Saturday, January 5, 2013

Defenestrations of Prague

Did you know there's such a thing as the Defenestrations of Prague? I didn't until recently. I'd like to know how familiar the word "defenestration" is to everyone. I know what it means because of the German and French words for window -- "Fenster" and "fenêtre" -- but I can't tell if I'd know if I didn't know that.

From Wikipedia's entry on Defenestration:

The term originates from two incidents in history, both occurring in Prague. In 1419, seven town officials were thrown from the Town Hall, precipitating the Hussite War. In 1618, two Imperial governors and their secretary were tossed from Prague Castle, sparking the Thirty Years War. These incidents, particularly in 1618, were referred to as the Defenestrations of Prague and gave rise to the term and the concept.
How about that? An interesting way to demonstrate political outrage.

There are other incidents of defenestration, in Prague and elsewhere, listed in the Wikipedia entry on it.

Jon's insistence that we all study up on Czech language, culture, and history is proving to be fun and interesting!


  1. I believe the Defenestration of Prague is the one thing I remember from my high school world history classes, apart from the fact that the teacher and I were related, 200 years back.

  2. I'd never heard of it, but I don't think I ever took a World History class. Seems like I learned about the Greeks and Romans about four different times through Elementary, Junior High and High School, and then we skipped right to US History. That's all I need, right? (Just kidding, of course! Still trying to fill in all those gaps in my education!)