Václav Levý known as Wenzel Lewy, was a Czech sculptor. He was the son of a shoemaker; when he was two years old, the family moved to Kožlany. He crucifixes, his parents were not sympathetic and sought to apprentice him to a carpenter. At the urging of a local parson, he was sent away for an education, first to a certain abbey in Pilsen to the Augustinian monastery in Lnáře, where he became a cook serving a brief apprenticeship in Dresden. Upon returning from Dresden, he made the chance acquaintance of Antonín Veith, a landowner, a patron of the arts, entered his service as a cook at his estate in Liběchov village near Mělník in 1844, his talent for sculpture was soon noticed by many of Veith's guests and, on the advice of the painter Josef Matěj Navrátil, he was sent to Prague to study with the sculptor František Xaver Linn. However, Levý came to the conclusion that Linn was a mediocre sculptor who had nothing to teach him, so he returned to Liběchov, it was there, in 1845, at the suggestion of Veith's librarian, an Augustinian professor from Brno named František Klácel, that Levý began creating the reliefs on a rock massif situated in wooded hill near Liběchov that are now known as the "Klácelka Cave."
Levý took his inspiration for the sculptures from Klácel's poem Ferina Lišák. The attention attracted by these reliefs encouraged Veith to send him to Munich for studies with Ludwig Schwanthaler, where he was taught the Academic style, it was here that he produced one of his best-known works Adam and Eve in 1849. He returned to Klácelka, adding motifs from Czech history, as well as working on new decorations for the castle chapel. Veith fell into financial difficulties and died in 1853, but Levý was able to survive as a free-lance sculptor and soon received a commission from the Sisters of Mercy Hospital near Petřín Hill in Prague. However, he decided that he could not compete in the local sculpture market, so he applied for and received a stipendium to study in Rome; this proved to be his most fruitful period and his contacts there led to several large commissions in Vienna. Because of health problems, he returned to Bohemia in 1867, he was given contracts for decorating the tympanum at the Church of Saints Cyril and Methodius and sculptural adornments for St. Vitus Cathedral, but his worsening health decreased his ability to work and he came to rely on his best student, Josef Václav Myslbek, whom he had met in Vienna.
He was buried in Vyšehrad cemetery. 1846 – "Čertovy hlavy", near Klácelka in central Bohemia 1858 – "Madona na půlměsíci" and "Kristus s Pannou Marií a Martou", National Gallery of Prague 1861 – Saint Elizabeth of Thuringia, now in the Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna 1864 – Saint Jacob and seven reliefs in the church at Polička 1866 – Saint Agnes of Bohemia, in the Votive Church, Vienna Český Rozhlas: Detailed biography by Josef Veselý, with illustrations. Emanuel Poche: Václav Levý. Vol.55, Mánes Union of Fine Arts, Prague 1943. Josef Říman et al.: Malá československá encyklopedie Part 3. Academia, Prague 1986, pg.878. Nová encyklopedie českého výtvarného umění, ed. by Anděla Horová, First part. Prague, Academia 1999, pg.446 Klácelka @ Má Vlast Václav Levý @ Wikizdroje List of Works relating to Levý in the National Library of the Czech Republic
Prokop the Great
Prokop the Great or Prokop the Bald or the Shaven was a Czech Hussite general and a prominent Taborite military leader during the Hussite Wars. Prokop was a member of the Utraquists and was a married priest who belonged to an eminent family from Prague, he studied in Prague, traveled for several years in foreign countries. On his return to Bohemia, though a priest and continuing to officiate as such, he became the most prominent leader of the advanced Hussite or Taborite forces during the latter part of the Hussite wars, he was not the immediate successor of Jan Žižka as leader of the Taborites, as has been stated, but he commanded the forces of Tabor when they obtained their great victories over the Germans and Catholics at Ústí nad Labem in 1426 and Domažlice in 1431. The crushing defeat that he inflicted on the crusaders of the Holy Roman Empire at Domažlice led to peace negotiations at Cheb between the Hussites and representatives of the Council of Basel, he acted as leader of the Taborites during their frequent incursions into Hungary and Germany when in 1429 a vast Bohemian army invaded Saxony and the territory of Nuremberg.
