Quiz about Good King Wenceslas
Quiz about Good King Wenceslas

Good King Wenceslas Trivia Quiz


Known to carol singers around the world as "Good King Wenceslas", known to Catholics as St. Wenceslaus, the story of his life is more than just a journey one winter's night.

A multiple-choice quiz by Snowman. Estimated time: 5 mins.
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Author
Snowman
Time
5 mins
Type
Multiple Choice
Quiz #
319,771
Updated
Jul 23 22
# Qns
10
Difficulty
Average
Avg Score
6 / 10
Plays
339
Awards
Top 35% Quiz
1. At the age of 13, Wenceslaus became Duke of Bohemia, succeeding his father. Its capital city, now capital of a modern European country, hosts a statue of Wenceslaus at the head of the square that also bears his name. In which city, of which Wenceslaus is patron saint, would you find this square? Hint

Sofia
Berlin
Bratislava
Prague

2. For which occupation, one for which the Czech Republic is renowned, is Wenceslaus the patron saint? Hint

Palaeontologists
Brewers
Footballers
Plumbers

3. The Catholic church celebrates St. Wenceslaus's Day on September 28th. What day does this commemorate? Hint

The national day of Bohemia
The day of his father's conversion to Christianity
The day of Wenceslaus's birth
The day of Wenceslaus's martyrdom

4. Wenceslaus was brought up by his grandmother, following his father's death. She ensured that he was raised as a Christian, against the wishes of his mother, Drahomira, who is believed to have reverted to her pagan beliefs following her husband's death. In order to gain her son back, Drahomira had her mother-in-law murdered. What was the name of the slain Duchess, whose martyrdom resulted in canonisation soon afterwards? Hint

St. Ludmila
St. Walpurga
St. Leocritia
St. Olga

5. In the early days of his rule, Wenceslaus was prepared to lay his life on the line in order to protect his soldiers and his people. When Radslav, Duke of Kourim attempted to take over Wenceslaus's kingdom, Wenceslaus challenged him to a duel rather than have his subjects fight in a war. When the time came to fight the duel, Radslav threw his sword aside and accepted defeat. Why did he do this? Hint

He saw that Wenceslaus's sword was bigger
He was commanded to by God
He saw that Wenceslaus was wearing no armour
He saw the sign of the cross on Wenceslaus's head

6. Wenceslaus built a church in his castle. Initially the intent was to dedicate the church to the Bavarian saint, Emmeram. However, Wenceslaus was given a gift by King Henry the Fowler of Saxony; a relic of a Saxon saint who is one of the Fourteen Holy Helpers of the Catholic church. To which saint, who is commonly celebrated in dance, was this church dedicated? Hint

St. Catherine
St. Martin
St. Vitus
St. Modestus

7. Legend attests of the Duke's custom of secretly taking firewood from his own forests and gifting it to the poor and needy of his kingdom in winter. His own gamekeeper noticed that the wood was going missing, so he reported his concerns to Wenceslaus. How did Wenceslaus respond? Hint

He confessed to being the thief
He urged the gamekeeper to catch the thief and whip him
He blamed the theft on his brother, Boleslav
He claimed that God had given the wood to those in need

8. The battle for control of Bohemia led to the tragically early demise of Wenceslaus in 935. Lured to his brother Boleslav's castle, for a celebration feast for saints Cosmas and Damian, he never returned home alive. He was ambushed at the one place Boleslav knew Wenceslaus would be without his guards. Where did the ambush take place? Hint

On the steps of a church
In his bedroom
In the banqueting hall of Boleslav's castle
At his grandmother's grave

9. A chapel was dedicated to Wenceslaus in the cathedral that was built in his former castle. Which king, the first Bohemian to be Holy Roman Emperor, chose to commemorate him in this way? Hint

King Ferdinand II
King Wenceslaus III
King Charles IV
King Rudolf I

10. A legend says that at a time when his motherland is in danger, Wenceslaus's statue will come to life to defend it. To help him in this endeavour will be an army on horseback who live within one of Bohemia's mountains. What is the name of these riders who will help bring eternal peace to the country? Hint

Czantori's Crusaders
Blanik's Knights
Szrenica's Saviours
Mezivrata's Mounties


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Quiz Answer Key and Fun Facts
1. At the age of 13, Wenceslaus became Duke of Bohemia, succeeding his father. Its capital city, now capital of a modern European country, hosts a statue of Wenceslaus at the head of the square that also bears his name. In which city, of which Wenceslaus is patron saint, would you find this square?

Answer: Prague

Wenceslaus became Duke of Bohemia in 921. His father, Vratislav, had been killed in a battle with Magyars, whilst protecting the dukedom. Because of his age at the time, Wenceslaus's mother, Drahomira, was appointed regent. Wenceslaus took the dukedom in his own right once he turned 18.

As well as being patron saint of Prague, Wenceslaus is also patron saint of Bohemia and the Czech Republic.
2. For which occupation, one for which the Czech Republic is renowned, is Wenceslaus the patron saint?

Answer: Brewers

St. Wenceslaus shares the patronage of brewers with St. Luke the Evangelist and St. Augustine of Hippo amongst others.

The Czech Republic is home to many beers, including the original Budweiser (known as Budvar), which came from the Bohemian town of Budweis.
3. The Catholic church celebrates St. Wenceslaus's Day on September 28th. What day does this commemorate?

