The Defenestration of Prague – coined in 1618 after an incident at Prague Castle which preceded the Thirty Years War.
Ironically, my travel partners and myself were sitting in a restaurant in Prague when the subject of defenestration first came up. While none of us knew of the defenestration of Prague prior to this discussion, we laughed at the concept and the breakdown of the term. As per wikipedia: “Defenestration is the act of throwing someone or something out of a window. The term “defenestration” was coined around the time of an incident in the Prague Castle in the year 1618. The word comes from the Latin de- (down or away from) and fenestra (window or opening)”.
(Snapped a quick photo of the window to share – quality of photo not very good as the taking of photos was supposed to be prohibited! We later learned that, while prohibited, everyone was taking pictures anyway – we probably need not have worried!)
The following morning, we headed out to tour Prague Castle – imagine our delight as we stumbled upon the window for the actual defenestration! No wonder the 2 regents and secretary were only injured and not killed when being thrown from the window – the height was clearly not high enough to be fatal! The defenestrated individuals were also fortunate enough to fall on a pile of manure, cushioning their fall!
While reading more about the history of the defenestration, I found this video of a reconstruction of the 1419 defenestration on Toptenz’s post.
Link to vimeo video: http://vimeo.com/6155833