mid-nineteenth century, and the archbishop’s throne and the benches of the officials and clergy are in keeping with the seventeenth-century furnishings. Portraits of the Habsburg rulers hang on the walls, and near the entrance stands a Neo-Gothic tiled stove of 1836.
Adjacent to the Old Diet is an entrance to a staircase leading to the New Office of the Land Rolls. The Land Rolls were books containing property details of the Estates, the decisions of the Provincial Court and resolutions of the Diet. The New Office retains its original seventeenth-century furnishings.
Next to the Old Diet is the Riders’ Staircase, with a Gothic portal dating from around 1335. The staircase enabled knights to gain access to the Vladislav Hall. Adjoining the staircase is the Court of Appeal room, which held sessions from 1727 to 1783.
By descending the Riders’ Staircase visitors gain access to the Gothic palace beneath the Vladislav Hall and the chamber once housing the Office of the Old Land Rolls. From there, a passage leads to a Romanesque chamber containing a fireplace and the remains of two small doorways leading to a Romanesque chapel. During World War II the Czech Crown Jewels and items from the St Vitus treasure were kept under the chapel for safekeeping
The Old Diet and New Office can be seen as a tour of the Old Royal Palace.