Winning by a slight majority, Prague City Hall councillors have approved installing a replica of the Marian Column on Old Town Square (Staroměstske náměsti). The Baroque victory column adorned with a Virgin Mary at the summit was taken down by a crowd on November 3, 1918. For the last two decades, the idea of erecting a replica has been widely debated.
The news of the column’s possible comeback has probably been received with much delight by dedicated Czech sculptor Petr Váňa. Váňa has spent the last 23 years reconstructing the sandstone replica. The project began in 1997 when Váňa was approached by the Society of the Reconstruction of the Marian Column for old Town Square in Prague. Slowly the proposal transformed more into a personal passion project and Váňa began to work on it using his own funds. The city has twice rejected the column’s erection, but Váňa persisted.
Without valid building permits, in May 2019 he attempted to prepare the site for the restoration of the column but was cut short by authorities. On June 15, 2019, a rally in Old Town Square was held in support of the restoration of the column.
The column was originally built in honour of the Virgin Mary Immaculate for helping fight the Swedes. It made its debut shortly after the Thirty Years’ War on Thanksgiving, one of the most destructive religious wars in Europan history.
You could also use the column to tell the solar time! At noon the column would leave a shadow that indicated the ‘Prague Meridian’.
However, following the Czechoslovakian independence in 1918, a crowd gathered and destroyed the column. To them, the column symbolized Habsburgs reign and was not a celebration of Czech development. The original fragments of the original are currently at the National Museum