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Defenestration of Prague

This Wednesday will be the 400th anniversary of the Defenestration of Prague of 1618. Now, defenestration is a fancy Latin word that means "the act of involuntarily exiting a room through a window."  And the Defenestration of Prague of 1618 began with a meeting in the city of Prague between Bohemian nobles and representatives of the Holy Roman Emperor. After some harsh words were exchanged over the Emperor's reluctance to allow religious freedom in the region, the Bohemian nobles tossed his representatives out a third-story window.  Amazingly, all of the men survived the fall, with the Emperor's supporters attributing their survival to the acts of guardian angels, while his detractors credited the large pile of manure positioned below the windowsill. Opinions may differ about whether cow dung or divine intervention should thanked for this miracle, but all historians agree that it was this embarrassing event that precipitated the Thirty Years' War.

OK, right about now some of you might be wondering how a group of men being tossed out a window and the long, bloody war that followed got to be the subject of this section. Well, that's a fair point, but saying the phrase "The Defenestration of Prague" is so much fun that it just overwhelms any thoughts of historical unpleasantness. Moreover, this topic has useful information for our readers. Because the Defenestration of Prague of 1618 was neither the first nor the last Defenestration of Prague.  In fact, over the last 700 years, several people have been tossed out of the city's windows during disputes -  so if you are planning to travel to the capital of the Czech Republic, make sure you stay on the ground floor!


A re-enactment of the Defenestration of Prague of 1618 with a green couch playing the role of the Holy Roman Emperor's representatives in order to protect the sensibilities of our more squeamish readers.