The Hussites, made no attempt permanently to conquer German territory, on 6 February 1430 Prokop concluded a treaty at Kulmbach with Frederick I, burgrave of Nuremberg, by which the Hussites engaged themselves to leave Germany. When the Bohemians entered into negotiations with Sigismund and the Council of Basel and, after prolonged discussions, resolved to send an embassy to the council, Prokop the Great was its most prominent member, reaching Basel on 4 January 1433; when the negotiations there for a time proved fruitless, Prokop with the other envoys returned to Bohemia, where new internal troubles broke out. A Taborite army led by Prokop the Great besieged Plzeň, in the hands of the Catholics; the discipline in the Hussite camp had, slackened in the course of prolonged warfare, the Taborites encamped before Plzeň revolted against Prokop, who therefore returned to Prague. Encouraged by these dissensions among the men of Tabor, the Bohemian nobility, both Catholic and Utraquist, formed a league for the purpose of opposing radicalism, which through the victories of Tabor had acquired great strength in the Bohemian towns.
The struggle began at Prague. Aided by the nobles, the citizens of the Old Town took possession of the more radical New Town, which Prokop unsuccessfully attempted to defend. Prokop now called to his aid Prokop the Lesser, who had succeeded him in the command of the Taborite army before Plzeň, they jointly retreated eastward from Prague, their forces, known as the army of the towns, met the army of the nobles between Kourim and Kolín in the Battle of Lipany. The Taborites were decisively defeated, both Prokops and Lesser, perished in the battle; this article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Chisholm, Hugh, ed.. "Prokop". Encyclopædia Britannica. Cambridge University Press
Blaník is a mountain in the Czech Republic near Louňovice pod Blaníkem. The hill and surrounding area is a nature reservation; the Blaník massif consists of Great Blaník and Small Blaník. Alois Jirásek portrayed the Blaník legend in his Ancient Bohemian Legends. King in the mountain Natural reservation Blaník
The Czech Republic known by its short-form name, Czechia, is a landlocked country in Central Europe bordered by Germany to the west, Austria to the south, Slovakia to the east and Poland to the northeast. The Czech Republic covers an area of 78,866 square kilometres with a temperate continental climate and oceanic climate, it is a unitary parliamentary republic, with 10.6 million inhabitants. Other major cities are Brno, Ostrava and Pilsen; the Czech Republic is a member of the European Union, NATO, the OECD, the United Nations, the OSCE, the Council of Europe. It is a developed country with an advanced, high income export-oriented social market economy based in services and innovation; the UNDP ranks the country 14th in inequality-adjusted human development. The Czech Republic is a welfare state with a "continental" European social model, a universal health care system, tuition-free university education and is ranked 14th in the Human Capital Index, it ranks as the 6th safest or most peaceful country and is one of the most non-religious countries in the world, while achieving strong performance in democratic governance.
The Czech Republic includes the historical territories of Bohemia and Czech Silesia. The Czech state was formed in the late 9th century as the Duchy of Bohemia under the Great Moravian Empire. After the fall of the Empire in 907, the centre of power transferred from Moravia to Bohemia under the Přemyslid dynasty. In 1002, the duchy was formally recognized as an Imperial State of the Holy Roman Empire along with the Kingdom of Germany, the Kingdom of Burgundy, the Kingdom of Italy, numerous other territories, becoming the Kingdom of Bohemia in 1198 and reaching its greatest territorial extent in the 14th century. Beside Bohemia itself, the King of Bohemia ruled the lands of the Bohemian Crown, holding a vote in the election of the Holy Roman Emperor. In the Hussite Wars of the 15th century driven by the Protestant Bohemian Reformation, the kingdom faced economic embargoes and defeated five consecutive crusades proclaimed by the leaders of the Catholic Church. Following the Battle of Mohács in 1526, the whole Crown of Bohemia was integrated into the Habsburg Monarchy alongside the Archduchy of Austria and the Kingdom of Hungary.
