About St. Wenceslas and September 28 in the Czech Republic

You can’t visit Prague without bumping into St. Wenceslas, in Czech Svaty Vaclav. There is St. Wenceslas Square, which is probably the most important square in Prague because here take place all big demonstrations – last most significant was during the Velvet revolution in 1989 against communism.

statue of St. Wenceslas On Wenceslas Square there is a statue of St. Wenceslas on a horse, which is by the way a great meeting point and a must for every tourist. In Prague Castle you can find Chapel of St. Wenceslas in st. Vitus Cathedral. Czech crown, a great symbol of Czech Republic, is called after St. Wenceslas as well. There used to be a 20 CZK banknote with his portrait, now it is however replaced with 20 CZK coin. St. Wenceslas is simply everywhere.

What is so special about him?
He is a patron saint of Bohemia, and so every time when the Czech nation was in a stew, Czechs prayed to St Wenceslas to help them. An old legend says that a huge army of knights sleeping inside some mountain in the Czech Republic will awake under the command of St. Wenceslas to help Czechs in time of ultimate danger. And since the Czechs had to go through both First and Second World Wars, Hitler’s rule as well as Stalin’s control without the help of St. Wenceslas, one may only wonder what an ultimate danger is going to be like!

View over the Wenceslas Square But why Wenceslas? Who was this famous guy who ordered to build the future St. Vitus Cathedral on the Prague Castle? Was he real?

He is known in the English speaking world as the subject of the Christmas carol “Good King Wenceslas” – yes, it is the same Wenceslas as the one on the Wenceslas Square – Duke of Bohemia, born in 907.

Wenceslas was raised by his grandmother, St. Ludmila. She was a kind and a wise woman, and Wenceslas loved her dearly. When he became the Duke, he listened to her advices carefully and fulfilled many of her wishes. This, however, made the mother of Wenceslas very jealous. She wanted to suppress the influence that Ludmila had on her son, and wished to rule herself. So she ordered to kill her mother-in-law! St. Ludmila was strangled when asleep!

Wenceslas Square and the National Museum This angered Wenceslas and had his mother exiled. And ruled happily till he was murdered by his younger brother who was power-mad! Wenceslas was hacked to pieces on his way to church in 929 or 935. His beloved brother became his successor. Oh, those medieval times!

After his death, Wenceslas was canonised as a saint due to his martyr’s death, as well as several purported miracles that occurred after his death. His feast day is September 28, and since the year 2000, this day is a public holiday in the Czech Republic – celebrated as Czech Statehood Day.

You can see St. Ludmila, the grandmother of St. Wenceslas, on the statue of St. Wenceslas. She is standing on his right. Around her neck is what she had been strangled with.

1 Comments for About St. Wenceslas and September 28 in the Czech Republic

  1. Selena said,

    Sep 28, 03:52 #

    nice site

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