Prague’s odd tradition of defenestration

In 1419, the city of Prague (situated in the modern day Czech Republic) was a powder keg. The Hussite priest Jan Želivský led a few men to the town hall to ask the for the release of some prisoners.

While the group of protesters was in front of the town hall, someone inside the building threw a stone at Želivský. This infuriated the protesters so much, that they stormed the town hall and threw the city judge, the city’s mayor and 13 leading men out of the top window. All of them died. This incident eventually sparked a war and became known as the First Defenestration of Prague. (Defenestration = Killing people by throwing them out of windows). Unfortunately, roughly 200 years later there was a Second Defenestration of Prague. Other defenestrations also occurred in Prague, making this act a rather odd tradition for the picturesque city.

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By Øyvind Holmstad (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons