The Celebrations of St. Wenceslas in Český Krumlov
Program of the Celebrations   St. Wenceslas - patron saint of the Czech country

  St. Wenceslas´ coin
in honour of St. Wenceslas, a patron saint of the Czech country and town of Český Krumlov
autumn celebrations full of good food and drink, plenty of games, music and singing

Our ancestors used to like celebrations and enjoyment as can be seen in the Rosenberg Family chronicles. Nowadays the town of Český Krumlov is a lively and cosmopolitan town, and its residents invite visitors from all over the world to experience the unique atmosphere of St. Wenceslas Celebrations.

A three-day program being held the last weekend in September, traditionally connected with the religious holiday of St. Wenceslas, is opened by St. Wenceslas street market in the main square offering pottery, laces, black smith´s goods and other original products.

Choosy people certainly appreciate delicious food and drink - plum cakes, pretzels, sausages, sour-kraut, wine and mead. Fruit-dumpling Cup is held for those who like eating and taking part in competitions. Ten top restaurants offer a special St. Wenceslas menu - Czech cuisine specialities made according to original recipes and traditional ingredients.

St. Wenceslas street market and cultural program in Svornost square, foto: Lubor Mrázek   Attendance of partner towns within the framework of St. Wenceslas street market, foto: Lubor Mrázek

All men and boys called Wenceslas are asked to come in order to beat the record for the total number of people called Wenceslas meeting in one place on the same day - there is a possibility that the name of the patron saint , St. Wenceslas, belongs to the most given names in the Czech Republic.

Different kinds of music are played in the town, classical music in the church and monastery, folklore ensembles perform in the main square, historical dance ensembles perform in the Prelature as well as some music in ten chosen museums and galleries during the St. Wenceslas night, when their expositions are available to all visitors free of charge.

Celebrations of St. Wenceslas - a map of events

Sportsmen can take a climb called "St. Wenceslas Climb" up the highest mount of the Blanský Forest, Mount Kleť (1,083 m). Everyone will certainly appreciate the magnificent view of the countryside as well as very interesting stories of comets, stars and planets in the observatory of Kleť. The Kleť Observatory ranks among top observatories in the world, and it has been one of the most successful place of work in the world in discoveries of new universe matter, working on the project "Identification of Dangerous Matter for the Earth". While being shown round the observatory, you will find out that the town of Český Krumlov has its own planet and the name "Wenceslas" is also known in the universe.

Václav Kadoun of Adamov - the tallest man called Wenceslas at the celebrations, foto: Lubor Mrázek   Jan Vaníček of Prague, a winner of St. Wenceslas competition and Jitka Zikmundová while handing the prize to him, a two-day stay in Český Krumlov, foto: Lubor Mrázek

Programs for children within the framework of "The Day of Open Hearts" - suitable for children accompanied by an adult, free of charge entry into many interesting expositions as well as the Castle Tower.


24th - 26th September 2004
Part of the rich programme is the St. Wenceslas market in the Town Square, an attempt to break the record of Václavs in the same place and the same day, various music on stage in the Town Square and lots of other attractions there is something for everyone.

Museums and galleries open their doors for a third evening "rendezvous with art" during this St. Wenceslas Night of open museums and galleries.

Selected restaurants offer culinary delights in a special St. Wenceslas Menu including the best of traditional Czech cuisine. The castle cellars hold treasures from Moravia and the whole world to delight wine connoisseurs.

During the whole period of celebrations :
St. Wenceslas menu - Czech cuisine specialities in ten chosen pubs and restaurants of Český Krumlov: Don Julius, Hospoda na Louži, Maštal, Hotel Dvořák Restaurant, Hotel Old Inn Restaurant, Hotel Růže Restaurant, Šatlava, Švamberský dům, U Dwau Maryí, U písaře Jana

Plum dumplings

Traditional plum dumplings (not only for champs of Plum-dumpling Cup) - have a taste of them at the Old Inn Restaurant during the whole period of celebrations.

