Jan Hus Memorial is a dominant statue located in the Old Town Square, Prague. It is dedicated to a religious reformer and a dean of Charles University, who stood up against hierarchy and inequality in the Catholic church of the 15th century.
During his years at Prague University, Jan Hus got inspired by the teachings of John Wycliffe, an important predecessor of Protestantism. Jan Hus started to preach in the Bethlehem Chapel, a medieval center of progressive ecclesiastical thought. His lectures became extremely popular and were attended by half of Prague's population daily!
A lot of Jan Hus's preachings and beliefs criticized the Catholic Church and their traditions, such as indulgences and the distinct hierarchy among the parishioners. For this reason, Jan Hus became a dangerous figure in the eye of Catholic authorities and was summoned to stand a trial during the Council of Constance in 1415.
He was accused of heresy, arrested, and taken to the outskirts of the city by the angry crowd. Jan Hus died from being burned alive at the stake on July 6th, 1415. It is now a Jan Hus Day and a public holiday in the Czech Republic.
His supporters started a Hussite war four years later to fight for a change in the religious structure. Their struggle inspired Martin Luther and fuelled the Protestant Reformation in the 16th century. The statue of Jan Hus on the photo was erected in 1915 to commemorate 500 years of his martyrdom. It is located on the Old Town square, 5 minutes away from the place where he taught, Charles University, and preached at Bethlehem chapel.
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Author: Valeriia Zahradnikova and Vaclav Zahradnik, Prague guides certified by Prague City Tourism agency. Valeriia and Vaclav have worked in tourism for over 6 years and have guided thousands of Prague visitors.