Jan Hus Monument in Prague overlooking the old Town.
In the middle of the Old Town is a beautiful monument that is dedicated to Jan Hus. He is standing tall, overlooking the Old Town Square and Church of Our Lady before Tyn. It is a famous gathering place for people as the monument cannot be missed. Sadly, there is no interpretation board and for this reason it is often overlooked.
Who was Jan Hus and why is this monument displayed on the historical Old Town Square?
To be honest I looked at the monument but had no idea who this person was. Nevertheless I was curious and when I went through my photos, I decided to Google to learn more about him and the monument. Now, I understand better and have admiration for Jan Hus. Jan Hus was a very important figure in the Czech history and played a prominent role as a 14th century Protestant Reformer.
He stood against the corrupt Catholic Church and was seen as a forerunner for Martin Luther. As Dean of the Charles University of Prague, he criticized church practices such as selling indulgence and often preached in the Bethlehem Chapel. He was excommunicated by the Catholic Church and later invited to the Council in Constance to renounce his ideas. After refusing he was burnt on the stake as a heretic for his reformist ideas on 14th July 1415.
His death caused outrage and the start of the Hussite Wars – a Protestant Movement against the Catholic Church. They were finally defeated by conflicts between the Rebles themselves.
History of the Jan Hus Monument.
Nearly 500 years after his death it was finally unofficially unveiled in 1915. Festivities were not allowed as the Habsburgs refused to inaugurate it. To show dismay it was covered with flowers. Several things can be seen on the monument. Jan Hus is standing in the center and to his left you can see triumphant soldiers and to his right the protestants who were exiled. The figure of the young mother symbolizes the birth of Czech Nationalism. There is an inscription on the base that reads:
“Love each other and wish the truth to everyone” (Jan Hus´s words), “Live, nation sacred in God, don´t die”, “I believe, that the anger thunders will cease and that the government of your affairs will return to your hands, Czech folk” and “Who are the warriors of God and his law” (words from the anthem of the Hussite warriors).