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14. století

The regicide in Olomouc

The mysterious end of the Premyslid dynasty
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Imagine the year 1306, the 4th of August. The summer is torrid – a real furnace. The army is resting, the encampment is sleepy. Everybody is waiting for the launching of the expedition to Poland, where the successfully expanding Vladislas the Short will have to be cooled off. Funds are being collected and more or less all the nobles are gathering. The young king is resting in the building of the Olomouc deanery, most certainly protected by many guards. This atmosphere of drowsy peacefulness and of expectation is brutally interrupted by a single piece of news. The king was murdered while resting on his bed!
The Chronicle of Zbraslav recounts the following: “We are all puzzled about the fact that up to this day we still don’t know for sure, who was the perpetrator of such a shameful act. A knight, said to be Conrad of Botenstein of the Durynk family, was however seen jumping out a window of the palace, a knife covered in blood in hand, and running away; people outside caught him and killed him for the assassination of the king even before he could utter a word. Whether he was the culprit or whether it was somebody

else I don’t know, only God knows, but I know and the whole world knows that the death of the young king generated a great deal of suffering.”
We still don’t know who was responsible for the king’s death, for more than one person benefited from it. The aforementioned rebel Vladislas the Short. Or the Roman King, Albert of Habsburg, a merciless and unscrupulous man, who had his mind set on the Bohemian silver and had already led numerous quarrels with Wenceslas II, the king’s father. Last but not least, the Czech nobility that didn’t much like the tendencies of the young king to restrict the power it had laboriously strengthened ever since the rule of Premyslid Ottokar II. We will probably never find out the truth because the land tablets, which could have helped reveal the truth about the transfers of property in Bohemia between 1306 and 1311 (coronation of John of Luxemburg and end of the battle between the candidates to the Czech crown) were burnt down in a fire in the Prague Castle in the 16th century.
This fascinating question will remain unanswered as long as new breakthrough facts are not discovered.


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