Puppets under the minaret? In Chrudim yes! Puppetry Museum is located in the magical Renaissance period, which was built here in the years 1573-1576 by the Chrudim burgher Matej Mydlar and his son Daniel added a turret in the form of a minaret to it. You will literally be absorbed by the magical world of puppets that came to life in the hands of ancient puppeteers, you will learn about the history of Czech and world puppetry and you can also try for yourself what it is like to breathe life into wooden figures “on sphagnum”. “Puppetry in Slovakia and the Czech Republic” was inscribed on the UNESCO list of intangible cultural heritage due to its uniqueness.
The road to the establishment of this museum was very lengthy and thorny. It all started in 1929, where Czechoslovak puppeteers met in Prague with their foreign colleagues, with the result of their meeting being the later establishment of an international puppetry organization called the International Puppetry Union – UNIMA. The proposal of the Russian literary scholar and ethnographer Petr Bogatyrev to establish a theatre museum in Prague that would focus on puppets was also heard in the heat of joy. Thanks to his design, the magical town of Chrudim was to become the seat of a new museum of puppetry cultures throughout the world.
Puppetry Museum offers a total of 4 exhibitions, whose names are the Magical World of Puppets, The Journey to The Light, pilgrimage exhibitions or the exhibition called Spejbl’s Travel Agency. Spejbl’s travel agency is a symbolic gift for the round jubilee of one of the most famous Czech puppets. And beware! It’s not just an ordinary exhibition. With Spejbl in the role of a guide, visitors will literally walk through the whole wide world in the footsteps of the adventures of this famous puppet couple and their friends. Another exhibition entitled “Journey to the Light” presents an artistic project of Ivan Kraus and Nadezda Munzarova, who left abroad after the occupation of Czechoslovakia in 1968 and together created short funny sketches with which they performed in variety shows or television programs for children and youth.
For more information about the Pardubice region, from which museum comes, click here and here.