Central European History


The Prague Uprising of 1611: Property, Politics, and Catholic Renewal in the Early Years of Habsburg Rule

James R. Palmitessaa1

a1 Western Michigan University

In 1618, members of the Bohemian estates threw Habsburg officials out of a window of the Prague castle. The Prague defenestration, which has been viewed as the catalyst for the outbreak of the Thirty Years’ War, is one of the best known acts of uprising in early modern Europe. Less well known is an earlier popular uprising that took place below the castle in the Old and New Cities of Prague on Carnival Tuesday, 15 February 1611. In the midst of a bizarre diplomatic and military episode during which foreign troops led by the Bishop of Passau invaded the city, mobs plundered cloisters and monasteries and, in a few cases, threw members of religious orders from church towers.