Confectioners and Confectionaries

Confectioners and Confectionaries

Ctěnice Chateau

21. 9. 2014 – 1. 3. 2015

Featuring the brief history of the craft of confectionery, the  “Confectioners and Confectioneries” exhibition is the first of the exhibition series to follow the permanent display “Crafts in Guilds. History of Craftsmen’s Association from the Middle Ages to the Present” which presents the City of Prague Museum collection in the Ctěnice Chateau.

People have always loved sweets and the history and production of chocolate, nougat, marzipan, gingerbread, sugar, and ice-cream is quite interesting.

In the Middle Ages, baked goods and gingerbread flourished in Bohemia where sweets were prepared for feast days. In the 15th century, there were bakers, pastry makers, doughnut bakers, sweat bread bakers, and wafer makers in Prague. Confectionery separated from gingerbread makers and bakers in the second half of the 16th century and there were 14 confectioners in Prague at that time. The first guild of confectioners emerged in Prague in the early 17th century. It was discontinued after 1620 and restored in 1724. In 1859, the guilds in Bohemia were abolished and replaced by fellowships. Education of young confectioners and a wide range of professionals was one of the main activities of the fellowship of confectioners which also published magazines and books.

There were many prime-quality confectioneries manufacturing products in Czechoslovakia. The fame of enterprises such as Myšák, Štěrba, Dejmal, Pechek, and Štaft as well as publishers of professional literature, Hlavsa and Reiman, reached beyond the borders of our country. Czech confectionery was one of the best in Europe. This situation lasted until the Second World War which curtailed confectionery enterprises due to the lack of good-quality ingredients, stagnation of production, and withdrawal of renowned professionals. After 1948, all confectionery enterprises were nationalised which resulted in the decline of quality.

Chocolate brought about a revolution in the manufacturing of sweets. The hand-painted interactive map from 1517 shows how chocolate reached Europe. In addition, the 1521 journey of Hernan Cortes, who was first to bring chocolate in Europe, is depicted.

Visitors will find a hand-crank ice cream machine, glass butter churn, mould for merinque balls, and many other confectionery tools, vessels, forms and various moulds which were once parts of confectioneries, both manufactories and shops, and which are now forgotten. These exhibits were lent by the Jan Maroušek and Petr Lukas travelling exhibition called “Historical Confectionery Shops”.

Visitors, who will show the ticket from the Confectioners and Confectioneries exhibition at the the Choco-Story Museum in Prague / ticket office, will get a 50% discount.


From the opening


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