The Protestant Bohemian Revolt against the Catholic Habsburgs led to the Thirty Years' War. After the Battle of the White Mountain, the Habsburgs consolidated their rule, eradicated Protestantism and reimposed Catholicism, adopted a policy of gradual Germanization; this contributed to the anti-Habsburg sentiment. A long history of resentment of the Catholic Church followed and still continues. With the dissolution of the Holy Roman Empire in 1806, the Bohemian Kingdom became part of the German Confederation 1815-1866 as part of Austrian Empire and the Czech language experienced a revival as a consequence of widespread romantic nationalism. In the 19th century, the Czech lands became the industrial powerhouse of the monarchy and were subsequently the core of the Republic of Czechoslovakia, formed in 1918 following the collapse of the Austro-Hungarian Empire after World War I. Czechoslovakia remained the only democracy in this part of Europe in the interwar period. However, the Czech part of Czechoslovakia was occupied by Germany in World War II, while the Slovak region became the Slovak Republic.
Most of the three millions of the German-speaking minority were expelled following the war. The Communist Party of Czechoslovakia won the 1946 elections and after the 1948 coup d'état, Czechoslovakia became a one-party communist state under Soviet influence. In 1968, increasing dissatisfaction with the regime culminated in a reform movement known as the Prague Spring, which ended in a Soviet-led invasion. Czechoslovakia remained occupied until the 1989 Velvet Revolution, when the communist regime collapsed and market economy was reintroduced. On 1 January 1993, Czechoslovakia peacefully dissolved, with its constituent states becoming the independent states of the Czech Republic and Slovakia; the Czech Republic joined NATO in 1999 and the EU in 2004. The traditional English name "Bohemia" derives from Latin "Boiohaemum", which means "home of the Boii"; the current English name comes from the Polish ethnonym associated with the area, which comes from the Czech word Čech. The name comes from the Slavic tribe and, according to legend, their leader Čech, who brought them to Bohemia, to settle on Říp Mountain.
The etymology of the word Čech can be traced back to the Proto-Slavic root *čel-, meaning "member of the people. The country has been traditionally divided into three lands, namely Bohemia in the west, Moravia in the east, Czech Silesia in the northeast. Known as the lands of the Bohemian Crown since the 14th century, a number of other names for the country have been used, including Czech/Bohemian lands, Bohemian Crown and the lands of the Crown of Saint Wenceslas; when the country regained its independence after the dissolution of the Austro-Hungarian empire in 1918, the new name of Czechoslovakia was coined to reflect the union of the Czech and Slovak nations within the one country. After Czechoslovakia dissolved in 1992, the Czech part lac
Jan Žižka z Trocnova a Kalicha was a Czech general, a contemporary and follower of Jan Hus, Hussite military leader, also a Radical Hussite who led the Taborites. Žižka is held to be one of the most renowned military leaders by many historians and today he is considered a Czech national hero. He was born in the small village of Trocnov in the Kingdom of Bohemia into an aristocratic family, he was nicknamed "One-eyed Žižka". From his youth, he was attached to the royal court and held the office of Chamberlain to Queen Sofia of Bavaria, he fought in the Battle of Grunwald. He played a prominent role in the civil wars in Bohemia during the reign of Wenceslas IV. Žižka's tactics were innovative. In addition to training and equipping his army according to their abilities, he used armored wagons armed with small cannons and muskets, presaging the tank of five hundred years later, he was a master at using geography to its full advantage as well as managing the discipline of his troops. In the Battle of Kutná Hora he defeated the army of the Holy Roman Hungary.
The effectiveness of field artillery against the royal cavalry in the battle turned field artillery into a firm part of Hussite armies. Žižka is considered to be among the greatest military innovators of all time. His accomplishments in this regard are unique and noteworthy as he had to train peasants to face trained and armored opponents who severely outnumbered his own troops, for this, some have considered him to be the greatest general in history. A monument was erected on the Vítkov Hill in Prague to honor Jan Žižka and his victory on this hill in 1420, it is the third largest bronze equestrian statue in the world. Žižka was on the winning side of the Battle of Grunwald called the 1st Battle of Tannenberg, one of the largest battles in Medieval Europe. It was fought on July 1410, during the Polish -- Lithuanian -- Teutonic War; the alliance of the Kingdom of Poland and the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, led by King of Poland Władysław Jagiełło and Grand Duke Vytautas, decisively defeated the Teutonic Knights, led by Grand Master Ulrich von Jungingen.
