Prague Minos Guide

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17. století

The Thirty Year War and the execution of Czech noblemen

Consequences of the Bohemian Estate Revolt
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This was the unprecedented revenge of Emperor Ferdinand the Second against the Czech Estate opposition.
The execution of twenty-seven noblemen on the Old Town Square became the symbolic as well as ruthless conclusion of the Czech Estate Revolt and of the so-called Czech phase of the Thirty Year War. This phase started with Prague defenestration on May 23rd 1618 and ended on November 8th 1620 with the defeat of the Battle of the White Mountain near Prague.
All executions

were carried out by the municipal executioner whose name was Mydlář, he used four swords altogether. The executions lasted from 17:00 to 21:30 . Ten noblemen and two renowned burghers were beheaded. The rest of the burghers were hanged. In addition, the tongue of Doctor Jesenius was cut off before he was executed. Ferdinand's revenge was thorough given that he afterwards ordered that the heads be left on the Old Town Bridge Tower to be seen by everyone.


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