Posted on July 6, 2015
Today is a public holiday in the Czech Republic. It honors Jan Hus, a priest who also taught and a philosopher who also tried to reform (make better) society and religion.
Born in 1369, Hus lived before some of the other Roman Catholic Church reformers who ended up creating the Protestant movement in the 1500s. (Martin Luther was one of the more famous Protestant reformers.) He is considered one of the first Church reformers. He was not necessarily all that successful in his own lifetime at winning the reforms he sought, since he was burned at the stake for “heresy” (religious teachings that are considered incorrect by the powers that be).
Hus's martyrdom occurred on this date in 1415.
But the Czech people celebrate him, because his reforms made a huge impact after his death. Hus's followers were so upset at his cruel execution, they rebelled against their Roman Catholic rulers. There were a series of wars that have become known as the Hussite Wars, and by the 1500s as many as 90% of the people living on Czech lands were non-Catholic, and many of them were followers of Hus's teachings.
Hus also influenced Martin Luther and perhaps other later reformers as well.
Did you know...?
- The Czech Republic is made up of three historical regions: Bohemia,
- After World War I, and up until 1993, the Czech Republic had been bundled together with Slovakia to create Czechoslovakia.
- The capital city, Prague, is supposed to be one of the most wonderful cities in the world. Some people say THE most beautiful city in the entire world. What do you think?
- I read that Prague Castle is the largest castle in the world in terms of area. It's about 1,000 years old. When you go to visit, the highlights include a cathedral, a basilica, a tower, a palace, a royal garden with a “Singing Fountain,” and “Golden Lane,” which is lined with medieval workshops. That sounds like a lot of stuff in just one castle!
- Some of the world's oldest and most magnificent libraries are found in Prague.
- There are thousands of human skeletons on bizarre display at the famous “Bone Church” in the Czech Republic.
- The “Bohemian Paradise” is special because of the rock formations that stand up out of the ground like sculptures.
- There are plenty more cool castles in the nation, but I thought this Hluboka Castle was really pretty:
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