Battle of White Mountain

The Battle of White Mountain (Czech: Bitva na Bílé hoře, German: Schlacht am Weißen Berg) was an important battle in the early stages of the Thirty Years' War.

It was fought on 8 November 1620. An army of 15,000 Bohemians and mercenaries under Christian of Anhalt was defeated by 27,000 men of the combined armies of Ferdinand II, Holy Roman Emperor led by Charles Bonaventure de Longueval, Count of Bucquoy and the German Catholic League under Johann Tserclaes, Count of Tilly at Bílá Hora ("White Mountain") near Prague.[2] The site is now part of the city of Prague.

The battle marked the end of the Bohemian period of the Thirty Years' War and decisively influenced the fate of the Czech lands for the next 300 years. Its aftermath drastically changed the religious landscape of the Czech lands after two centuries of Protestant dominance. Roman Catholicism retained majority in the Czech lands until the late 20th century.

Battle of White Mountain
Part of the Thirty Years' War
Schlacht am Weißen Berg C-K 063

Battle of White Mountain, oil painting by P. Snaijers
Date8 November 1620
Location
White Mountain (Czech: Bílá Hora), near Prague, Kingdom of Bohemia
(present-day Prague, Czech Republic)

Coordinates: 50°04′42″N 14°19′10″E / 50.07833°N 14.31944°E
Result

Catholic victory

Outcome:

Outcome for the Bohemian Estates:

  • Heavy material losses, big reduction in farmsteads
  • Substantial decline of the population
  • Forced conversion to Roman Catholicism
  • Eradication of Protestantism
  • Decline of the Czech language
  • German established as the main language of Bohemian aristocracy
  • Old Town Square execution
  • Bohemian aristocracy partly exiled to Protestant countries

Outcome for the Holy Roman Emperor and his allies:

Belligerents
 Kingdom of Bohemia
Electoral Palatinate

 Holy Roman Empire

Spanish Empire
Commanders and leaders
Jindřich Matyáš Thurn
Christian of Anhalt
Johann Tserclaes, Count of Tilly
Charles de Longueval, Count of Bucquoy
Strength
20,000-30,000 men:
(Mainly mercenaries from Bohemia and the German lands, Hungarian and Austrian allies)
27,000 men:
(From the Empire, the Catholic League, soldiers from Spain, the Spanish Netherlands and Polish Lisowczycy)
Casualties and losses
4,000 dead or wounded[1] 700 dead or wounded[1]
White Mountain is located in Prague
White Mountain
White Mountain
Location within Prague
White Mountain is located in Czech Republic
White Mountain
White Mountain
White Mountain (Czech Republic)

Prelude

In the early 17th century most of the Bohemian estates, although under the dominion of the predominantly Roman Catholic Holy Roman Empire, had large Protestant populations, and had been granted rights and protections allowing them varying degrees of religious and political freedom. In 1617, as Emperor Matthias lay dying, his cousin Ferdinand — a fiercely devout Roman Catholic and proponent of the Counter-Reformation — was named his successor as Holy Roman Emperor and King of Bohemia. This led to deep consternation among many Bohemian Protestants, who feared not only the loss of their religious freedom, but also of their traditional semi-autonomy, under which many of the estates had separate, individual constitutions governing their relationship with the Empire, and where the King was elected by the local leaders.[3]

Ferdinand (who would become Emperor Ferdinand II following Matthias' death in 1619) saw Protestantism as inimical to the Empire, and wanted to impose absolutist rule on Bohemia while forcefully encouraging conversion to the Roman Catholic faith. He also hoped to reclaim church properties which had been seized by Protestants at the start of the Reformation decades earlier, and to do away with the Electorate - the body of princes who chose the Holy Roman Emperor and who had considerable power over Imperial policy.

Particularly galling to Protestants were perceived violations of Emperor Rudolf II's 1609 Letter of Majesty, which had ensured religious freedom throughout Bohemia.[4] In May, 1618, wanting to air their grievances over this and other issues, a group of Bohemian noblemen met representatives of the Emperor at the royal castle in Prague; the meeting ended with two of the representatives and their scribe being thrown out a high window and seriously injured. This incident, known as the Second Defenestration of Prague, triggered the Bohemian Revolt.[5]

In November 1619, Elector Palatine Frederick V, who like many of the rebels was a Calvinist, was chosen as King of Bohemia by the Bohemian Electorate.

