Talk:Defenestrations of Prague

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At Hradčany castle on May 23, 1618, a number of them took two Imperial governors and a scribe and threw them out of the castle windows; they landed in some manure, and neither of them was severely injured.

"Neither"? There were three of them; do you mean "none"? Marnanel 14:10, May 1, 2004 (UTC)

Defenstration on Czechoslovakia[edit]

There were two incidents in the history of Bohemia, and one in the history of Czechoslovakia...
Where is the difference? What happened between 1419 and 1618? --Nk 13:12, 20 Sep 2004 (UTC)
AFAICS the author has meant the two defenestrations of 1419 and 1618 as those two in the history of Bohemia, and the "defenestration" of Jan Masaryk in 1948 as that one in the history of Czechoslovakia. The paragraph is a little bit unclear. But, primarily, the incident of Masaryk's death is not normally called defenestration, AFAIAA. It could be mentioned as a sidenote, but IMHO not on the same level of importance as the defenestrations of Prague. --Mormegil 14:22, 20 Sep 2004 (UTC)

Multiple issues (please keep them separate and organised)[edit]

Actually, there are more mistakes in this page:

  1. The murder of Mr. Masaryk is not considered to be defenestration and unfortunately it has never been officially concluded that he was actually killed (although, I believe so; the only alternatives is that he was lead by the Communist terror to commit a suicide, which does not make much difference to me in terms of guilt).
  2. There is one more defenestration missing (which is quite common, most Czech histories omit it although it was the most widespread and the most bloody of them). In September 1483 ALL magistrates from all three Prague city-halls (Prague used to be separated into three independent cities then) were thrown out of the windows and killed, because they were suspected to be anti-hussites. The pogrom was also extended to some monasteries were some monks were killed and (of course :-) to the Prague Jewish Ghetto (just for fun, I am afraid).
  3. Actually the defenestrations in Prague were so numerous that Jerome K. Jerome wrote in “Three Men on a Bummel” (sequel to more known “Three Men in a Boat”) that the fact there had been some successful agreements concluded in Prague means that they had to be agreed upon in a basement.

At Prague Castle on May 23, 1618, an assembly of Protestants tried two Imperial governors, Wilhelm Graf Slavata (1572 - 1652) and Jaroslav Borzita Graf von Martinicz (1582 - 1649), for violating the Letter of Majesty, found them guilty, and threw them, together with their scribe Fabricius, out of the high castle windows, where they landed on a large pile of manure. They survived."

Compare with....

"They began their rebellion in grand Czech style, with the Second Defenestration of Prague in 1618. In this second defenestration, two vice-regents of the Austrian monarch and some governors of the Czech lands were thrown out of a tower window at Prague Castle. They were not killed, however, as they fell onto a pile of garbage (mostly straw) which had accumulated in the castle moat." Radio Prague, cited at

How many were really defenestrated that day? Were there governors? More importantly, was there horse shit, or was there none? TheMadBaron 17:47, 26 October 2005 (UTC)

pics of the windows[edit]

hi all, i've been to prague and have taken photos of (what i think) are the sites of the four defenestrations listed on the wikipedia article. the masaryk one may be a stretch, but the tourism info agent said she thought he'd been thrown into the courtyard from the northeast corner of the building. i have a picture of the building and a (not very good) glimpse into said courtyard.

yeah, so do folks think it's a good idea to include these pictures in the article?

--- A picture of of the said window may be found at the Czech Ministry of Foreign Affairs' website - Czech only, but the window is indicated by a small arrow; see:


Window height[edit]

They were thrown from "out of the 3200 ft high windows"? That seems rather high... -- (talk) 13:39, 29 October 2008 (UTC)

Agreed. According to, it was an estimated 27 ells fall. According to, 1 ell = 37 to 45 inches. Cited text from 17th century says it equals 5/4 yards (= 45 inches = 1143 mm). So the height of the windows wouldn't be mugh higher than 31 metres (= 102 feet). I'll fix it. (talk) 18:02, 22 March 2009 (UTC)


The word 'Churmusian' is used a few times in the article. Can someone explain what this is? Googling the word 'Churmusian' yields 3 results, which all link to this article and its circulation elsewhere. --HHermans 17:37, 13 May 2007 (UTC)


So is pushing someone out of a window a Czech tradition or something? Brutannica 23:06, 23 May 2007 (UTC)

Yes, if he deserves it... Unfortunately, nowadays it's not considered a proper way of removing from office. But I strongly recommend to restore this tradition:-))-- (talk) 11:52, 7 February 2008 (UTC)

Contradiction: Žižka vs. Želivský[edit]

I tagged both this article and Jan Žižka as contradicting each other for the following reasons:

So who exactly led the those who threw the town councillors from the windows during the First Defenestrations of Prague? This article currently says it was Jan Želivský while the Jan Žižka article currently says it was him. Or was it the same guy? Thanks. Zzyzx11 (Talk) 12:30, 28 July 2007 (UTC)

Not the same... a quick google search on both men seems to indicate that Zelivsky was a priest and was involved in the defenestration... While Zizka was a Hussite general and became involved in the aftermath. Thus I think this article is correct and the Zizka article is incorrect. Blueboar 18:03, 2 August 2007 (UTC)
This site does a good job at clarifying the difference. Based on that, I have corrected the Zelivsky article so as to no longer say he was the leader of the Defenestration. Conflict resolved. Tag removed. Blueboar 18:32, 2 August 2007 (UTC)