Slávek Vogelmut, a representative of Český Krumlov, participating in the competition in eating plum dumplings, foto: Jana Zuziaková, Českokrumlovské listy   Petr Zikmund, a representative of the Celebrations sponsor - company Würth, spol.s r.o., while counting eaten plum dumplings, foto: Jana Zuziaková, Českokrumlovské listy

Admission fee: with the exception of some events mentioned in the program, all other events of St. Wenceslas Celebrations are FREE!

Authorities of Český Krumlov, Municipal Theatre of Český Krumlov, Český Krumlov Development Fund s.r.o.

The parade of South Bohemia folklore ensembles - Youth Centre of Český Krumlov

Agency Dobrý den, Firm Valenta, Würth spol. s r.o., Vidox s.r.o.

The Celebration has been supported by the Regional Office of South Bohemia region.

Media partners:
Deníky Bohemia - Český Krumlov newspapers, Bohemia radio of České Budějovice, Official Information System of Český Krumlov Region, Television GIMI.

Jihočeské deníky Bohemia, logo   Bohemia radio of České Budějovice, logo

Logo of Official Information System of Český Krumlov Region, author Ema Majerová - EM GRAFIKA   Logo of TV GIMI

Arrangement services:
INFOCENTRUM, Náměstí Svornosti 2, 381 01 Č. Krumlov
Tel., Fax: +420 380 704 622/19, E-mail:

Everyone is warmly welcome to the Celebrations of St. Wenceslas!

St. Wenceslas - patron saint of the Czech country

Prince St. Wenceslas, a patron saint of the Czech country ranks among the first historically proved Czech rulers. He was born in 907 as a son of prince Vratislav, a grandson of St. Ludmila and Bořivoj, the first Přemyls Dynasty ruler. According to St. Wenceslas tradition he is described as an incredibly educated, godly and very believing ruler.

He had been brought up by his grandmother St. Ludmila. Drahomíta, Wenceslas mother, could not bear that and ordered to murder St. Ludmila on 15 September 921. The argument with Henry Ptáčník, a German ruler, is often given into the connection with St. Wenceslas martyr death, which ended by the reconciliation in 929, long-service promise and paying a peaceful fee called "tribute" - 500 talents of silver and 120 ox, which was often understood as the effort to fall into line to more powerful and more influential Germany. Wenceslas peaceful solution caused a spiteful attitude of his brother Boleslav. Finally it became the pretext of the fratricide. According to the tradition, Boleslav ordered to kill his brother Wenceslas in Stará Boleslav on 28 September 935. Dynasty murders, violence and elimination of rival dynasties were quite common and widely spread in Europe during the early Middle Ages. Some later historians give and admit the year 929, therefore the 1,000th anniversary of St. Wenceslas Celebrations was given in 1929.

St. Wenceslas and St. Ludmila became meaningful national saints , patrons of the Czech country, soon after their death, and the first Old Church Slavic, Latin and Czech legends describing their lives started to appear. Second Prague bishop St. Vojtěch gained the recognition for the creation of St. Wenceslas cult and sanctification in the late 10th century. There is a written evidence dating from the 12th century of the festive hymn "St. Wenceslas, the prince of Czech country", which became the Czech hymn in which people turned to St. Wenceslas for help.

In the Christian tradition St. Wenceslas is mainly pictured in the armour with an iron shirt, a prince cap or helmet, a sword and shield in his hand and a flag with the Přemysl Dynasty female eagle (statue of St. Wenceslas by Parléř in St. Wenceslas Chapel in the Cathedral of St. Vitus at the Prague Castle) or an armour rider on the horse-back (Monument of St. Wenceslas by Myslbek in St. Wenceslas Square in Prague). Nowadays relics of St. Wenceslas are deposited in St. Wenceslas Chapel, built above the saint´s grave in the Cathedral of St. Vitus.