Battle

In 1620, now fully established as Emperor, Ferdinand II set out to conquer Bohemia and make an example of the rebels. King Frederick and his military commander, Prince Christian of Anhalt, had organized a Protestant army of 30,000 men; Ferdinand countered with a force of 25,000, many of them seasoned soldiers, under the capable leadership of Field Marshal Tilly, a Roman Catholic Spanish-Flemish nobleman. Tilly's army enjoyed the advantage of including two successful military leaders - Tilly himself and the future General Wallenstein. Tilly's force was made up of two distinct groups: Imperial troops commanded by Charles Bonaventure de Longueval, Count of Bucquoy, and soldiers of the German Catholic League, directly under Tilly. All of the armies of the day employed numerous mercenaries, including, by some definitions, Tilly himself. Serving with the Catholic League as an official observer was the future "father of modern philosophy", René Descartes.

After conquering most of western Bohemia, the Imperial army made for Prague, the Bohemian capital, then in rebel hands. The Bohemians attempted to block them by setting up defensive positions, which the Imperial army simply bypassed. Force-marching his men, Christian of Anhalt managed to get ahead of the Imperial army just before Prague. He thus gained an advantageous position on the "White Mountain", actually a low plateau, but had little time to set up defensive works. Enthusiasm for joining battle was low on both sides. After the reverses of the previous several weeks, Christian of Anhalt's army had been reduced to about 15,000 men, with little prospect of victory; the mercenaries on both sides had not been paid in months; and with winter approaching, cold, wet, weather made for less than ideal combat conditions.

On 8 November a small Imperial force was sent to probe the Protestant flank. To their surprise, the Bohemians retreated at their advance. Tilly quickly sent in reinforcements, and the Bohemian flank began to crumble. Anhalt tried to retrieve the situation by sending forward infantry and cavalry led by his son Christian II. The cavalry charged into the Imperial infantry, causing significant casualties, but Tilly countered with his own cavalry, forcing the Bohemian horsemen to retire. The Bohemian infantry, who were only now approaching the Imperial army, saw the cavalry retreating, at which they fired one volley at extreme range before retreating themselves. A small group of Imperial cavalry began circling the Protestant forces, driving them to the middle of the battlefield. With the Bohemian army already demoralized, company after company began retreating, most without having actually entered the battle. Tilly and his Imperial cavalrymen advanced with 2,000 Bavarian hussars, steadily pushing Protestant forces back to the Star Palace (just west of Prague), where the rebels tried without success to establish a line of defense.

The Bohemian army was no match for the Emperor Ferdinand's troops. The actual battle lasted only an hour and left the Bohemian army in tatters. Some 4,000 Protestants were killed or captured, while Imperial losses amounted to only about 700.[6]

White Mountain plan

Plan of the battle from Theatrum Europaeum: Bohemians above, Imperial and Bavarian forces below

Battle of White Mountain (1620)-NL

Battle of White Mountain (1620)

Aftermath

With the Bohemian army destroyed, Tilly entered Prague and the revolt collapsed. King Frederick fled the country with his wife Elizabeth (hence his nickname the Winter King). Forty-seven leaders of the insurrection were put on trial, and twenty-seven of them were executed in Prague's Old Town Square on what came to be called the "Old Town Square execution". Amongst those executed were Kryštof Harant and Jan Jesenius. Today, 27 crosses have been laid into the cobblestones as a tribute to those victims. An estimated five-sixths of the Bohemian nobility went into exile soon after the Battle of White Mountain, and their properties were confiscated.[7]

There remained a strong Protestant army in Silesia under the command of Johann Georg of Hohenzollern, Duke of Krnov, which continued fighting the Imperial army in Moravia and in what today is Slovakia until 1623.

In 1621, the Emperor ordered all Calvinists and other non-Lutherans to leave the realm in three days or to convert to Roman Catholicism. In 1622, he forbade practice of the Lutheran faith. In 1626, he ordered all Lutherans (most of whom had not been involved in the revolt) to convert or else leave the country.[8] By 1627, Archbishop Harrach of Prague and Jaroslav Borzita of Martinice set out to convert the heretics, as they were termed, by peaceful means; most Bohemians converted, but a significant Protestant minority remained. Spanish troops, seeking to encircle their rebellious Dutch provinces, seized the Palatinate lands. With the prospect of Protestantism being overrun in Germany, Denmark entered the struggle. Sweden was to join the Protestant forces in 1630.

