Czech History

500 - 1306: The Great Moravian Empire and the Přemyslid Dynasty
1310 - 1378: John of Luxembourg and Charles IV
1415 - 1526: The Hussite Era and George of Poděbrady
1526 - 1790: The Habsburg Dynasty to Joseph II
1790 - 1914: National Revival to World War I
1918 - 1945: The First Republic and World War II
1945 - 1989: The Communist Era
1989 - present: Velvet Revolution and Beyond

The Hussite Era and George of Poděbrady

Bethlehem Chapel


The 15th century is marked by conflicts between the Protestants and the Roman Catholic Church. At the beginning of the century, a reform movement (reformace) was started and lead by priest John Huss (Jan Hus). Influenced by the writings of John Wycliffe, Huss spoke against the corruption of the Catholic Church. His sermons in Prague's Bethlehem Chapel were conducted in Czech to be understood by ordinary people. Hus' ideology was not liked by the Church and Hus was burned at the stake in 1415.

The killing of Hus started a massive protest movement by his followers, the Hussites. In 1419, the First Defenestration of Prague took place when the Hussites threw seven counselors out of the windows of Prague's New Town Hall. The religious Hussite wars were then sweeping the country from 1420 to 1434 when the last battle, the Battle of Lipany, took place.  Many historical

artifacts and literature were destroyed during the wars and the Prague Castle deteriorated. The conflicts ended by an agreement between the Hussites and the Catholic Church.

After some 20 years without a ruler, the Hussites elected a Czech Protestant, George of Poděbrady (Jiří z Poděbrad), as the country's new king in 1458. The "Hussite king" Jiří became another beloved king in Czech history. He lead a policy of peace and wished to unite the whole Europe in one peaceful nation. Even after his death, during the reign of the Polish Wladislaw and Ludwig Jagellons, Protestants and Catholics lived peacefully side by side.

Related books on

- John Huss: His Life Teachings and Death after 500 Years
- Life and Times of John Huss: The Bohemian Reformation of the 15th Century
- Crusade Against Heretics in Bohemia, 1418-1437: Sources and Documents for the Hussite Crusades

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