The Roman Emperor Rudolf II (1552-1612) made Prague a cultural center of global importance.

In 1572 Rudolf becomes king of Hungary and takes over the crown of St. Stephen.

The Bohemian Wenceslas crown follows 1575.

Shortly thereafter he becomes Roman King and end of 1576 emperor.

Rudolf is now the highest ranking European monarch.

At the beginning he still resides in Vienna. 1583, however, he moved the seat of government to Prague. There are many rumors about this decision.

Is it the more convenient location of the city, closer to the center of the empire?

Is it the huge palace complex on the Hradschin, once build by Emperor Charles IV, which fascinates the emperor?

In any case, Prague flourishes in the splendor of the imperial residence and becomes the “Golden City”.

People come from everywhere: artisans, merchants, artists and scholars from Italy, Flanders, Scandinavia.

All around the Hradschin watchmakers and instrument makers, painters, musicians and sculptors settled down. Rudolf’s court exerts a magical attraction.

The Flemish goldsmith Jan Vermeyen became famous for the crown he made for Rudolf II, an exorbitantly expensive, virtuoso showpiece that was to become the Austrian imperial crown after 1806.

He was an important patron of the sciences and the arts, especially for music. From 1583 numerous artists from all over Europe came to Prague in the famous court orchestra.

His court orchestra, consisting of about sixty Czech, Italian, German and Dutch musicians, was one of the largest in Europe.

The best instrumentalists and singers performed there and many outstanding composers wrote works for the orchestra.
Prague contributed to the worldwide progress of music.
After the death of the emperor, the court resided in Vienna.
The orchestra lost its importance and was dissolved after the overthrow in 1618 and the subsequent turmoil of war.

Four hundred years later we decided to regain the glory of the imperial orchestra.

Heiko Mathias Förster, who conducted various orchestras in Prague for many years, founded the Prague Royal Philharmonic.

The best musicians of the Czech orchestras and highly talented young musicians from the academies of Prague, Brno and Ostrava play here.

Above all, our repertoire is dedicated to the most important classical and romantic composers. Mozart, Haydn and Beethoven, as well as Brahms, Dvořák and Smetana to the family of Johann Strauß.

All of these composers visited Prague regularly and admired the city really much.