Before the war about 151,000 farmsteads existed in the Lands of the Bohemian Crown, while by the year 1648 only 50,000 remained. At the same time the number of inhabitants decreased from three million to only 800,000.[9]

The result of the 1620 battle brought two centuries of recatholicization of the Czech lands and the decline of the Czech-speaking aristocracy and elite as well as the Czech language (accompanied with the growing influence of German-speaking elites), a process that was slowed down by the Czech National Revival since the late 18th century. Czech nationalist historians and writers such as Alois Jirásek have referred to the 17th and 18th century in the Czech lands as the Dark Age.

Tribute to the 27 victims

The 27 tributary crosses

Stevens P. Maria Vítězná

Painting celebrating the Catholic victory, by Anton Stevens (c. 1610–1675). In the upper part there is Our Lady of Victory surrounded by saints; in the lower left-hand corner there is the victorious Emperor Ferdinand II with his son Ferdinand III and the Bohemian lion.

See also

References

  1. ^ a b Bílá Hora., Ottův slovník naučný (1888–1909) a Ottův slovník naučný nové doby (1930–1943). (in Czech)
  2. ^ The Battle of White Mountain, 11-06-2003 - Radio Prague
  3. ^ Johnson, Lonnie. Central Europe enemies, neighbours, friends. New York: Oxford UP, 1996. Print.
  4. ^ Helfferich, Tryntje. The Thirty Years War: A Documentary History. Indianapolis: Hackett Company, Inc., 2009. Print.
  5. ^ Guthrie, William P. Battles of the Thirty Years War from White Mountain to Nordlingen, 1618–1635. Westport, CT: Greenwood, 2001. Print.
  6. ^ Guthrie, William P. Battles of the Thirty Years War from White Mountain to Nordlingen, 1618–1635. Westport, CT: Greenwood, 2001. Print.
  7. ^ Consequences of Czech Defeat, U.S. Library of Congress
  8. ^ Wedgwood, C. V. (1964) [1938]. The Thirty Years War. London: Jonathan Cape. pp. 158, 224.
  9. ^ The Kingdom of Bohemia during the Thirty Years´ War

Sources

  • The History of the Thirty Years War by Friedrich Schiller
  • Luca Cristini, 1618–1648 la guerra dei 30 anni. volume 1 da 1618 al 1632 2007 (ISBN 978-88-903010-1-8)
  • Luca Cristini, 1618–1648 la guerra dei 30 anni. volume 2 da 1632 al 1648 2007 (ISBN 978-88-903010-2-5)
  • Bohemia in history. Cambridge, U.K: Cambridge UP, 1998. Print.
  • Helfferich, Tryntje. The Thirty Years War: A Documentary History. Indianapolis: Hackett Company, Inc., 2009. Print.
  • Josef V. Polisensky, Thirty Years War, University of California Press (June 1971); La guerra dei trent'anni: da un conflitto locale a una guerra europea nella prima metà del Seicento - Torino: Einaudi, 1982.
  • Tomáš Kleisner, Giovanni Pietro de Pomis Medal of the Battle of the White Mountain

External links

Battle of Neu Titschein

The Battle of Neu Titschein or Titschein (Moravia, now Nový Jičín, Czech Republic) was fought on 25 July 1621 during the Thirty Years' War between the Roman Catholic forces of Jean de Gauchier and the Protestant army of Johann Georg Jägerndorf of Hohenzollern.

After the defeat of the Bohemian Protestant army in the battle of White mountain, part of its forces remained in Silesia. Protestant nobleman Johann Georg Jägerndorf of Hohenzollern, a Protestant leader in Silesia, decided to restore Protestant power in the Bohemian kingdom. In the northeastern part of nearby Moravia, Protestant Wallachians fought against Roman Catholics, and further east in Slovakia (Upper Hungary) Protestants attempted to ally with forces of Hungarian prince Gabor Bethlen.

At Neutitschein, a strong Catholic force was assembled and engaged the Protestant forces which had occupied towns and castles in Silesia and northern Moravia. During the battle, a huge fire started and all suburbs of Neutitschein burned down. This fire prevented the Catholic forces to successfully defend the town and only a small part of them, led by Jean de Gauchier, escaped to Olomouc (Olmütz), leaving northern Moravia under Protestant control. Yet, since the Protestant forces were unable to conquer Olomouc and occupy all of Moravia, Johann Georg Jägerndorf of Hohenzollern decided to move to Slovakia to join forces with Gabor Bethlen.

