5 Baldov Hill
Domažlice / Czech Republic
- Jan Hus (1370?–1415)
This site reminds us of the Hussite movement, which was an important element of Czech history at the beginning of 15th century.
It took its inspiration from the teachings of Jan Hus, his companions and followers, and aimed to reach changes in everyday religious practices. Unfortunately, Europe was not prepared for such an innovative impulse and the surrounding Catholic world wanted to stop these Czech developments.
This is why several unsuccessful crusades to “heretical” Bohemia were organized. Some of the Hussite Battles are very important and famous: Lipany, Domažlice, Tachov, Vítkov, or Sudoměř. The one that took place close to Domažlice, on Baldov Hill, is famous for the story of the heroes of a victory achieved by loudly singing the song “Kdož sú boží bojovníci”. The singing was so loud that it seemed as if a huge army of Hussites was approaching the enemy instead of the small number of fighters in reality. The cardinal, leader of the Catholic party, was so frightened by the sound that he fled, leaving his cardinal’s hat behind – or so the legend says. In remembrance of this glorious event, an enormous granite monument in the shape of a chalice (the symbol of the Hussites) was built on Baldov Hill.
From it is a beautiful view of the region where the battle took place. The Sculpture Trail, which is about 2 km long, connects the monument with the centre. Along the path is a collection of art works made of natural materials. The different pieces refer to the famous battle. On the other side of town, near Kout in Šumava, it is possible to visit the Gloriet gazebo, which was built on the site where the cardinal lost his hat while fleeing from the Hussites, thus the rather unusual shape of the gazebo.
Other Reformation-linked heritage in the location:
- A modern building of the Evangelical church in Domažlice from 2008 with a bell from the 19th century.
- A part of the Exhibition at the Museum of Chodsko in Domažlice devoted to the Middle Ages.
- Summer dragon theatre festival in the nearby German town of Furth im Wald. According to legend, the Catholic German city of Furth im Wald was attacked by an evil dragon that threatened its inhabitants and set fire to the building. Folk experts interpret this event as a manifestation of the fear of Hussites and their defections on the Czech side of the border in the vicinity of the traditionally Catholic city.
Additional touristic information
The town of Domažlice is situated in the southern part of the Pilsen region, close to the border with Germany. It is located in the natural landscape of the mountain range called Český les (or the Bohemian Forest), which is known for its dense forest vegetation. It is the centre of an exceptional ethnographic area with specific folk traditions – Chodsko. The city is close to Pilsen (47 km).
The Sculpture Trail and the monument on Baldov Hill are open to the public all year round without any restrictions or fees.
More information in the attached PDF file.