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General Global Exhibition in Prague in 1891

 
photo:  (archiv)
 

The General Global Exhibition was held in Prague in 1891 in honor of the centennial of the first industrial exhibition in 1791.

 

The exhibition had strong national and political undercurrents of significance -  the industrial exhibition in 1791 had been held as part of the celebrations of  Czech King Leopold II's coronation. In 1891, the regnant King Joseph II refused to be crowned Czech king. Therefore, the celebration of Leopold's jubilee was a certain reminder of the Czech statehood, important at a time when Vienna and German nationalists were doing their utmost for it to be forgotten.

Though the exhibition was a global exhibition, German industrialists living in the Bohemian Kingdom boycotted it with some imperceptible exceptions. However, the exhibition, organized and furnished with exclusively Bohemian enterprises, had great success and gave testament to the skills of the Czech people.

Due to German obstructions, the fight for the exhibition was very hard from the very beginning. In 1888, the first preparatory committee was elected, at the head of which stood count Karel Max Zedtwitz, and František Křižík was elected one of the vice chairmen. Also, the elected members of the general committee demonstrated the significance of the event, because it consisted of: Count Bedřich Kinský, Count František Thun, Prince Jiří Lobkowicz and Prague Mayor Dr. Jindřich Šolc.

Upon the resolution of the People's Congress, the part of exhibition grounds called Královské obory was chosen as the place for organizing the exhibition. The exhibition was opened May 15, 1891, and ended October 18, 1891. Hanavsky pavilion was one of the attractions of the exhibition, together with the balloon arena, where sightseeing flights were organized, both in captive and free balloons. The exhibition included also the second Sokol festival. The exhibition was attended by 2.5 million visitors, one of whom was even Francis Joseph II.

The monumentality of the exhibition is demonstrated also by the exhibition catalog, which included an overview of exhibitors together with a list of pavilions and exhibits on a full 350 pages.

 
 
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Added: 27.12.2009
 
 
 

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