To say that he was "almost certainly" murdered may be going a little too far, given the statement in the article Jan_Masaryk to the effect that three official investigations (including one carried out after the Velvet Revolution) found that he committed suicide. (talk) —Preceding undated comment added 22:25, 4 May 2009 (UTC). On the other hand, it was said by the general population at the time: "Jan Masaryk was a very tidy man. He was so tidy that he closed the window after himself when he jumped" — Preceding unsigned comment added by John of Wood Green (talkcontribs) 11:33, 6 December 2012 (UTC)

Window photo[edit]

The photo of the tower of the second defenstration shows three windows. Which one's the one? AxelBoldt (talk) 19:21, 2 January 2010 (UTC)

The article says it was the third story window. Hbomberman (talk) 20:21, 12 October 2010 (UTC)

"Third Story Window" is somewhat confusing. In North America and some other countries, the first floor is the ground floor. In Europe, the first floor is the next floor up from the ground. So from a North American perspective, was it on the third floor, or the fourth floor? I.e. was it two floors above the ground floor, or three? The photo doesn't show the bottom of the building and doesn't point out what window it was from, so all around it is hard to figure what window they came out of. So what is the point of the photo? See the confusion?
Theshowmecanuck (talk) 05:59, 9 December 2011 (UTC)
Also it would be nice to see better context in the picture. Just showing the windows is far too narrow. Showing more of the building and the ground/base of the building I think is very important. It should give a better understanding on the size of the building. If someone has a photo like that they would want to post, it would be nice.
Theshowmecanuck (talk) 05:59, 9 December 2011 (UTC)
Again, the article currently reads "third floor" which means different things in different parts of the anglophone world. "Storey" may be a better word to use than "floor".
Varlaam (talk) 03:54, 23 January 2012 (UTC) (Canada)

I doubt if the picture really shows the window from which the second defenestration occured. According to the tourist guidebook which I was using during my visit to Prague few weeks ago, the place of defenestration is marked by the obelisques. There are two of them in that place - one is shown at the photo in the article, but it's located in some distance (about 10 m) from the walls of the castle, so it cannot mark the precise place on which the thrown out people felt. The second one stands just beside the wall (right, perpendicular to the front wall which is shown on the article picture) and under the windows. Here is the photo I have taken: . I think the second defenestration window is the one on the top floor. You can also see it at the article picture - just left from the top of the obelisque. Of course both windows are located in the same room, just on the different walls, but I think it's important to be precise and correct this information. :) (talk) 10:10, 24 May 2013 (UTC)BoldSnake

Dead Link[edit]

The external link 'Descendants of those defenestrated' is a dead link to an AOL service that has been discontinued. I have not removed it, just noted it. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:39, 30 July 2010 (UTC)

As is traditional?[edit]

I'm unsure from the way the article is written -- what is traditional in Prague? Bribing their way into the palace or throwing catholics out windows? I've been there and never observed either of these acts ;) (talk) 12:49, 23 May 2011 (UTC)

(Actually "customary".) It's also unclear who is supposed to have said or written this - the quotes suggest it's a quote from somewhere, but where?Ewx (talk) 11:57, 26 October 2011 (UTC)

In Popular Culture section is trivia[edit]

I’m not at all convinced the current (30 Rock) reference really meets the criteria outlined in Wikipedia:"In_popular_culture"_content, anyone care to argue otherwise? Ewx (talk) 18:32, 23 January 2012 (UTC)

Otherwise, yes.
The point of those WP criteria is so that every time anyone anywhere says "Madonna", it does not lead to a bullet point in WP.
That is hardly the case here, where an obscure incident in Bohemian history which triggers the Thirty Years War — a war which is virtually unknown, sad to say, to the vast majority of English-speaking people — gets mentioned in a popular US source.
When this list grows to 8 or 10 items — an event which may occur 30 years from now — then it will be reasonable to reduce the size of the list a little bit.
Varlaam (talk) 00:26, 24 January 2012 (UTC)
How do you think it meets those criteria? It plainly can’t meet 1; 2 and 3 are possible but you’ve provided no evidence for them.
Where do you get your claimed rationale for the criteria from? Ewx (talk) 09:04, 24 January 2012 (UTC)

Who calls them "defenestrations"?[edit]

This article makes several references to the question of which events are "called" or "referred to as" defenestrations. Who is doing the calling or referring-to? Was the name "defenestration" used at the time, or is it a more recent word used now to describe historical events? If the former, who used it (the injured side, the victorious side, or a third party?). If the latter, when was the term introduced and by whom? What are these events commonly called in Czech? mooncow 10:27, 28 November 2012 (UTC)

btw, this source -- -- suggests that "defenestration" was coined in 1620 to describe the 1618 event. mooncow 10:36, 28 November 2012 (UTC)
It seems that in the original Apologia issued a day or two after the 1618 events, they were referred to simply as "throwing out of the window": 'Apologia oder Entschuldigungsschrift, auß was für Vrsachen alle drey Stände deß Königreichs Böheimb, so unter beyder gestalt den Leib und Blut des Herrn Christi empfangen ...', page 21 lines 11–12 ( — "so sie [...] gewesen nach altem Gebrauch aus dem fenster geworfen" ("they [...] have been thrown out of the window after ancient custom"). So the word "defenestration" (or its equivalent in German or other applicable local language) would seem to have been coined later. mooncow 11:19, 28 November 2012 (UTC)

First defenestration - how many dead?[edit]

First there's "killing of seven members of the city council", and then there's "judge, the burgomaster, and some thirteen members of the town council out of the window and into the street, where they were killed by the fall or dispatched by the mob", and that makes 15. Could it be that "seven" should be "several" which is the word used Catholic Encyclopedia reference? Masonmilan (talk) 12:07, 23 May 2014 (UTC)