Historic 1620 Battle of White Mountain reenacted in Prague

Hundreds of people gathered at the Hvězda Game Reserve in Prague 6 over the weekend to see actors recreate a key battle in the Thirty Years' War.

Expats.cz Staff

Written by Expats.cz Staff Published on 24.09.2023 12:28:00 (updated on 25.09.2023) Reading time: 2 minutes

Hundreds of spectators gathered in Prague 6 to commemorate the Battle of White Mountain, a significant event from the Thirty Years' War in 1620. A battle reenactment and accompanying program, which took place for the 19th time this year, attracted a crowd eager to witness the historical event.

Organized by the White Mountain 1620 civic association and the Knights of the Bohemian Crown (Rytíři Koruny České), with financial support from Prague City Hall and Prague 6, the re-enactment involved around a thousand volunteers. The two-day event commenced shortly after 3 p.m. on Saturday, featuring various activities.

On Sunday, Prague 6 Mayor Jakub Stárek will open the second day of the event by firing a cannon in front of the Hvězda Game Reserve (Obora Hvězda) before the battle re-enactment at 3 p.m.

Participants in the battle reenactment include musketeers, pikemen, horse riders wearing both light and heavy armor, and individuals dressed in period attire from different European countries.

In addition to Czech participants, actors from Poland, Germany, and France also took part in the battle reenactment. Czech actor Václav Vydra gave live commentary about the battle, accompanied by music. The battle itself, featuring rifle shots and fireworks, lasted approximately 60 minutes on Saturday afternoon.

The two-day event also features an accompanying program with historical markets, a tent city showcasing a military camp, and lectures on life in the 17th century. Visitors have the opportunity to observe a demonstration of period medicine, including replicas of historical surgical instruments and medical equipment for treating common ailments. Music and dance performances added to the festivities.

The Battle of White Mountain, a pivotal moment in Bohemian history, saw the Catholic army troops of Holy Roman Emperor Ferdinand II triumph over the rebelling Protestant Czech estates led by the King of Bohemia, Frederick V of the Palatinate, on Nov. 8, 1620, marking the onset of the Thirty Years' War.

Following their defeat, the process of re-Catholization commenced in the predominantly Protestant Kingdom of Bohemia. The battle was a key point in the war that led to 300 years of Habsburg control over the Bohemian lands.

The battle followed the Prague Defenestration in 1618, when representatives of Protestant estates tossed two Catholic governors out of the window of Prague Castle.

This incident triggered a 30-year European conflict pitting Catholic and Protestant countries against each other. After the war, the Czech Lands became a hereditary part of the Habsburg monarchy for nearly three centuries.

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