Battle of Prague

Battle of Prague may refer to:

Battle of White Mountain (1620), an early battle in the Thirty Years' War

Battle of Prague (1648), the last action of the Thirty Years' War

Siege of Prague (1742), a siege during the War of the Austrian Succession

Battle of Prague (1757), a battle in which the Prussians defeated the Austrians in the Seven Years' War

Siege of Prague, which directly followed the 1757 battle

Prague Offensive (1945), the last major Soviet operation of World War II in Europe

Bohemian Revolt

The Bohemian Revolt (German: Böhmischer Aufstand; Czech: České stavovské povstání; 1618–1620) was an uprising of the Bohemian estates against the rule of the Habsburg dynasty that began the Thirty Years' War. It was caused by both religious and power disputes. The estates were almost entirely Protestant, mostly Utraquist Hussite but there was also a substantial German population that endorsed Lutheranism. The dispute culminated after several battles in the final Battle of White Mountain, where the estates suffered a decisive defeat. This started re-Catholisation of the Czech lands, but also expanded the scope of the Thirty Years' War by drawing Denmark and Sweden into it. The conflict spread to the rest of Europe and devastated vast areas of central Europe, including the Czech lands, which were particularly stricken by its violent atrocities.

Charles Bonaventure de Longueval, 2nd Count of Bucquoy

Charles Bonaventure de Longueval, Count of Bucquoy (Czech: Karel Bonaventura Buquoy, Spanish: Carlos Buenaventura de Longueval, Conde de Bucquoy, full name in French: Charles Bonaventure de Longueval comte de Bucquoy, German: Karl Bonaventura Graf von Buquoy) (Arras, 9 January 1571 – Nové Zámky, 10 July 1621) was a military commander who fought for the Spanish Netherlands during the Eighty Years' War and for the Holy Roman Empire during the Thirty Years' War.

Edward, Count Palatine of Simmern

Edward, prince palatine of the Rhine (Eduard, Prinz von der Pfalz) (5 October 1625 – 10 March 1663), was the sixth son of Frederick V, Elector Palatine (of the House of Wittelsbach), the "Winter King" of Bohemia, by his consort, the English princess Elizabeth Stuart.

Edward was born in The Hague, where his parents lived in exile after his father lost the Battle of White Mountain and was driven from the thrones of both Bohemia and the Palatinate. His father, a Calvinist, died on 29 November 1632, when Edward was seven years old.

On 24 April 1645, Edward married in Paris a French princess of Italian extraction, Anna Gonzaga (1616–1684). Nine years older than Edward, she was a daughter of Carlo I, Duke of Mantua and Catherine de Lorraine-Guise-Mayenne, and had been spurned by her alleged previous husband, the fifth Duke of Guise. She had been raised in France, where her father held the dukedom of Nevers prior to inheriting the Italian duchy.

He was embarrassed financially, she by scandalous pursuit of a cousin who had repudiated her to wed another, and both by a connection forbidden by their warring faiths, thus they married in secret. But Edward's prompt conversion vindicated the couple at the French royal court, despite his mother's threats to disown any of her children who embraced the Catholic Church.

The couple took up residence in Paris, where they were referred to as the Prince and Princess Palatine, her inheritance and the king's generosity enabling them to live according to their rank as princes étrangers. Elizabeth soon resumed correspondence with her son. In 1649 he received England's Order of the Garter.Edward and Anna Gonzaga were parents of three daughters:

Luise Marie (23 July 1647 – 11 March 1679). Married Charles Theodore, Prince of Salm;

Anne Henriette (23 July 1648 – 23 February 1723). Married Henri Jules, Prince of Condé, had issue;

Benedicta Henrietta (14 March 1652 – 12 August 1730). Married John Frederick, Duke of Brunswick-Lüneburg.Prince Edward died in Paris on 13 March 1663, aged 37.

If Edward had not converted to Catholicism, it is possible that the English throne would have been inherited by his descendants rather than those of his Protestant younger sister, Sophia, Electress of Hanover.

