Sometime in the 15th century, a prophecy was laid out for the salvation of the Czech Republic. This salvation would be foreshadowed by certain signs, and would only come when the country reached rock bottom. This is the legend of the Knights of Blaník.
Near the village of Býkovice, there’s a long, flat mountain called Blaník. On the east side of the mountain, there’s a rock poking out that looks like a Gothic-style arch, with a brook spurting out underneath. This is the entrance to the inside of the mountain, where St. Wencelas’ army sleeps, waiting for the Czech Republic to be in the direst state possible so that they can emerge from the mountain and fight off the enemies of the Bohemian lands for a new age of peace.
The prophecy, probably originally conceived by celts and then most famously adapted by Alois Jirásek in his 1894 book called Staré pověsti české (Ancient Bohemian Legends), calls for certain signs of the Knights’ arrival.
First, the trees in Blaník’s forest will wilt, but an old dead oak tree on the mountain’s summit will revive itself with new greenery. The mountain’s little stream will suddenly overflow with water and morph into a sizeable river, and an epic battle will arise between the Czech people and their enemies. Just as the battle starts to look hopeless, St. Wenecelas knights will burst out of Blaník on a white horse followed by his knights in full armour to crush the invaders, cornering them in Prague to finish the battle.
The battle is supposed to be bloody, but the Czechs will come out stronger than before, and be impervious to any invasions in the future.
The Czech Republic is said to be the most atheist country in Europe. But after communism, COVID, and more to come, Czechs are still waiting for a saviour just like everyone else.