I'm not a great one for crowded places, and in any case the weather was cold and grey, but I thought I ought not to leave Prague without seeing the Old Town Square, Staromestské náměstí. I took a few photos and was just about to leave when the sun came out, for about 20 minutes. There was some nice cross lighting on the famous astronomical clock on the side of the old town hall, just off the square, and part of the sky turned almost black, providing a dramatic background for the light buildings and the Hus monument.

Jan Hus (1372-1415) was burned at the stake as a heretic for protesting at the sale of Indulgences, a scheme which allowed people to "offset" some or all of their sins by paying money to the Church, at that time to fund the inter-papal wars – the same protest that got Martin Luther into trouble in Wittenberg 100 years later (although not into so much trouble). Hus immediately became a national hero, and the anniversary of his death on 6 July is now a Czech national holiday.

Embedded in the pavement in front of the town hall are 27 white crosses, commemorating the 27 Protestant leaders who were publicly and very brutally executed in the square in 1621, on the order of Emperor Ferdinand II, after the Czech Protestants had been defeated in the Battle of Bílá Hora.

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