Frederick V of the Palatinate

Frederick V (German: Friedrich V.; 26 August 1596 – 29 November 1632) was the Elector Palatine of the Rhine in the Holy Roman Empire from 1610 to 1623, and reigned as King of Bohemia from 1619 to 1620. He was forced to abdicate both roles, and the brevity of his reign in Bohemia earned him the derisive nickname of "the Winter King" (Czech: Zimní král; German: Winterkönig).

Frederick was born at the Jagdschloss Deinschwang (a hunting lodge) near Amberg in the Upper Palatinate. He was the son of Frederick IV and of Louise Juliana of Orange-Nassau, the daughter of William the Silent and Charlotte de Bourbon-Montpensier. An intellectual, a mystic, and a Calvinist, he succeeded his father as Prince-Elector of the Rhenish Palatinate in 1610. He was responsible for the construction of the famous Hortus Palatinus gardens in Heidelberg.

In 1618 the largely Protestant estates of Bohemia rebelled against their Catholic King Ferdinand, triggering the outbreak of the Thirty Years' War. Frederick was asked to assume the crown of Bohemia. He accepted the offer and was crowned on 4 November 1619, as Frederick I (Czech: Fridrich Falcký; the adjective means "of Oberpfalz" or "of the Upper Palatinate"). The estates chose Frederick since he was the leader of the Protestant Union, a military alliance founded by his father, and hoped for the support of Frederick's father-in-law, James VI of Scotland and I of England. However, James opposed the takeover of Bohemia from the Habsburgs and Frederick's allies in the Protestant Union failed to support him militarily by signing the Treaty of Ulm (1620). His brief reign as King of Bohemia ended with his defeat at the Battle of White Mountain on 8 November 1620 – a year and four days after his coronation.

After the battle, the Imperial forces invaded Frederick's Palatine lands and he had to flee to his uncle Prince Maurice, Stadtholder of the Dutch Republic in 1622. An Imperial edict formally deprived him of the Palatinate in 1623. He lived the rest of his life in exile with his wife and family, mostly at The Hague, and died in Mainz in 1632.

His eldest surviving son Charles I Louis, Elector Palatine, returned to power in 1648 with the end of the war. Another son was Prince Rupert of the Rhine, one of the most colourful figures of his time. His daughter Princess Sophia was eventually named heiress presumptive to the British throne, and is the founder of the Hanoverian line of kings.

History of the Lands of the Bohemian Crown (1526–1648)

Although the Kingdom of Bohemia and the Margravate of Moravia were both under Habsburg rule, they followed different paths of development. Moravians had accepted the hereditary right of the Austrian Habsburgs to rule and thus escaped the intense struggle between native estates and the Habsburg monarchy that was to characterize Bohemian history. In contrast, the Bohemian Kingdom had entrenched estates that were ready to defend what they considered their rights and liberties. The Habsburgs pursued a policy of centralization and conflict arose, which was further complicated by ethnic and religious issues

Hussites

The Hussites (Czech: Husité or Kališníci; "Chalice People") were a pre-Protestant Christian movement that followed the teachings of Czech reformer Jan Hus, who became the best known representative of the Bohemian Reformation.

The Hussite movement began in the Kingdom of Bohemia and quickly spread throughout the remaining Lands of the Bohemian Crown, including Moravia and Silesia. It also made inroads into the northern parts of the Kingdom of Hungary (now Slovakia), but was rejected and gained infamy for the plundering behavior of the Hussite soldiers. There were also very small temporary communities in Poland-Lithuania and Transylvania which moved to Bohemia after being confronted with religious intolerance. It was a regional movement that failed to expand anywhere farther. Hussites emerged as a majority Utraquist movement with a significant Taborite faction, and smaller regional ones that included Adamites, Orebites and Orphans. Major Hussite theologians included Petr Chelcicky, Jerome of Prague, and others. A number of Czech national heroes were Hussite, including Jan Zizka, who led a fierce resistance to five consecutive crusades proclaimed on Hussite Bohemia by the Papacy. Hussites were one of the most important forerunners of the Protestant Reformation. This predominantly religious movement was propelled by social issues and strengthened Czech national awareness.

After the Council of Constance lured Jan Hus in with a letter of indemnity, then tried him for heresy and put him to death at the stake on 6 July 1415, the Hussites fought the Hussite Wars (1420–1434) for their religious and political cause. After the Hussite Wars ended, the Catholic-supported Utraquist side came out victorious from conflict with the Taborites and became the most common representation of the Hussite faith in Bohemia. Catholics and Utraquists were emancipated in Bohemia after the religious peace of Kutná Hora in 1485.

