Hundreds Watch Battle of White Mountain Re-Enactment in Prague
About 1,000 volunteers took part in the re-enactment. Image: “The Battle of White Mountain” – Pieter Snayers.
Prague, Sept 24 (CTK) – Hundreds of people arrived in the Prague 6 neighbourhood yesterday to mark the Battle of White Mountain in 1620, watching a re-enactment of the battle from the Thirty Years’ War. The event, which continues at the same time today, is being staged for the 19th time.
About 1,000 volunteers took part in the re-enactment yesterday, organised by the White Mountain 1620 civic association and the Knights of the Bohemian Crown association, with the financial support of Prague City Hall and the Prague 6 district. It began shortly after 3pm.
Today, Prague 6 Mayor Jakub Starek (ODS) will open the event and fire the cannon before the start of the battle.
Musketeers, pikemen, horse riders in light and heavy armour and other people dressed in period costumes from various European countries took part in the reconstruction. In addition to people from the Czech Republic, the participants came from Poland, Germany and France. Czech actor Vaclav Vydra provided commentary on the battlefield in front of the Hvezda (Star) game preserve, accompanied by music. The fighting itself, with rifle shots and firework interventions, lasted about 60 minutes.
The two-day event also features an accompanying programme, including period markets, a tent city with a military camp, and lectures on life in the 17th century. Visitors can also see a demonstration of period medicine, with replicas of historical surgical instruments and equipment for treating common illnesses. There are also performances of music and dance.
The Catholic army troops of Holy Roman Emperor Ferdinand II won the two-hour Battle of White Mountain on 8 November 1620, defeating the rebelling Protestant Czech estates, led by the King of Bohemia Frederick V of the Palatinate, at the beginning of the Thirty Years’ War. After the battle, the previously mostly Protestant Kingdom of Bohemia began a process of re-Catholicization.
Two years before the battle, in 1618, representatives of the Protestant estates threw two Catholic governors out of the window of Prague Castle, known as the Prague Defenestration. This incident triggered the 30-year European conflict which pitted Catholic and Protestant countries against each other in complex alliances. After the war, the Czech Lands became a hereditary part of the Habsburg monarchy for almost 300 years.