EXPLORE the rich history of castles and chateaus in the Czech Republic at an ongoing exhibition in The Star Pitt St. gallery, Penang.
With around 100 photographs and historical drawings displayed alongside brief literature, the exhibition titled ‘Czech Castles’ is enlightening.
Czech ambassador Rudolf Hykl said the images depicted interiors, exteriors and aerial views of 33 castles.
The castles, spanning from the 12th to 19th centuries, show progression in styles from the Roman to the Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque.
"Castles and chateaus are an integral part of our national identity and we are very proud of them.
"We have over 2,000 of them and we pay much attention to their maintenance.
“Most are in great shape," he said at the recent opening of the exhibition.
Hykl said castles featured prominently in the childhood of Czech citizens as the main setting of fairytales and stories.
"Kids would grow up imagining themselves to be princes and princesses. We were often taken on school field trips to these sites," he said.
Among the buildings depicted in the exhibition are Prague Castle, Karlstein, Konopiste, Cesky Krumlov, Lednice-Valtice Complex, Bezdez, Hluboka nad Vltavou, Landstejn ruins and Rabi.
Also featured are chauteaus in Litomysl and Kromeriz as well as conservation areas of Prague, Cesky Krumlov, Kutna Hora and Telc that are listed as UNESCO World Heritage sites.
The exhibition is organised by the Embassy of the Czech Republic in cooperation with the National Museum of the Czech Republic and George Town World Heritage Incorporated (GTWHI).
Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng, who was guest-of-honour at the opening, hoped the event would open up more opportunities and lead to increased visits between Penang and the Czech Republic.
"Heritage sites are something we share and we can work together to promote them,” he said in his speech.
"These castles are great treasures of the Czech Republic.”
GTWHI general manager Dr Ang Ming Chee, who admitted to being a castle lover, felt the history-laden streets of George Town made a fitting site for the exhibition.
The exhibition continues at the gallery located on the first floor until June 30. It is open from 9am to 6pm daily. Admission is free.