Director General of the National Monuments Institute Naděžda Goryczková at a press conference for the opening of the 2023 visitor season. March 14, 2023, Prague.
Prague – The National Monuments Institute (NPÚ) will not raise entrance fees with the coming main tourist season, on the contrary, it will reduce the price of tickets for children from six to 17 years old. It will now be 30 percent of the basic entrance fee. Children under the age of six still have free entry. NPÚ director Naďa Goryczková told journalists today. The NPÚ raised the price of entrance fees to monuments in its administration for the last time last year with the beginning of the season, it was an increase in the range of 10 to 30 crowns. The main tourist season will start at the monuments on April 1.
The NPÚ, which manages a hundred state castles, chateaux and other buildings, justified last year's price increase by lower revenues from visitors during the two pandemic years and the rise in energy prices.
Today, the director stated that she considers 2022 to be a relatively successful year, the monuments lost half a million more visitors than in 2021, and revenues also increased. “However, we are still lagging behind the year 2019, which is the target for us, compared to which we will know that we are normal,” she said. According to her, last year's drop in revenue compared to 2019 was 40 million crowns, and the difference in attendance was 1.5 million visitors.
In last year's main season, 3.4 million visitors visited the state monuments. However, some monuments were open until the end of the year last year. For the whole of last year, 3.83 million visitors came to state monuments, Goryczková told ČTK.
Similarly, this year approximately one fifth of state monuments are already open before the main season, i.e. from January 1. According to the director, monitoring how many visitors come to see castles, chateaux and other buildings in winter is an indicator of how the season could look like. About 42,000 people have come since the beginning of the year, which amounts to about 6.5 million crowns in the entrance fee, said Goryczková.
This year, the NPÚ will commemorate 20 years since its establishment, it has prepared new tour circuits at several monuments, and the traditional project In the Footsteps of Noble Families will be dedicated this year to the Harrach family. They were among the most important noble families, they played a vital role in Czech history as high representatives of the state and the church, but also as progressive estate administrators. The aim of the project is to present this genus and arouse public interest in it. This year, the NPÚ will also commemorate the 300th anniversary of the death of the Baroque architect Jan Blažej Santini, a famous representative of the Baroque Gothic style. His most famous buildings include the church of St. John of Nepomuk on Zelená hora near Žďár nad Sázavou.
“I believe that visitors will appreciate not only the new installations of the convent in Kladruby and the abbot's residence in Plasy, but also the modern visitor centers at Karlštejn Castle and the castle in Telč, where a winter tour route in the form of a castle museum is also being created,” said the director of this year's news. The monasteries of Kladruby and Plasy are also preparing a special program just for Santini's anniversary.
The largest reconstruction in the modern history of the building was completed at the Kladruby Monastery near Stříbra. Two new tour routes will lead visitors to the previously inaccessible areas of the old and new convention. They will also present archaeological finds. The third, Santini selection circuit, presents the monastery church and the architect Santini.
Kunětická hora castle is returning to full operation after four years, where the Jurkovič Palace will open on April 1st and the restored castle palace, which was still closed.
“I believe that this year we will finally start repairing the dam on the Červená Lhota and that perhaps next year visitors will be able to see the Červená Lhota in its typical image, sitting in the middle of the pond surrounded by forests,” she said.
The NPÚ completed a major renovation at Karlštejn Castle, where the ground floor of the Imperial Palace will open on April 21. “This palace was rebuilt in the 1970s, we have removed all negative interventions from that time and are returning the palace to its original form,” said the director.