Most of the Teutonic Knights' leadership were taken prisoner. The Knights never recovered their former power and the financial burden of war reparations caused internal conflicts and an economic downturn in their lands; the battle shifted the balance of power in Eastern Europe. Žižka was the military leader of the Hussites in the Hussite Wars. The Hussites were a proto-Protestant, Christian movement following the teachings of Czech priest, philosopher and master at Charles University in Prague, Jan Hus. On November 13, 1419 a temporary armistice was concluded between the partisans of King Sigismund, the last Emperor of the House of Luxemburg and the citizens of Prague. Žižka disapproved of this compromise and left Prague for Plzeň, one of the richest cities of the kingdom with his followers, but soon left that city. On March 25, 1420 he defeated the partisans of Sigismund at Sudoměř, the first pitched battle of the Hussite wars, he arrived at Tábor, the then-recently established stronghold of the Hussite movement.
The ecclesiastical organization of Tabor had a somewhat puritanical character with a strict military discipline being instituted though the government was established on a democratic basis. Žižka took a large part in the organization of the new military community and became one of the four captains of the people who were at its head. Žižka helped develop tactics of using wagon forts, called vozová hradba in Czech or Wagenburg by the Germans, as mobile fortifications. When the Hussite army faced a numerically superior opponent they prepared carts for the battle by forming them into squares or circles; the carts were joined wheel to wheel by chains and positioned aslant, with their corners attached to each other, so that horses could be harnessed to them if necessary. In front of this wall of carts a ditch was dug by camp followers; the crew of each cart consisted of 16–22 soldiers: 4–8 crossbowmen, 2 handgunners, 6–8 soldiers equipped with pikes or flails, 2 shield carriers and 2 drivers. The Hussites' battle consisted of two stages, the first defensive, the second an offensive counterattack.
In the first stage the army placed the carts near the enemy army and by means of artillery fire provoked the enemy into battle. The artillery would inflict heavy casualties at close range. In order to avoid more losses, the enemy knights attacked; the infantry hidden behind the carts used firearms and crossbows to ward off the attack, weakening the enemy. The shooters aimed first at the horses. Many of the knights died as they fell; as soon as the enemy's morale was lowered, the second stage, an offensive counterattack, began. The infantry and the cavalry burst out from behind the carts striking violently at the enemy from the flanks. While fighting on the flanks and being shelled from the carts the enemy was not able to put up much resistance, they were forced to withdraw, leaving behind dismounted knights in heavy armor who were unable to escape the battlefield. The enemy armies suffered heavy losses and the Hussites soon had the reputation of not taking captives; the Hussite wars marked the earliest successful use of pistols on the battlefield and Žižka was an innovator in the use of gunpowd
The Hussite Wars called the Bohemian Wars or the Hussite Revolution, were fought between the Christian Hussites and the combined Christian Catholic forces of Sigismund, Holy Roman Emperor, the Papacy and various European monarchs loyal to the Catholic Church, as well as among various Hussite factions themselves. After initial clashes, the Utraquists changed sides in 1423 to fight alongside Roman Catholics and opposed the Taborites and other Hussite spinoffs; these wars lasted from 1419 to 1434. The Hussite community included most of the Czech population of the Kingdom of Bohemia and formed a major spontaneous military power, they defeated five consecutive crusades proclaimed against them by the Pope, intervened in the wars of neighboring countries. The Hussite Wars were notable for the extensive use of early hand-held firearms such as hand cannons; the fighting ended after 1434, when the moderate Utraquist faction of the Hussites defeated the radical Taborite faction. The Hussites agreed to submit to the authority of the King of Bohemia and the Roman Catholic Church, were allowed to practice their somewhat variant rite.
