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March 15, 2019

Czech Republic: Telč, Plague Column

Filed under: Czech Republic, Europe, Photography, Travel, Travel, Writing — Tags: , , , , , — anotherheader @ 5:04 pm

Telč’s Plague Column

In Český Krumlov the walking tour guide explained the purpose of the ornate pillar in the town’s central square. It was, the tour group was told, built to commemorate the end of the Plague. So now we knew. It is surprising that after years of European travel we only recently learned the purpose of these pillars. After Krumlov we were sure to look out for more Plague Columns as we traveled further.

Plague or Marian columns are distinguished by the stature of the Virgin Mary at the top. With some research we learnt later that communities commonly constructed such columns in thanksgiving for the end of traumatic events. In Krumlov’s case, and in many others, the Mary-topped columns were built to celebrate the end of the bubonic plague.

It didn’t take long for us to see another example. The next memorial to the end of the Black Death we saw was in Telč. Telč’s plague column is located prominently in the commune’s spacious central square. As plague columns go, Telč’s is ornate and elaborate. On its own the Marian pillar is an attractive piece of historic public art. But its presence is also a sober reminder of just how devastating time of the Great Plague was.

A closer look in Telč

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