Welcome to the Czech Republic, a country with a long-standing tradition of reform and reformation. As it is located in the very centre of Europe, its inhabitants like to call it “the Heart of Europe”. And they are just as proud of their country as they are of their history, which was influenced by efforts to change existing conditions in the Church.
The Czech Republic is a landlocked country located in Central Europe. It borders Germany, Austria, Poland and Slovakia. Its area covers 78,866 km² and it is home to 10,300,000 inhabitants. It comprises of three historical lands (Bohemia, Moravia and Silesia), each of which has a different history and cultural background. The capital, Prague, has over a thousand years of history and was the seat of Czech monarchs. The country’s position in Central Europe has brought many diverse people, ideas, events and influences to the Czech Republic, leaving their marks on Czech cultural heritage, landscape and human minds.
Reformation in Czech lands
The reformist preacher Jan Hus, who was burned at the stake in 1415, has been a Czech national hero for centuries. So-called “communion under both kinds” (i.e. communion of both bread and wine for all, including the laity) was accepted in the Czech Kingdom as early as the start of the 15th century. The Hussites, who faced Crusades due to their faith, are a popular theme of folk legends.
The Czech and Moravian Unity of Brethren is one of the oldest evangelical churches. Its bishop, Jan Amos Comenius, is a unique scholar and teacher whose pedagogical work is world-renowned. Connected to all of this is the capital city of Prague – a medieval “pearl” among cities where reform ideals were discussed, fierce battles were fought and those who refused to renounce their faith were executed. The unusual acts of defenestration that took place in Prague should also be mentioned, as they formed the catalysts for major historical events such as the Thirty Years’ War. In short, the history of the Czech Republic is full of strong stories and moments. Find out for yourself how unique its history and cultural heritage is – visit the Czech Republic and get to know its stories of reformation.
Should you wish to read more information about the reformation movements in Czech lands, click to download the attached PDF file below.