Friday, October 3, 2014

Private guide in Prague 

SAINT WENCESLAS, Duke of Bomenia ( 907- 935)

The Czech Premyslid Prince, patron of the Czech lands, a martyr, a figure whose tradition played a very important role during emancipation of the Czech state and the Premyslid Dynasty within the terms of Christian Europe.
Practically no reliable documents have been preserved concerning the life of Saint Wenceslas. Not even his dates of birth or death are certain.

Prince Wenceslas was the son of Prince Vratislav I. and his wife Princess Drahomira. His grandparents were the Premyslid Prince Bořivoj I. and his wife Saint Ludmilla. Vratislav I. died in 921 and his son Wenceslas became the successor to the Czech throne. Because he was only 14 years old at the time his mother Drahomira ruled for a short period on his behalf. However, Wenceslas himself began to rule in 922. From its beginning the period of Wenceslas’ rule is distinguished by his support of the Christian Church and additional reinforcement of the power of the Premyslid family in Czech lands. His brother, Boleslav, was not happy with this situation. Conflict arose between the brothers which culminated when Wenceslas was invited to the consecration of the church in Boleslav, where the Czech prince was murdered on the morning of 28th September 935 (older literature gives the year as 929). After his bother’s death Boleslav assumed power and murdered all of Wenceslas’ political supporters. But only three years later he regretted his actions and in 972 he had the first church devoted to Saint Wenceslas built in Prosek by Prague.

St. Ludmila
Prince Wenceslas was very educated for his time and in spite of his age he was a distinguished politician, statesman and was also well known for his piety. An altar has been devoted to him in the Basilica of Saint Peter in the Vatican since the beginning of the 14th century. The 28th September, the day Prince Wenceslas was murdered, is celebrated in the Czech Republic as Saint Wenceslas Day and is a state holiday.

St. Wenceslav

Splendid St. Wenceslas Chapel at the Prague Castle
St. Wenceslas, the patron of Bohemia, was a Duke of Premyslid dynasty, murdered by his own brother Boleslav in the 10 th century. There are legends about miracles he made during his life and he became a symbol of Christianity because of his moral life and martyrish death. To show respect for him, Emperor Charles IV. had a splendid chapel built above his grave in the 14 thcentury and he decorated it with murals and semi precious stones. St. Wenceslas Chapel is the most valuable place in the St. Vitus Cathedral at the  Prague Castle

St. Wenceslav Chapel

Valuable Gothic paintings

The walls of the chapel are decorated with valuable paintings depicting scenes from life of Jesus and scenes from the legend about St. Wenceslas. Above the altar, there is a scene of crucifixion of Jesus and also the most interesting scene from the St. Wenceslas legend: it represents the imperial assembly. St. Wenceslas arrived late there and that´s why the members of the assembly decided not to offer him a chair. But St. Wenceslas arrived accompanied with two angels and with a golden crucifix shining above his head. When the emperor saw it, he offered him his own chair.

St. Wenceslas Monument in Prague

Probably the best-known Prague statue, and also a very popular meeting place of Prague citizens is the St. Wenceslav in the upper part of the Wenceslas Square . It represents the patron of the country, St. Wenceslas, the Duke of Bohemia in the 10 th century. This monument saw many important events of Czech history, including the establishment of the independent republic Czechoslovakia in 1918.

St. Wenceslas Statue

Statues of Czech patrons
St. Wenceslas Monument consists of the 5.5 metres high statue of St. Wenceslas and 
statues of other Czech patrons around him: St. Ludmila on the left, St. Agnes behind her, St. Procopius on the right and St. Adalbert behind him. The monument was made between 1887 and 1924 byJosef Vaclav Myslbek.
The inscription on the St. Wenceslas Monument reads: “St. Wenceslas, Duke of Bohemia, our Prince, don´t let neither us, nor those in the future, die.”

The date in the pavement

You can see the date “28. X. 1918” written in the pavement in front of the monument. On that day, the statue of St. Wenceslas was a silent witness to the birth of Czechoslovakia. The writer Alois Jirasek read a document declaring the independent republic in front of the monument.

Prague citizens often  garher in the Wenceslav Square near the monument during important or dramatic times. Demonstrations against Communist regime were held there, as well as numerous others. Also celebrations, such as celebrations of a victory in an ice-hockey championship, take place there usually.

St. Wenceslav Square

Visit Prague with our private guide:

No comments:

Post a Comment