Mgr. Martin Jakab
Regional Museum in Český Krumlov

The Legend of St. Wenceslas
About the year 960

Look, the prophecy by Lord Jesus has come true: It will surely happen during the last days, and these days, as we assume, have just come, a brother revolts against his brother, a son against his father, and they become enemies against a man. Because people get ruthless to each other, but God will retaliate their acts.

Once upon a time there was a Bohemia prince called Vratislav and his wife called Drahomíra. Their firstborn son was given a name Wenceslas. When he grew up, his father Vratislav invited a bishop, his notary and clergy in order give his son cropping. First there was Mass and then the bishop took the boy in front of the altar and asked God to show favour to him: "Lord Jesus bless this boy, as you have blessed all of us." After he had been given his blessing, the boy was cropped. We assume, the boy was protected by the grace of God. His grandmother Ludmila wanted him to learn from Slavic books under the guidance of the priest.

When his father Vratislav died, the Bohemians raised prince Wenceslas to the throne. His brother Boleslav grew up under his protection because both of them were still too young. But their mother Drahomíra managed the country and ruled the people until Wenceslas grew up. His four sisters got married into different principalities. Prince Wenceslas was well-educated as well as very pious. He did poor people the kindness. For example, he gave people clothes, fed the hungry, took the Eucharist, protected widows, loved all the people, truckled to men of God, decorated churches with gold, because he believed in God with all his heart.

Well, men of Bohemia became conceited, but their ruler was still too young, and Satan gave them an idea to rebel against Wenceslas like the Jews had done against Christ. As it is said: Everyone who rebels against his ruler is similar to Judas. They said to Boleslav: "Your brother Wenceslas is going to kill you and he has already agreed with his mother and his men on it." The same beasts tried to incite Wenceslas to drive out his blameless mother. But Wenceslas was aware of the fear of God and remembered the words: Respect your father and mother and you will love one´s neighbour like you love yourself. In order to fulfil Lord Jesus justice, he brought his mother back, and repented of his sin very much. He repented of his sins and respected his mother, and she was delighted in his faith and goodness. He did people the kindness as well as he bought off and freed slaves. He built churches at all the castles and all men of God of many nations were seen to. As Lord Jesus put into his heart, he built the church of St. Vitus. However, Satan grew the evil in his brother Boleslav´s heart, so his soul had never been freed from sin. When there was the day of St. Jimram, the beasts invited Boleslav and laid a devilś ambensh against his brother Wenceslas, like the Jewish had done against Jesus Christ.

Whenever there was the celebration of the church consecration, Wenceslas attended at it. He walked into Boleslav´s castle on Sunday, saint´s day of Kosma and Damian. After Mass he was getting ready to set on his journey home. But his brother Boleslav stopped him and asked: "Why are you leaving, my brother? Stay with us." Wenceslas could not refuse his brother´s invitation, sat onto the horse-back and started the game along with his train at Boleslav´s castle. Someone must have told him: "Your brother Boleslav wants to kill you." But he did not believe him. During the night the beasts met at the courtyard which belonged to one of the murders, a man called Hněvsa. They called Boleslav and decided on the devil´s device against Wenceslas. They said: When he goes to morning Mass, we will spy on him."

Early in the morning, as soon as Wenceslas heard the church bell, he said: "Thank you My Lord, you let me wait to see this morning." He got up and went to morning Mass. His brother Boleslav caught up with him at the gate. Wenceslas looked at him and said: "My Brother, you treated us very well yesterday." Satan bent to Boleslav´s ear and spoiled his heart, he replied: "Now I would like to treat you even better." He hit his head with a sword. Wenceslas turned to him and asked: "What are you doing, my brother?" But Boleslav knocked him to the ground. A man called Tuža came hurrying up and stroke Wenceslas hand. He was injured and rushed into the church. The two beasts called Tira and Česta beat him to death in the church gate. Hněvsa turned up and stabbed him with a sword into his side. Wenceslas died immediately. A man called Mstina, a man of Wenceslas train, was also murdered at that castle. The others were murdered on their journey to Prague, some of them scattered all over the country. Even some infants were murdered. Many women got married again, men of God were expelled and a lot of devil´s acts were done. Then Tira said to Boleslav: "Let us murder your mother, too. You can get over the loss of your brother and mother at the same time." However, Boleslav said: "She has nowhere to go, there is no need to hurry." They left Wenceslas´ cut body on the ground and disappeared. A priest called Krastěj took his body and put it down in front of the church and covered with a blanket. As soon as his mother had learned of his dead, she hurried to look for him. When she saw him, she started to cry. She picked up all his limbs, washed them, got him dressed and took him into the church. She ran away because she was very frightened of being murdered. Her son Boleslav did not catch her. He ordered a priest called Paul to say a prayer to Wenceslas´ dead body.

