Plague Column

Holy Trinity Column, Antonin Schweigel, Brno, Czech Republic 

Public Art: Plague Column

Also Known As: Morovy sloup

Architect: © Johann Baptist Erna

Sculptors: © Ferdinand Pflanndler , Jan Kaspar, Bartolomej Rabensteiner and Baltazar Frobel.

Description: The Baroque Plague stone column which is known as a Marian or Holy Trinity structure was erected in the 17th century. On the top of the column stands the statue of the Holy Mary by Ferdinand Pflanndler. A statue of Saint Rosalia also by Pflanndler can be found in the "grotta", she is the patron of the City of Palermo and also the patron saint against the plague. The statues of Saint Roch, Saint Sebastian, Saint Francis Xavier and Saint Charles Borromeo can be found on each corner of the pillar. They all were patrons against the plague and sickness. Oh and Saint Francis Xavier was also known to cure sick people.

Date : The Plague column was built in 1679 on the site of an old Marian column.

Location: The Plague Column can be found in Liberty Square (Namesti Svobody), Brno, Czech Republic.

As Legend Has It: In 1679, following the Austro-Hungarian famine, a plague , known as the Great Plague of Vienna , swept through Europe. The Brno burghers (middle class city dwellers), who feared the black death would call upon their city (but more importantly THEM), decided to organise a large procession. The townfolk carried the image of the Virgin Mary of St Thomas through the streets and prayed/begged for her to have mercy on them. A promise was made that if they were spared the horrors of the Black Death they would erect a pillar in the Virgin Mary's honour . Despite numerous deaths associated with the plague the burghers were basically spared so they kept their promise. They did, however, make sure they hedged their bets by building the pillar in the centre of town where the richest burghers lived and also adorning the pillar with patron saints of protection, namely the plague and sickness.

Acknowledgements: A special thank you to Silvie Bee for kindly providing the photographs.


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