Several thousand people gathered in the town of Stará Boleslav on Thursday
for the annual pilgrimage of St. Wenceslas dedicated to the patron saint of
the Czech nation. An open air mass held outside the church where the prince
was murdered by dissenters, was celebrated by Papal Nuncius Charles Daniel
Events in the town include theatre performances, concerts and a traditional St. Wenceslas fair. Believers also marked the 10th anniversary of a visit to Stará Boleslav by Pope Benedict XVI. A bust of the pope was unveiled on the town’s main square on the occasion.
September 28, the day on which the prince was murdered, is observed as the Day of Czech Statehood and is a public holiday.
St. Wenceslas Day or the Day of Czech Statehood, on September 28th, will
kick off a month of nation-wide celebrations marking the centenary of the
birth of Czechoslovakia.
Prague’s famous astronomical clock on Old Town Square which has been undergoing restoration work will start marking time again at 6pm on Friday.
State institutions will open their doors to the public and celebrations marking 100 years of Czech sport will be held at Prague Castle.
Throughout the month of October there will be exhibitions, concerts, theatre performances and street happenings celebrating the Czechoslovak centenary leading up to the highlight on October 28 – a grand military parade, the re-opening of the National Museum and a ceremony marking Czechoslovak Independence Day at Prague Castle.
Ahead of the Day of Czech Statehood on September 28th, special screenings of the silent film “Svatý Václav” (Saint Wenceslas), accompanied by the Symphony Orchestra of Prague, are taking place at the grandiose Municipal House, the very site of the proclamation of the Czechoslovak Republic one hundred years ago.
Few people know that Good King Wenceslas, one of the best-known Christmas carols in the English-speaking world sung on the Feast of Saint Stephen, refers to a Bohemian duke who ruled in the 10th century. Good King Wenceslas is none other than St. Václav, the patron saint of the Czech nation. Paradoxically, the carol is almost unknown in this country.
Several thousand people gathered in the town of Stara Boleslav on Thursday for the annual pilgrimage of St. Wenceslas dedicated to the patron saint of the Czech nation. An open air mass held outside the church where the prince was murdered by dissenters, among them his brother Boleslav, was served by Bishop Frantisek Lobkowicz. The Archbishop of Prague, Cardinal Dominik Duka, spoke about St. Wenceslas'legacy. Events in the town include theatre performances, concerts and a traditional St. Wenceslas fair. September 28, the day on which the prince was murdered,is observed as the Day of Czech Statehood and is a public holiday.
It is arguably the most frequently photographed sight in the Czech capital: Prague Castle overlooking the city complete with St. Vitus’ Cathedral. In the mid-18 century, the castle complex had a markedly different look. Its present-day appearance is based on designs by the Viennese court architect Nicolo Pacassi. He was commissioned by Habsburg Empress Maria Theresa after parts of the castle were heavily damaged.
The foundation stone for a new memorial to Austrian empress Maria Theresa was unveiled at a park near Prašný most in Prague 6 on Saturday – the occasion of the 300th anniversary of her birth. The ceremony was attended by several dozen people, including Prague’s Mayor Adriana Krnáčová and Prague 6 mayor Ondřej Kolář, who took part in the ceremonial tapping of the foundation stone. Mr Kolář said that the empress, who assumed power under difficult circumstances, deserved a proper memorial in the Czech capital. The site will feature a sculpture symbolizing the period of her reign. The ceremony included a performance by the National Theatre Quartet and ended with a rifle salvo from members of the ‘Habsburg guard’ in period costumes.