Prague On Saturday, supporters and opponents of the Marian Column met in the Old Town Square, the imitation of which returned to the historical center of Prague after 102 years. Hundreds of people have been here since the morning, some in national costumes. Most took part in the prayer, others, under the supervision of the police, gathered at the town hall building under the inscription “Prague is not the Vatican” or “Column of Shame”. At noon, the Archbishop of Prague Dominik Duka blessed the Marian Column.
Proponents consider the work to be a symbol and memory of the defenders of Prague during the Thirty Years’ War and an important Baroque work of art. According to opponents, whose organizers called the event “Informal Reunion as Secular Old Man”, it is a symbol of Habsburg domination and intolerant re-Catholicization of the country.
“It’s a good opportunity to hear other, critical views on the building, which many people consider controversial. Of course, there is a Catholic opinion that considers it a symbol of the Virgin Mary and the victory over the Swedes. The evangelical churches again see this as a symbol of post-White Mountain recatholicization and oppression. Secular people, such as me, see this as a reminder of the Habsburg monarchy. Those opinions are just as valuable, we have democracy and freedom of opinion, “said the present MEP Jan Zahradil.
“I am glad that this important building is returning to its original place. The Old Town Square thus acquires its original dimension, and even if we look at the history and the unfortunate moment of the demolition of the column, which had the character of a drunken riot rather than an ideological intention, the participants in this act regretted their deathbed on their deathbed, “said Prague City Council Chabr (TOP 09).
At noon, the imitation of the column destroyed by the crowd in 1918 will be blessed by the Archbishop of Prague, Dominik Duka. The service will be preceded by a service in the Church of the Virgin Mary in front of Týn, which will be transmitted to a large screen located on the square. Only invited people can come due to anti-coronavirus measures. Participants in the church are divided into several sectors. Among those present are, for example, the Governor of the Zlín Region Jiří Čunek (KDU-ČSL) or the former Minister of Foreign Affairs and Honorary Chairman of TOP 09 Karel Schwarzenberg. Everyone present in the temple has veils. Believers from many places arrived for the celebration, some parishes also ordered buses.
Marian Column, which was built by the Habsburg Emperor Ferdinand III. in 1650 as a thank you to the Virgin Mary for defending Prague before the Swedish troops in 1648, two books are presented, which the authors presented this week. The historical and ecclesiastical context of the origin, demolition and restoration of the Marian Column on Old Town Square in Prague was described in his book by the Catholic priest Stanislav Přibyl. Another book, The Spiritual Center of Europe – History of the Marian Column in the Old Town Square 1650-2020, was christened by Petr Blažek and Vojtěch Pokorný, who deal with contemporary disputes over the meaning and interpretation of Czech history, the role of Baroque art, the state-church relationship, Hussite and White Mountain myths and religious disputes.