Homepage About the City History Story of Coat of Arms

Story of Coat of Arms

Pilsen inhabitants had already had a greyhound brach in the coat of arms of their town before the year 1433. By the 15th century, people believed that the greyhound brach symbolised faithfulness to the Catholic Church and to the Czech king. At that time, red escutcheon with silver greyhound brach inside it formed the base of the town coat of arms.

Historical Coat of Arms of the City of Pilsen

The coat of arms was enriched soon after the year 1433. Then, the Roman emperor Zikmund of Luxembourg added a camel to the coat of arms of the Pilsen citizens. The golden double-hunch camel on a blue ground was supposed to commemorate the feats of Pilsen citizens at the time of an unsuccessful Hussite siege of the West Bohemian metropolis. Current research proved that the original colour of this ground was not green but blue. Soon after the year 1433, our ancestors themselves added a figure of an angel-the-shield-fetcher to their coat of arms.

During the rule of Jiri of Podebrady, Pilsen became a member of the Green-mountain Union. Therefore, supported by the pope curia in Rome, it was in war with the Czech king. To commemorate this faithfulness to Rome against the majority of the Czech nation, the pope Paul II issued a deed that brought two new fields to the two older ones of the coat of arms. Since that time, the Pilsen coat of arms was composed of a square escutcheon.

The two new fields symbolised the pope with his institution and also the relationship of Bohemia to the Roman Empire. There were two upward-aimed golden pope keys, reverse to each other in a silver field, and a rightward looking knight with a sword on his belt. He held a half of a black eagle in his right hand. In the second half of the 15th century, our ancestors extended the coat of arms themselves once more. This time, they added a centre heart escutcheon. It shows the original content of Pilsen seal from the end of the 13th century.

Coat of Arms of the City of Pilsen

Political and religious rivalry between Catholic majority and non-Catholic minority in Pilsen in the second half of the 16th century ended in victory for the majority. Nevertheless, the main part of the non-Catholics continued to live and work in the town. In the year 1578, in proof of the victory of the Catholic Church, the pope Gregory the XIII  added a high upright golden cross on a green triple hill  to the coat of arms of our town.

There was a golden sign on the triple hill "In hoc signo vinces" (You are going to win under this sign). There were other heraldric elements in the rendering of the pope deed, e.g. an olive spring, two helmets and a pole-axe. It was at that occassion that the Pilsen coat of arms got its final form. It has been preserved till today.