16 Sacred Sights
Reform movements in the late 14th
and early 15th centuries in Bohemia
and Moravia were associated with
the work of Jan Hus, a university
professor and theologian who was
influenced by the ideas of the English
reformer John Wycliffe. For his
convictions, Hus was persecuted
by the Church and finally was burned
at the stake as a heretic at the Council
of Constance in 1415. His death triggered
the Hussite Revolution in the Czech
lands, which also impacted neighbouring
countries. The symbol of the reformation
was the chalice, which became a typical
emblem of Protestant churches
and prayer houses. The Czech
Reformation came about a century
before the European Reformation,
which was led by another university
professor, the Augustinian monk
Martin Luther.
Hussite Prague
Church of Our Lady Before Týn
On the site of a Romanesque hospital
church, construction of the Týn
Church (Kostel Matky Boží před Týnem)
began in the mid-14th century. The
church was completed during
the reign of King George of Poděbrady.
On the shield was a statue of King
George, known as the Hussite king, and
a large chalice, the symbol of communion
in both kinds. In 1626, the sculpture
of the king was replaced by one
of the Virgin Mary, and the chalice was
melted down and made into a halo.
Celetná 5 / Staroměstské náměstí
Praha 1–Staré Město
The illustrious Danish astronomer
Tycho Brahe is buried in Týn Church.
Bethlehem Chapel (Betlémská kaple)
was built in the 1950s on the site of the
original 14th-century chapel, which
became famous as the pulpit where
Master Jan Hus preached and was
designated as a place for sermons in
the Czech language. Everything that
was preserved from the original chapel
was put into the new building, designed
by the architect Jaroslav Fragner.
Valuable vestiges of the chapel‘s original
decoration are fragments of treatises
by Jan Hus. The contemporary frescoes
copying illuminations from the Jena
Codex harkens back to the original
Betlémské náměstí 255/4
Praha 1 – Staré Město
Traces of the
Reformation in
South Bohemia
The Hussite town of Tábor was founded
in 1420 and became the headquarters
of the radical Hussites. The name
of the city was based on the New
Testament story of the Transfiguration
of Jesus on Mount Tabor, and was also
a reference to the Hussite pilgrimages
to the mountain. Today, Tábor
is a picturesque town with a pleasant
historical atmosphere.
Near the centre of Tábor is the Baroque
pilgrimage site of Klokoty, which in the
Hussite period became famous as the
place where Jan Žižka had Adamites
burnt. They are commemorated here by
a statue by František Bílek, whose artistic
interpretation of the Hussite movement
can be found throughout the town.
Besides the Church of the
Transfiguration, another noteworthy
stop in Tábor is the Hussite Museum
inside the former Town Hall.
The exhibition acquaints visitors
with the Hussite movement
and the history of the Hussite town.
Also interesting is a trip through
the Tábor catacombs.
Church of Our Lady Before Týn
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