Jan Hus memorial sculpture in the old town square in Prague.
The monument was designed by Ladislav Šaloun and is located opposite the Tyn church. The monument took twelve years to produce and was completed for the 500th anniversary of Jan Hus’ death in 1915. The monument is made of bronze and stone and bears four inscribed signs which were added in 1926. They read: “Love each other and wish the truth to everybody”, “Be alive, O nation consecrated in God, do not die”, I believe that after the storms of rage pass, the control of your matters will return to you, O Czech people” and “Who are the warriors of Go and his law”.
Hus was a protestant reformer and priest who criticised the working of the Catholic Church. He gave particular attention to the Vatican and as a result, in 1410 he was excommunicated by the Pope and interdicted the city of Prague. After refusing to renounce his beliefs at the Council of Constance, he was labelled a heretic and was burned at the stake in 1415. Hus’ followers (Hussites) revolted upon hearing the news of his execution in what is called the ‘Hussites Wars’. In retaliation to these revolts, the Pope sent several Catholic crusaders to wage war on the Hussites. The Hussites defeated each group of crusaders, but were ultimately defeated by conflict amongst themselves.
In the monument the figure of Hus is shown standing over this stake. There are two groups of Czech figures accompanying Hus in the monument. The first group (to his left) is made up of Hussites. The second group (to his left) is made up of Protestants who were exiled during the 1620s. Hus became a national symbol of independence as well as religious reform.
Did you know?
The monument did not have a public unveiling as it was considered an anti-Catholic memorial and the country (under Habsburg rule) was admits World War I. Instead, people decorated the monument with flowers.