Bohemia and Moravia, or what is now the territory of the Czech Republic, remained majority Hussite for two centuries until Roman Catholicism was reimposed by the Holy Roman Emperor after the 1620 Battle of White Mountain during the Thirty Years' War. Due to this event and centuries of Habsburg persecution, Hussite traditions are merely represented in the Moravian Church, Unity of the Brethren, and the refounded Czechoslovak Hussite churches among present-day Christians.

Kampa Island

Kampa (also Na Kampě) is an island in the Vltava river in central Prague on the side of Malá Strana. Charles Bridge crosses its northern tip and is connected to the island by the street ulice Na Kampě. It is separated from Malá Strana by a narrow artificial channel to the west called the Devil's Stream (Čertovka), a waterway dug to power water mills (no longer existent). It is supposedly named after a sharp-tongued woman who lived in a local home called the Seven Devils. The area was named in the 17th century as the campus ("field") by Spanish soldiers who tented here during the Battle of White Mountain.

Karl I, Prince of Liechtenstein

Karl I, Prince of Liechtenstein (30 July 1569 – 12 February 1627), was the first member of the Liechtenstein family to become a Prince of Liechtenstein, thus he was the founder of the Princely Family of Liechtenstein.

Karl was the elder son of Hartmann II, Baron of Liechtenstein (1544–1585) and his wife Countess Anna Maria of Ortenburg (1547–1601). Emperor Rudolf II of the Holy Roman Empire appointed Karl as Chief Intendant, an important position at his court. Karl held this position until 1607. In a dispute over land between Rudolf II and the heir to the throne, Archduke Mathias, Karl sided with Mathias, who made Karl a hereditary prince in 1608, in thanks for Karl's aid.

In 1614, Karl added the regency of the Duchy of Troppau to his possessions. In thanks for further aid at the Battle of White Mountain, Karl was appointed to the positions of proconsul and vice-regent of Bohemia in 1622, and he was bestowed with the Order of the Golden Fleece.

He gained the Duchy of Troppau on 28 December 1613 and the Silesian Duchy of Jägerndorf on 15 March 1622, along with much confiscated "rebel property", and he commissioned the Ducal hat of Liechtenstein.He became a Catholic in 1599. In 1605, Karl established the first branch north of the Alps of the Hospitaller Order of Saint John of God, at Feldsberg in Lower Austria (now Valtice, Czech Republic).

He was the 352nd Knight of the Order of the Golden Fleece in Austria. He died in Prague.

Letohrádek Hvězda

Letohrádek Hvězda (Czech pronunciation: [ˈlɛtoˌɦraːdɛk ˈɦvjɛzda], translating into English as "Star Villa" or "Star Summer Palace") is a Renaissance villa situated in a game reserve of the same name (Obora Hvězda) in Liboc, Prague 6, 7 kilometres west of Prague city centre.

The surrounding game reserve was founded in 1530 by King Ferdinand I. Twenty-five years later he commissioned his younger son Ferdinand II, Archduke of Austria, to build the villa. The foundations were laid on 27 June 1555 by the Archduke alone, and construction of the villa was completed three years later. The villa is shaped as a six-pointed star, from which it and the game reserve acquire their shared name.

In 1962 the villa was listed as a national cultural monument, which it remains today. An exhibition relating to the Battle of White Mountain, which took place nearby, is now on permanent display inside the publicly accessible villa.

Lisowczycy

Lisowczycy (Polish pronunciation: [lisɔfˈt͡ʂɨt͡sɨ]; also known as Straceńcy ('lost men' or 'forlorn hope') or chorągiew elearska (company of elears); or in singular form: Lisowczyk or elear) – the name of an early 17th-century irregular unit of the Polish-Lithuanian light cavalry. The Lisowczycy took part in many battles across Europe and the historical accounts of the period characterized them as extremely agile, warlike, and bloodthirsty. Their numbers varied with time, from a few hundreds to several thousands.