The respectable body of Wenceslas, a good and fair admirer of God and lover of Jesus Christ, was buried and his soul left his body and went to God. However, it had taken three days before his blood soaked into the ground. The third day his blood disappeared and rose in the church above his body, so everyone could see it and was very amazed. However, everyone hoped to see a bigger miracle, because Wenceslas´ suffering was equal to saint martyrs and Christ´s suffering. The Jewish people agreed on his death, his body was cut the same as Peter´s body and infants were murdered.

On 28 September prince Wenceslas was murdered. The Lord granted peace to his soul in the place of eternal rest with all the honest people and those innocent people who were murdered because of him. The mercy of God converted unbelievers to faith and their hearts of stone turned over a new leaf and admitted their guilt. Even Boleslav remembered committing his sin, prayed to God and all his saints, he carried his brother´s body to Prague and said: "I have committed a sin and I am aware of it." On 4 March prince Wenceslas´ body was carried into the church of St. Vitus and put along the right side of the twelve apostles´ altar. Let God place his soul within the close Abraham, Izac and Abraham circle, where all the honest are waiting to raise from the dead. Immortal fame to our Lord. Amen.

Mgr. Martin Jakab
Regional Museum in Český Krumlov

St. Wenceslas traditions in the town of Český Krumlov

The 2nd annual of St. Wenceslas Celebrations is being held in Český Krumlov on 26 - 28 September 2003. The ceremony is held in honour of St. Wenceslas, a patron saint of the Czech country and town of Český Krumlov, as well as "the autumn celebration of good food and drink, plenty of games and entertainment" according to the Culture Calendar 2003.

The 2nd annual of St. Wenceslas Celebrations 2003 will certainly attract visitors´ attention by a lot of entertainment and a large scale of commerce (St. Wenceslas street market in the main square, St. Wenceslas menu in ten restaurants and making an attempt to beat the last year record for the total number of people called Wenceslas meeting in one place on the same day, etc.). However, the organizers do not want to forget the religious content of the celebrations, for example, festive divine services, concerts, culture programs having St. Wenceslas general subject as well as the second annual of night "rendez-vouz" given in museums and galleries during the St. Wenceslas night, when their expositions and music performances are available to all visitors free of charge, on 27 September 2003 from 08:00 p.m. to 12:00 p.m.

On the occasion of the celebrations we would like to remind briefly the history of St. Wenceslas respect, which is inseparably connected with the sanctification of prince Wenceslas, murdered in 935, shortly after his death. He was sanctified a patron saint of the Czech country. The second oldest hymn, St. Wenceslas, the prince of Czech country, dating from the 12th century was composed in his honour.

St. Wenceslas traditions in the town of Český Krumlov go back to the early 14th century. In 1302 Peter I of Rosenberg, a Český Krumlov ruler from 1310 to 1348, had the Chapel of St. Wenceslas built next to the parish church (nowadays there is the Elementary School of Applied-arts, Kostelní St. No. 161). There is a written evidence of the chapel in the document dating from 1347.

