The exhibition ‘Pardubice – The City’s Story’ takes visitors on a fascinating journey from Pardubice’s earliest history (including the first documented mentions of the city) up to Czechoslovakia’s declaration of independence in 1918. The historical documents and unique items from the museum’s collections trace the main periods in the city’s history.
On the first floor of Pardubice’s castle, visitors are welcomed by the movement (internal mechanism) of a large clock dating from the late 17th or early 18th century, which until the 1970s was installed in one of the castle’s towers. The loud ticking of the clock mechanism symbolizes the onward march of time and history. The first part of the exhibition presents authentic archeological finds from Pardubice and the surrounding area, including a Gothic-era sword found at Krchleby. The Renaissance – the era of the lords of Pernštejn – is represented by fragments of a wooden water pipe system, a terracotta portal from a burghers’ house, and well-preserved leather shoes. There is also a beautiful model of the Kunětická Hora castle, which dates from this period.
The Baroque era is represented by a clock from the workshop of the Pardubice clock-maker František Bielauschek and a monumental sculpture by Ignác Rohrbach depicting St. John of Nepomuk, God the Father and St. Florian (who was thought to bring protection against fires). Another fascinating reflection of Pardubice’s history is a large oil painting (by an unknown artist working in the first half of the 18th century) showing St. Florian above Pardubice. Pardubice has suffered several devastating fires during the course of its history, and St. Florian was evidently thought to be a guarantor of protection. A panorama of the city from this period shows the old city walls and the White Gate (Bílá brána), which guarded the entrance to the city from the east. The gate was demolished in 1840.
The exhibition also commemorates important figures who are closely bound up with Pardubice’s history – Archbishop Arnošt, the lords of Pernštejn, the railway engineer Jan Perner, and the first Czech aviator Jan Kašpar. Visitors can admire various objects connected with these figures’ lives and work, including a unique model of Archbishop Arnošt’s memorial, whose original is located in his burial-place, the Church of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary in Kladsko.
To commemorate Jan Perner there is a wonderfully detailed model of the ‘Böhmen’ locomotive, in which Perner arrived at Olomouc in 1845 for the first journey on the newly built Emperor Ferdinand Northern Railway. The aviation pioneer Jan Kašpar is commemorated by items from his workshop and parts from his planes.
There is also a room with beautifully preserved floral murals all over its walls, evoking the distinctive atmosphere of a prosperous middle-class apartment at the end of the 19th century. Some of the rooms at Pardubice’s castle were lived in by ordinary people up to the 1950s. During the 1920s the floral room was apparently the home of the painter Jan Šír, who was one of the team that restored the ceilings and murals that were rediscovered at the castle shortly after the First World War.
Plough from Rybitví
Another unique exhibit is a special plough invented by the Veverka cousins from Rybitví near Pardubice in 1827. The plough was acquired by the Pardubice Farming Association from the Hladina family’s farm in Staré Hradiště and was later donated to the Pardubice Museum Association. It is said that the plough-blade was forged by Václav Veverka himself.
The exhibition also features interactive elements, with info-boxes giving additional details and allowing visitors to test their knowledge in specially designed quizzes. Visitors can also use a stamping machine to create their very own embossed sticker showing Pardubice’s 16th-century municipal seal.formace a kvízy k ověření znalostí návštěvníků. Na raznici na suchou ražbu si návštěvník vyrazí reliéfní samolepku městské pečeti z 16. století.