The origin of the group can be traced to konfederacja (a form of semi-legal mutiny of royal forces, practiced in the Kingdom of Poland and then in the Commonwealth), organized around 1604 by Aleksander Józef Lisowski. They began to grow in strength and fame a few years later, when Lisowski's irregulars were incorporated into the forces fighting in Muscovy. The Lisowczycy unit of the Polish cavalry received no formal wages; instead, they were allowed to loot and plunder as they pleased. They relied on their speed and fought without tabors, foraging supplies from lands they moved through. The Lisowczycy were feared and despised by civilians wherever they passed and they gained dubious fame for the scores of atrocities they carried out (pillage, rape, murder and other outrages). However, they were also grudgingly respected by their opponents for their military skills. They did not hesitate to plunder even their homeland, where they sacked the Racovian Academy university of the Polish brethren. Such actions were among the reasons the Commonwealth ruler Sigismund III Vasa tried to keep them away from the Commonwealth for as long as possible.

The Lisowczycy took part in many conflicts, including the Dymitriads (where their actions help explain the text of the infamous placard in Zagorsk: three plagues: typhus, Tatars, and Poles) and in the Battle of White Mountain (where they were essential in lifting the Transylvanian siege of Vienna and Bohemia's defeat). They were eventually disbanded in 1635.

An account of Lisowczycy's exploits was written by their chaplain, Wojciech Dembołęcki (or Wojciech Debolecki), in Przewagi Elearów polskich co ich niegdy Lisowczykami zwano (1619–1623) (Deeds of Polish Elears once known as Lisowczycy (1619–1623)).

Old Town Square execution

Old Town Square execution (Czech: Staroměstská exekuce) was the execution of 27 Czech Protestant leaders (three noblemen, seven knights and 17 burghers) of the Bohemian Revolt by the Austrian Catholic House of Habsburg that took place on June 21, 1621 at the Old Town Square in Prague.

After the Protestant uprising of the Bohemian estates against the Catholic Habsburgs resulted in Thirty Years' War and a final defeat in the Battle of White Mountain, Habsburgs took their revenge and executed some of the key leaders of the uprising, although with some others the punishment was reduced and some were pardoned.

Some nobles involved in the uprising escaped into exile, such as Jindřich Matyáš Thurn. Martin Fruwein z Podolí (cs, de) was also expected to be executed, but he was found dead before the execution.

Osek (Strakonice District)

Osek (German: Ossek) is a village and municipality (obec) in Strakonice District in the South Bohemian Region of the Czech Republic.

Religion in the Czech Republic

Religion in the Czech Republic was dominated by Christianity until at least the early 20th century, but today Czechia is characterised as being one of the least religious societies in Europe. Since the 1620 Battle of White Mountain religious sphere was accompanied by a widespread anti-Catholic sentiment even when the whole population nominally belonged to the Catholic Church. Overall, Christianity has steadily declined since the early 20th century and today remains only a minority. The Czech Republic has one of the oldest least religious populations in the world. Ever since the 1620 Battle of White Mountain, the Czech people have been historically characterised as "tolerant and even indifferent towards religion". According to Jan Spousta, among the irreligious people, who form the vast majority of modern Czechs, not all are atheists; indeed there has been an increasing distancing from both Christian dogmatism and atheism, and at the same time ideas from Far Eastern religions have become widespread.Christianisation in the 9th and 10th centuries introduced Roman Catholicism. After the Bohemian Reformation, most Czechs (about 85%) became followers of Jan Hus, Petr Chelčický and other regional Protestant Reformers. Taborites and Utraquists were major Hussite groups. During the Hussite Wars, Utraquists sided with the Catholic Church. Following the joint Utraquist—Catholic victory, Utraquism was accepted as a distinct form of Christianity to be practised in Bohemia by the Catholic Church while all remaining Hussite groups were prohibited. After the Reformation, some Bohemians went with the teachings of Martin Luther, especially Sudeten Germans. In the wake of the Reformation, Utraquist Hussites took a renewed increasingly anti-Catholic stance, while some of the defeated Hussite factions (notably Taborites) were revived. Bohemian Estates' defeat in the Battle of White Mountain brought radical religious changes and started a series of intense actions taken by the Habsburgs in order to bring the Czech population back to the Catholic Church. After the Habsburgs regained control of Bohemia, the whole population was forcibly converted to Roman Catholicism—even the Utraquist Hussites. All kinds of Protestant communities including the various branches of Hussites, Lutherans and Reformed were either expelled, killed, or converted to Roman Catholicism. Going forward, Czechs have become more wary and pessimistic of religion as such. A long history of resistance to the Catholic Church followed. It suffered a schism with the neo-Hussite Czechoslovak Hussite Church in 1920, lost the bulk of its adherents during the communist era and continues to lose in the modern, ongoing secularisation. Protestantism never recovered after the Counter-Reformation was introduced by the Austrian Habsburgs in 1620.

