Marian Column in Prague

Czech Republic

By Contested Histories Initiative

On February 15, 2020, work began on re-erecting the Marian Column Monument in Prague, which had been torn down on November 3, 1918. The column had stood in Old Town Square for more than 250 years before becoming the focus of tensions between religious and nationalist groups. Proponents of its re-erection see the column as part of Prague’s cultural and artistic history, with additional significance for Catholics. The opposition, however, considers the column to be a symbol of the Habsburg imperial oppression of the Czech people, including enforced Catholicism, and there are also practical concerns given there is not enough of the original monument to make a new column anything other than a copy. This case focuses on how the re-erection of the monument in 2020 is the latest event in a long-running saga stretching back over 100 years and has drawn mixed reactions from different groups.

For the case study click here.