Insignia - The Rector’s Chain and Mace, Vice-Rector’s Chain - Public web - Czech technical university in Prague

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On the basis of a decision of the monarch, emperor František Josef, of September 10th, 1903, the rectors of the technical universities in the Austro-Hungarian monarchy were granted the right to use a chain-of-honour as a mark of their status as a rector.


The Professors’ Corps of Czech Technical School (ČVŠT) handled the acquisition of the “honorary insignia” for use during official celebrations already in March of 1903. This role was later assumed by an elected committee. Jan Koula, professor of architectural typology and architectural and ornamental drawing at ČVŠT, is the author of the rector´s chain including the medal. Funded by Association of Engineers and Architects and crafted by Prague silversmith T. Procházka, it was meant as a gift for the university. Mr. Procházka also crafted the medal, which was funded by the university's professors. The corps’ request to donate the chain to the university was carried out by the ministry on 7th September 1906. Imperial board Richard Jahn, Chairman of the EAA, handed the Rector's gold chain to prof. Albert V. Velflík during the celebration of 200 years of engineering school and 100 years since the launch of the Polytechnic Institute held in the Pantheon of the National Museum on 10th November 1906. Figures on the sides of the medal hinge depict the former major study fields at the school: civil engineering, architecture, mechanical engineering, and chemical engineering. The obverse has a infield portrait of the emperor with the inscription "Franz Joseph I." The picture was changed during the 20-ties and the medal was apparently adapted into its present form in 1931, ie. replaced by a small state emblem with the inscription “CZECH TECHNICAL UNIVERSITY IN PRAGUE”. The reverse of the original medal had the inscription “RECTOR’S CHAIN,  Imperial and Royal Czech Technical University in Prague”. Donated by the Association of the Architects and Engineers of Czech Kingdom in the jubilee year of 1906.

A proposal for the acquisition of scepters for the main beadle (emcee) and the beadles of faculties (then dubbed colleges) was approved by the Academic Senate of CTU in April 1938. Its implementation, however, has not taken place prior to the closing of Czech universities in 1939. Designed by academic sculptor and CTU professor Vaclav Žalud, the rectors sceptre was crafted by silversmith A. Tengler in the years of 1947-1948. The top part of the prismatic perpendicular sceptre is dominated by the Czech lion, the reverse is labeled by the emblem of the Czech estates, whilst the obverse features the sign of the building works and the sides are decorated with symbols of major fields of study. The stem of the scepter is concluded by wrought ring with the statement of Miroslav Tyrš “THE WORLD BUDGES WHERE THE STRENGTH IS PUT”. The sceptre has a length of 115 cm and is used since 1948.


The vice-rector’s chain was created by Josef Soukup, a professor at the  Academy of Arts, Architecture and Design in Prague. When he received the order from CTU, in 1981, he already had some experience in designing insignias, e.g. for the University of Economics, Prague and for the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague. The work was carried out by master craftsman Jaroslav Náprstek. The medal is 60 mm in diameter, and bears the symbol of the Czech Technical University in Prague, a Czech heraldic lion with a pair of compasses in his front legs, with the inscription ČESKÉ VYSOKÉ UČENÍ TECHNICKÉ V PRAZE. The chain is made of gold-plated silver, and precious stones are embedded in it – an emerald, a carnelian, an almandine, a cairngorm, an amethyst and a topaz.

Content owner: Jiří Šoukal