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The Two Johns in the Town of Strakonice

Abstract: Historical periods, as well as the ideological and social circumstances are significantly imprinted in the forms of settlements. In the town of Strakonice it can be seen in the relationship between two mediaeval Johns. The first of the two is Saint John of Nepomuk (c. 1345 – March 20, 1393 Prague), Martyr of the Catholic Church and one of the Czech Land patrons. His personality is connected with the town of Strakonice particularly for the event of his saving the life of a child fallen under the ice. It had been officially recognized a miracle then leading to his canonization. Therefore, understandably, a large number of chapels and statues of Saint John of Nepomuk were erected within the town districts to his honor. After the establishment of the Czechoslovak Republic (1918) came to the forefront of national interest the Czech reformist priest John Hus (c.1370, Husinec, Southern Bohemia – July 6, 1415, Constance), philosopher, early Christian reformer and Master at Charles University in Prague. To him were dedicated some of the public areas in Strakonice, built a monument and consecrated one of the memorial chapels. Both above mentioned Johns were brought into symbolic and almost ideological opposition. This was then reflected in the very image of the town itself, as well as of its public spaces. However, the second half of the 20th century entered the urban organism with completely new priorities; many valuable buildings were demolished, others moved elsewhere. Today, we can thus see, placed next to each other, the torso of John Hus memorial and the chapel of St. John of Nepomuk, both moved secondarily into the town park. As if after centuries there was a reconciliation of both Saints (or more likely lack of any interest about them and their historic significances). This paper describes the transformation and evolution of the above phenomenon, within the transformation and development of public space in the town of Strakonice that also illustrate the ideological upheavals of the 20th century.

KUPKA, Jiří (2017). Dva Janové ve Strakonicích. In: Jiří Kugl, ed. Člověk, stavba a územní plánování 10. ČVUT v Praze, Fakulta stavební pp. 132-143. ISBN 978-80-01-06319-4. ISSN 2336-7695.