Starting around 1402, priest and scholar Jan Hus denounced what he judged as the corruption of the Church and the Papacy, he promoted some of the reformist ideas of English theologian John Wycliffe. His preaching was heeded in Bohemia, provoked suppression by the Church, which had declared many of Wycliffe's ideas heretical. In 1411, in the course of the Western Schism, "Antipope" John XXIII proclaimed a "crusade" against King Ladislaus of Naples, the protector of rival Pope Gregory XII. To raise money for this, he proclaimed indulgences in Bohemia. Hus bitterly denounced this and explicitly quoted Wycliffe against it, provoking further complaints of heresy but winning much support in Bohemia. In 1414, Sigismund of Hungary convened the Council of Constance to end the Schism and resolve other religious controversies. Hus went to the Council, under a safe-conduct from Sigismund, but was imprisoned and executed on 6 July 1415; the knights and nobles of Bohemia and Moravia, who were in favour of church reform, sent the protestatio Bohemorum to the Council of Constance on 2 September 1415, which condemned the execution of Hus in the strongest language.
This angered Sigismund, "King of the Romans", brother of King Wenceslaus of Bohemia. He had been persuaded by the Council, he sent threatening letters to Bohemia declaring that he would shortly drown all Wycliffites and Hussites incensing the people. Disorder broke out in various parts of Bohemia, drove many Catholic priests from their parishes. From the beginning the Hussites divided into two main groups, though many minor divisions arose among them. Shortly before his death Hus had accepted the doctrine of Utraquism preached during his absence by his adherents at Prague: the obligation of the faithful to receive communion in both kinds and wine; this doctrine became the watchword of the moderate Hussites known as the Utraquists or Calixtines, from the Latin calix, in Czech kališníci. The more extreme Hussites became known as Taborites, after the city of Tábor that became their center. Under the influence of Sigismund, Wenceslaus endeavoured to stem the Hussite movement. A number of Hussites led by Mikuláš of Hus — no relation of Jan Hus — left Prague.
They held meetings in various parts of Bohemia at Sezimovo Ústí, near the spot where the town of Tábor was founded soon afterwards. At these meetings they violently denounced Sigismund, the people everywhere prepared for war. In spite of the departure of many prominent Hussites, the troubles at Prague continued. On 30 July 1419 Hussite procession headed by the priest Jan Želivský attacked New Town Hall in Prague and threw the king's representatives, the burgomaster, some town councillors from the windows into the street, where several were killed by the fall, after a rock was thrown from the town hall and hit Želivský, it has been suggested that Wenceslaus was so stunned by the defenestration that it caused his death on 16 August 1419. The death of Wenceslaus resulted in renewed troubles in Prague and in all parts of Bohemia. Many Catholics Germans — still faithful to the Pope — were expelled from the Bohemian cities. Wenceslaus' widow Sophia of Bavaria, acting as regent in Bohemia, hurriedly collected a force of mercenaries and tried to gain control of Prague, which led to severe fighting.
After a considerable part of the city had been damaged or destroyed, the parties declared a truce on 13 November. The nobles, sympathetic to the Hussite cause, but supporting the regent, promised to act as mediators with Sigismund, while the citizens of Prague consented to restore to the royal forces the castle of Vyšehrad, which had fallen into their hands. Žižka, who disapproved of this compromise, left Prague and retired to Plzeň. Unable to maintain himself there he marched to southern Bohemia, he defeated the Catholics at the Battle of the first pitched battle of the Hussite wars. After Sudoměř, he moved to one of the earliest meeting-places of the Hussites. Not considering its situation sufficiently strong, he moved to the neighboring new settlement of the Hussites, called by the biblical name of Tábor. Tábor soon became the center of the most militant Hussites, who differed from the Utraquists
Protestantism is the second largest form of Christianity with collectively between 800 million and more than 900 million adherents worldwide or nearly 40% of all Christians. It originated with the 16th century Reformation, a movement against what its followers perceived to be errors in the Roman Catholic Church. Protestants reject the Roman Catholic doctrine of papal supremacy and sacraments, but disagree among themselves regarding the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist, they emphasize the priesthood of all believers, justification by faith alone rather than by good works, the highest authority of the Bible alone in faith and morals. The "five solae" summarise basic theological differences in opposition to the Roman Catholic Church. Protestantism is popularly considered to have begun in Germany in 1517 when Martin Luther published his Ninety-five Theses as a reaction against abuses in the sale of indulgences by the Roman Catholic Church, which purported to offer remission of sin to their purchasers.