In the honour of St. Wenceslas, one of the altars in the Church of St. Vitus is traditionally consecrated to him. There are some written evidences proving the existence of the St. Wenceslas altar, for example, in the year 1439, 1508 or 1562. The St. Wenceslas altar can also be seen at the present parish temple. It was built in the Neo- gothic style in the second half of the 19th century.

So called "winter chapel" clings to the St. Wenceslas temple, newly built from the northern sacristy and consecrated to St. Wenceslas in 1997. The altar picture of St. Wenceslas was painted by MUDr. Václav Bedřich of Český Krumlov.

Other evidence how to honour St. Wenceslas is the decoration of some buildings in Český Krumlov. For example, on the ground-floor of citizen´s house No. 15 in Latrán St. where the Gothic style wall paintings from the early 15th century have been preserved. St Wenceslas pictured in other region patrons company - St. Vojtěch, St. Vitus, St. Zikmund, St. Ludmila and St. Prokop. The Renaissance style paintings in the lunettes under the ledges of the former Jesuit dormitory, nowadays the Hotel Růže in Horní St. No. 154. The figure of St. Wenceslas carrying a flag can be easily found in the lunette, on the left side above the gate. A medallion of St. Wenceslas and other patron saint is in the front, adapted in the Classicism style, of the house No. 74, Široká St. The Marian plague column in the main square bears an ornamental sculpture of the Virgin Mary and other patrons saint - patrons of the town and helpers against the plague, created by Matěj Václav Jäckel in the years 1714 - 1716. An ornamental sculpture of St. Wenceslas is placed in the upper line together with statues of St. Vitus, St. Jan Evangelista and St. Juda Tadeáš. An ornamental sculpture of St. Wenceslas by Jan Antonín Zinner (1747) also can be seen as a decoration of Plášťový Bridge at the Castle. The original ornamental sculpture has been replaced by a copy and deposited in the castle lapidary.

Singing "St. Wenceslas hymn" was other form how to honour St. Wenceslas. That is closely connected with George Bílek of Bílenberk, a prelate, who had established the foundation in the honour of regional patron St. Wenceslas, so that "St. Wenceslas hymn is played and sung every Sunday and holiday after the morning mass", before he died in 1657, 346 years ago.

That tradition was renewed by the members of the Readers´ Education Association, when in 1934 the tablet in the honour of George Bílek of Bílenberk was unveiled on the building of the Prelature in Horní St. (the tablet was taken down by German ordners in the autumn 1938 and put back in 1997).

Some events dating from the last century belong to present St. Wenceslas traditions, for example, the Celebrations of St. Wenceslas held on 27 and 28 September 1945 - on the weekdays - Thursday and Friday. The Celebrations were being held in the whole country. The Czechoslovakia government wanted to celebrate the first year of the Republic freedom with a special spectacular character. On 27 October the celebrations started by a half hour-bell ringing in the whole country, as well as in Český Krumlov. The festive procession with torches arrived at the main square from the Temple of St. Vitus, where the commanders of Czechoslovakian and American armies made a speech after St. Wenceslas hymn had been sung. State anthems were played by the US army ensemble. On the morning 28 October there had been a festive march in the main square before the office for the dead in the war was celebrated in the Church of St. Vitus and the program was closed by the noon concert performed in front of the town hall.

Organizers of the present St. Wenceslas Celebrations can continue old traditions. Let us wish them success and many satisfied participants - residents and visitors.

The Regional Museum of Český Krumlov contributes to the 2nd annual of St. Wenceslas Celebrations by giving a mini exhibition "Autumn exposition" as well as integrating their expositions and exhibitions into the night of open museums and galleries.

Mgr. Petr Jelínek
Director of Regional Museum in Český Krumlov

Further information :
Places of Interest in Český Krumlov
Tourist Service in Český Krumlov
Culture and Society in Český Krumlov
Important cultural events in the year 2002
Important cultural events in the year 2003
Information Service in Český Krumlov
Event Calendar for Český Krumlov
Culture and Society in the Český Krumlov Region

© Sdružení Oficiálního informačního systému Český Krumlov, 2004
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