400 years since the Battle of White Mountain

On November 8, 1620, an army of Czech estates clashed with the allied armies of the Catholic League and Emperor Ferdinand II. The battle decided the fate of the anti-Habsburg uprising and ended the first phase of the Thirty Years' War.

The Battle of the White Mountain suppressed the uprising, which began two years earlier and which then ended by the execution of 27 main representatives of the uprising in the Old Town Square in Prague.

Background At the turn of the 16th and 17th centuries, the Czech lands were one of the most densely populated countries in Europe and also one of the most developed. And the Protestant faith prevailed in them. Although the Wenceslas Crown belonged to the Catholic Habsburgs in 1526, the Czech estates wanted to maintain their influence.

In the uprising of the Estates, who rejected Ferdinand II. as the Czech king and elected the young Friedrich Falcký, they initially celebrated successes when they reached Vienna. After the victory of the imperial army near Záblatí in 1619, however, the estates' army returned to Bohemia.

The battle

In the Battle of White Mountain, the Czech Estates Army, the Army of the Catholic League and the Imperial Army clashed.

An army of 15,000 Bohemians and mercenaries was defeated by 27,000 men of the allied armies at Bílá Hora ("White Mountain") near Prague (nowadays it is a part of Prague). Although the battle was not great in scope or number of casualties, it had great consequences for further development in the Czech lands.

After the clash, which religiously meant the victory of Catholics, much of the nobility and urban intelligence left the country, and non-Catholic religions were outlawed. Many personalities were forced to leave the country, including Jan Ámos Komenský, the last bishop of the Unity of Brethren. After the battle, the Czech kingdom also lost Upper and Lower Lusatia in 1635.