World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Sword of Saint Wenceslas

Article Id: WHEBN0045286430
Reproduction Date:

Title: Sword of Saint Wenceslas  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Treasury of St. Vitus Cathedral, Sword of state, Legbiter, Hrotti, Ceremonial weapon
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Sword of Saint Wenceslas

The Sword

The Sword of Saint Wenceslas or the Coronation Sword of Bohemia is a ceremonial sword used in the Kingdom of Bohemia during coronation ceremonies in Prague. The blade of the Sword dates back to the 10th century, to the times of St. Wenceslaus. Together with the so-called Coronation Cross it is sometimes considered to be a part of the Bohemian Crown Jewels. Unlike the proper crown jewels the sword and the cross are permanently displayed as part of the Treasury of St. Vitus Cathedral in the Holy Cross Chapel at the Prague Castle.


  • History 1
  • Description 2
  • References 3
  • External links 4


St. Wenceslas Sword

Until the 19th century it was believed that the sword was an authentic weapon used by Duke Wenceslas in the 10th century. Later, the sword was considered to be Gothic, made in the 14th century probably by Charles IV who made the new ceremonial crown, which was also dedicated to the main Czech parton saint, St. Wenceslaus. However, a recent detailed technological examination of the sword confirmed that the sword blade was made in the early Middle Ages (probably in the 10th century) and the sword thus really could have belonged to St. Wenceslas. The cross on the blade was probably made later in the Middle Ages and the guard and pommel were added perhaps in the 13th century. In the treasure of St. Vitus Cathedral there are preserved also a helmet and mail shirt, which most likely are Wenceslas’s original armor as well.[1]

The sword was first mentioned in 1333 in the articles of inventory of the Treasury of the St. Vitus Cathedral. It is not clear when the sword was first used during coronations but in the Coronation Ordo written by Charles IV (maybe in 1347) the sword already had its ceremonial role.[1] The sword was carried by the supreme marshal of the Bohemian Kingdom in front of the king alongside the other crown jewels in the ceremonial procession to the main altar of Prague Cathedral.[2] Before the king was crowned he was given the blessed sword for a while and after the coronation itself, the sword was used for the purpose of granting knighthoods at the end of the coronation mess.


The Coronation Sword as part of the Czech Crown Jewels

The iron blade length is 76 cm, at the widest point is 45 mm and has a ripped hole in a cross shape (45 x 20 mm). The wooden handle is covered with yellow-brown fabric and velvet embroidered with the ornament of laurel twigs with thick silver thread.


  1. ^ a b "The St. Wenceslas Sword". České korunovační klenoty. Retrieved 2 February 2015. 
  2. ^ Hrbek, Jiří (2010). České barokní korunovace. Praha: Nakladatelství Lidové noviny. p. 86.  

External links

Media related to at Wikimedia Commons

This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from World eBook Library are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.