However, the term derives from the letter of protestation from German Lutheran princes in 1529 against an edict of the Diet of Speyer condemning the teachings of Martin Luther as heretical. Although there were earlier breaks and attempts to reform the Roman Catholic Church—notably by Peter Waldo, John Wycliffe, Jan Hus—only Luther succeeded in sparking a wider and modern movement. In the 16th century, Lutheranism spread from Germany into Denmark, Sweden, Latvia and Iceland. Reformed denominations spread in Germany, the Netherlands, Scotland and France by reformers such as John Calvin, Huldrych Zwingli, John Knox; the political separation of the Church of England from the pope under King Henry VIII began Anglicanism, bringing England and Wales into this broad Reformation movement. Protestants have developed their own culture, with major contributions in education, the humanities and sciences, the political and social order, the economy and the arts, many other fields. Protestantism is diverse, being more divided theologically and ecclesiastically than either the Roman Catholic Church, the Eastern Orthodox Church, or Oriental Orthodoxy.
Without structural unity or central human authority, Protestants developed the concept of an invisible church, in contrast to the Roman Catholic view of the Catholic Church as the visible one true Church founded by Jesus Christ. Some denominations do have a worldwide scope and distribution of membership, while others are confined to a single country. A majority of Protestants are members of a handful of Protestant denominational families: Adventists, Anglicans, Reformed, Lutherans and Pentecostals. Nondenominational, charismatic and other churches are on the rise, constitute a significant part of Protestant Christianity. Proponents of the branch theory consider Protestantism one of the three major divisions of Christendom, together with the Roman Catholic Church and Orthodoxy. Six princes of the Holy Roman Empire and rulers of fourteen Imperial Free Cities, who issued a protest against the edict of the Diet of Speyer, were the first individuals to be called Protestants; the edict reversed concessions made to the Lutherans with the approval of Holy Roman Emperor Charles V three years earlier.
The term protestant, though purely political in nature acquired a broader sense, referring to a member of any Western church which subscribed to the main Protestant principles. However, it is misused to mean any church outside the Roman and Eastern Orthodox communions. Protestantism as a general term is now used in contradistinction to the other major Christian traditions, i.e. Roman Catholicism and Orthodoxy. During the Reformation, the term protestant was hardly used outside of German politics. People who were involved in the religious movement used the word evangelical. For further details, see the section below. Protestant became a general term, meaning any adherent of the Reformation in the German-speaking area, it was somewhat taken up by Lutherans though Martin Luther himself insisted on Christian or evangelical as the only acceptable names for individuals who professed Christ. French and Swiss Protestants instead preferred the word reformed, which became a popular and alternative name for Calvinists.
The word evangelical, which refers to the gospel, was used for those involved in the religious movement in the German-speaking area beginning in 1517. Nowadays, evangelical is still preferred among some of the historical Protestant denominations in the Lutheran and United Protestant traditions in Europe, those with strong ties to them. Above all the term is used by Protestant bodies in the German-speaking area, such as the Evangelical Church in Germany. In continental Europe, an Evangelical is either a Calvinist, or a United Protestant; the German word evangelisch means Protestant, is different from the German evangelikal, which refers to churches shaped by Evangelicalism. The English word evangelical refers to evangelical Protestant churches, therefore to a certain part of Protestantism rather than to Protestantism as a whole; the English word traces its roots back to the Puritans in England, where Evangelicalism originated, was brought to the United States. Martin Luther always disliked the term Lutheran, preferring the term evangelical, derived from euangelion, a Greek word meaning "good news", i.e. "gospel".
The followers of