Prague Minos Guide

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13. století

The death of Zavish of Falkenstein 2

Second part of the legend about the most powerful Witigonen
Info text

It seems that the audacity of Zavish’s plans that grew along the years, as well as his hate of the Roman King together with the poisonous rumors floating around the castle, provoked Wenceslas’s idea that Zavish would try to deposit him, so that himself could ascend the throne. He decided to take action and prevent it from happening. This is why he pretended to be sick and declined Zavish’s invitation to his son’s baptism (most probably an honest invitation), for he was scared that Zavish wanted to capture him or have him killed. He then invited Zavish to Prague for friendly dealings and also a christening celebration. Zavish reached the castle with only a small entourage but never met with Wenceslas. He was betrayed and captured in the court of Prague after an unequal battle, when he supposedly stood alone facing 12 men, killing two of them and injuring many others. He was imprisoned and lived in terrible conditions. The Witigonens rebelled to support their patron and the best member of their house. The country hence

became the scene of turmoil. Wenceslas ordered his brother Nicholas to deal with the rebellion and left for Germany where he met the Roman king. In the meantime, his brother traveled from rebellion center to another with Zavish in chains, showing him to his supporters and threatening to kill him if they didn’t surrender. They did, one after the other, until there was only one left, Zavish’s elder brother Vitek in the fortress in Hluboka. He was holding the bishop Tobias’s brother captive, Cenek, threatening to kill him if anything should happen to Zavish. The epilogue to this tragedy was a spine-chilling performance, when Zavish was shown around, tortured and humiliated and eventually executed in front of his brother. According to the chroniclers, he was executed with a sharpened board, used to execute ravishers. But it is more likely that the tool used for the execution was the more traditional blade. His brother immediately cut off the head of Cenek of Kamenice. This is how the most powerful Witigonen died.


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