Burning of Vestec - history

Burning of Vestec

Unusually - perhaps under the influence of the hot summer - I was reminded of an event that is not mentioned in our Vestec chronicle, but on the contrary, other memoirs and some literary works pay enough attention to it.

In the next few years it will be 500 years since Vestec (then referred to as Vesce) was burned.

Why did this happen? At that time, one of the most feared of all brigands was the knight Jiří Kopidlanský. Between 1506 and 1508, the whole of Prague and the surrounding countryside was excited by his abominable deeds. They had their origin in a brutal murder committed by his brother Jan at a fair in the Old Town Square, for which he was handed over to the executioner by the Prague constables, although as a nobleman he was not under their jurisdiction according to the established law.

The avenger from Kopideln did not dare to attack the royal city of Prague, so he punished the Prague inhabitants indirectly - he burned their suppliers, i.e. the surrounding villages. His rough cronies dug through the dams of ponds, ambushed and killed townspeople on the roads. Stables and pigsties, entire farms were subject to the lord's work.

That's when rich Michle burned. Alarm bells rang in Nusle and Vršovice. Residential buildings, barns full of crops and granaries lay in ashes, cattle mooed, dogs barked.

Only the Haunted defended themselves. 30 men went forward determined to protect the property. Strašnické women and children attacked with axes, pitchforks, as in the time of Jan Žižka. Kopidlansky and his murderers were frightened and turned towards Vestec, which belonged to the Novoměstský at that time.

And so half a millennium ago, in the hot summer of 1508, flames licked the wooden buildings of Vestec and the same fate befell the neighbouring Jesenice that night.

So much for the satisfaction of a knight's dishonored pride.

Blanka Pašková, chronicler