According to the 2011 census, 34.5% of the population stated they had no religion, 10.5% were Catholics, 1% Protestants, 0.9% members of other Christian churches, 6.8% were believers but not members of religions, while 0.7% were believers and members of other certain religions. 44.7% of the population did not answer the question about religion. From 1991 to 2001 the population's proportion of members of the Catholic Church decreased from 39.0% to 26.8%. Protestantism declined from 4% to 2%. Due to changes in the last 2011 census' categories, each category has seen a decrease: the proportion of people who have no religion declined from 59% to 34.5%, the Catholics declined from 26.8% to 10.5% and Protestants declined from 2% to 1%. People who didn't answer the optional question rose from 8.8% to 44.7%.

Rudolf von Tiefenbach

Rudolf von Tiefenbach (November 26, 1582 - 4 March 1653) was a German military commander who served the Holy Roman Empire during the Thirty Years' War.

Despite being raised a protestant, Tiefenbach joined the catholic Habsburg army in 1613.

During the 1620 Battle of White Mountain, he led the 1st Division of the Imperial Army which included the cuirassier regiment of Albrecht von Wallenstein and the horse regiment of Jean de Gauchier. When Charles Bonaventure de Longueval, Count of Bucquoy died, Tiefenbach took over part of his command.

In 1631, after Torquato Conti retired from his post, Tiefenbach was elevated to the rank of Feldmarschall by the Holy Roman Emperor.

In 1639 he was named a Knight of the Order of the Golden Fleece.

Utraquism

Utraquism (from the Latin sub utraque specie, meaning "in both kinds") or Calixtinism (from chalice; Latin: calix, mug, borrowed from Greek kalyx, shell, husk; Czech: kališníci) was a principal dogma of the Hussites and one of the Four Articles of Prague. It maintained that communion under both kinds (both bread and wine, as opposed to the bread alone) should be administered to the laity during the celebration of the Eucharist. After the Hussite movement split into various factions early in the Hussite Wars, Hussites that emphasized the laity's right to communion under both kinds became known as Moderate Hussites, Utraquist Hussites, or simply Utraquists. The Utraquists formed the most numerous of the major Hussite factions.

Following the victory of allied Utraquist and Catholic forces in the Hussite Wars, Utraquists constituted a majority of the Bohemian population until the outbreak of the Thirty Years' War, nearly two centuries later. The Battle of White Mountain, in 1620, marked the end of the Bohemian Revolt and, consequently, the end of almost two hundred years of Utraquist predominance.

Vilém Kinský

Wilhelm Kinsky (Czech: Vilém Kinský z Vchynic; German: Wilhelm Graf Kinsky von Wchinitz und Tettau; 1574 – 25 February 1634) was a Czech Count and statesman.

The Kinsky family were members of the Bohemian aristocracy. Vilém Kinský married Alžběta Trčka z Lípy, whose brother Adam Erdmann Trčka was married with Maximiliane Harrach, a sister of Albrecht von Wallensteins wife. In 1628 Vilém Kinsky was elevated to the rank of count in the Bohemian nobility when Albrecht von Wallenstein was elevated to Duke of Frýdlant. As a rich landowner in Bohemia, Kinsky lived in exile at Dresden after the Battle of White Mountain, because he was protestant and refused to convert to the catholic faith, unlike the Trčka family, but was allowed to visit his Bohemian estates regularly. However, together with his brother-in-law Adam Erdmann Trčka, he tried to pull Wallenstein over to the Protestant and Swedish side.

Kinsky was killed on 25 February 1634 at Cheb, together with Trčka, during the Eger Bloodbath, as part of the plot to assassinate Field Marshal of the Imperial Army Albrecht von Wallenstein during the Thirty Years' War. His estates, among them Teplice, were confiscated by Emperor Ferdinand II.

One of his descendants, Oktavian Kinsky, founded the Kinsky-horse breeding stud in Bohemia.

Weissenberg

Weissenberg or Weißenberg may refer to:

Weißenberg, a town in Saxony, Germany

the scene of the Battle of White Mountain

Weißenberg (Frankenweide), a hill in Rhineland-Pfalz, Germany

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