18.03.2011 / 15:07
The main staircase was used as a ceremonial entrance to the most prestige room of baroque palaces and mansions, the Great Hall. The Staircase Hall of the Czernin Palace reached originally into the ceiling of the second floor.
At the end of the 18th century architect František Maxmilián Kaňka emphasized the effect of monumentality of the Staircase Hall having added a superstructure in a shape of an octogonal pavilion transcending the linking wing of the Czernin Palace. Gigantomachia fresco on a ceiling of the raised Staircase Hall was painted by Prague High Baroque painter Václav Vavřinec Reiner in 1718. An ancient mythology theme of Gigantomachia depicts Olympian gods defeating Giants who attacked Olympus trying to overthrow the rulers of Olympus. The ancient myth used to be seen as an allegory of the win of soul over substance in the 17th and 18th century. In the era of Turkish Wars the allegory obtained a new level of meaning. It used to be perceived as a story of the civilized Habsburg Empire over the barbarian Turkish Empire. During the alteration of the palace to the barracks in the 1850s the staircase was demolished. The Staircase Hall was divided into several floors and a number of small rooms which were used as store rooms, stables and dormitories. The Reiner´s fresco was painted over by white wash which probably rescued it from an inevitable damage during regular operations of the barracks. The white wash was removed in 1917 – 1918 and the fresco was restored. During a reconstruction of the Czernin Palace in the 1930s architect Pavel Janák designed a new staircase which evokes monumentality of a baroque staircase. A memorial plaque commemorating the disestablishing of the Warsaw Pact occurred in the Great Hall of the Czernin Palace is placed at the resting-place of the staircase.