Answer: The day of Wenceslaus's martyrdom

The reasons for Wenceslaus's murder were two-fold. His decision to uphold Christianity as the prime faith of Bohemia upset his mother, who was from a Slavic pagan background, and those who held power during her regency. The second cause was the payments made to the King of Saxony to protect the kingdom during Wenceslaus's reign.

His brother, Boleslav, who succeeded Wenceslaus as Duke, went to war with Saxony in an attempt to end these payments.
4. Wenceslaus was brought up by his grandmother, following his father's death. She ensured that he was raised as a Christian, against the wishes of his mother, Drahomira, who is believed to have reverted to her pagan beliefs following her husband's death. In order to gain her son back, Drahomira had her mother-in-law murdered. What was the name of the slain Duchess, whose martyrdom resulted in canonisation soon afterwards?

Answer: St. Ludmila

Ludmila had converted to Christianity along with her husband, Duke Vratislav. Drahomira was not of Czech birth so, when she was made regent, her powers had been limited and her children's upbringing placed in Ludmila's hands. Drahomira resented Ludmila's influence and sent two assassins to her castle, where she was strangled with her own veil whilst at prayer.

When miracles were reported at the site of Ludmila's grave, Drahomira had a church built over it and dedicated to St. Michael so that the miracles could be attributed to him.
5. In the early days of his rule, Wenceslaus was prepared to lay his life on the line in order to protect his soldiers and his people. When Radslav, Duke of Kourim attempted to take over Wenceslaus's kingdom, Wenceslaus challenged him to a duel rather than have his subjects fight in a war. When the time came to fight the duel, Radslav threw his sword aside and accepted defeat. Why did he do this?

Answer: He saw the sign of the cross on Wenceslaus's head

Under the rules of the duel at the time, the defeat of one duke by another would result in his lands being passed to the victor. Wenceslaus was prepared to put his life on the line, rather than have his people shed blood unnecessarily.

Radslav came to the duel heavily armed, with sword and lance, whilst Wenceslaus chose only a light sword. Radslav threw his lance at Wenceslaus and missed. Before either man could attack again, Radslav saw a bright shining light in the shape of a cross on the forehead of his opponent. Figuring that this meant that God was protecting Wenceslaus and that he could not defeat him, Radslav knelt before him to surrender his life and his lands. Rather than killing him, as tradition expected, Wenceslaus embraced his opponent and offered him back his lands for the remainder of his life.
6. Wenceslaus built a church in his castle. Initially the intent was to dedicate the church to the Bavarian saint, Emmeram. However, Wenceslaus was given a gift by King Henry the Fowler of Saxony; a relic of a Saxon saint who is one of the Fourteen Holy Helpers of the Catholic church. To which saint, who is commonly celebrated in dance, was this church dedicated?

Answer: St. Vitus

King Henry offered Wenceslaus an arm of St. Vitus to be housed in his new church, possibly as a peace offering following the Saxon siege of Prague. In commemoration of this gift, Wenceslaus named his new church after the saint. Though the church, built within Prague Castle, survives only in remnants of its foundations, St. Vitus's Cathedral was re-built in the 14th century on the same site as the original and is one of the great attractions of the city of Prague.
7. Legend attests of the Duke's custom of secretly taking firewood from his own forests and gifting it to the poor and needy of his kingdom in winter. His own gamekeeper noticed that the wood was going missing, so he reported his concerns to Wenceslaus. How did Wenceslaus respond?

Answer: He urged the gamekeeper to catch the thief and whip him

This legend, first recorded in the 13th or 14th century, is the story that forms the basis of the carol "Good King Wenceslas". The carol was written by an Englishman, John Mason Neale, and was published in 1853.

In the legend, Wenceslaus tells the gamekeeper that even if he catches the thief and whips him, he should let him keep the wood. Though the gamekeeper was confused by this, he agreed to his master's request. The gamekeeper finally caught the thief, pushed him to the ground and whipped him, not recognising that it was the Duke. The next day, the Duke returned, was caught and was whipped again. This happened each day until the winter was over.
8. The battle for control of Bohemia led to the tragically early demise of Wenceslaus in 935. Lured to his brother Boleslav's castle, for a celebration feast for saints Cosmas and Damian, he never returned home alive. He was ambushed at the one place Boleslav knew Wenceslaus would be without his guards. Where did the ambush take place?

Answer: On the steps of a church

Wenceslaus had supposedly been informed of the threat to his life but continued his normal routine nevertheless. An important part of this routine was to rise early, before his knights, and go to church for prayers before mass. Boleslav knew of this routine and took his chance to pounce as the Duke headed for the church. He struck the first blow but Wenceslaus, though unarmed, was able to deflect it and push his brother to the ground. Boleslav's accomplices continued the attack and forced Wenceslaus to flee. He sought the sanctity of the church but found the doors had been locked.

Two assassins reached him as he attempted to open the door and ran their lances through him, causing fatal injuries. A third assassin made sure of his death with a further strike. As he lay dying, Wenceslaus supposedly uttered his final words, "may God forgive you, brother."

Three years after the murder, Boleslav appeared to repent and sent for his brother's body to be re-interred in his church in Prague Castle.
9. A chapel was dedicated to Wenceslaus in the cathedral that was built in his former castle. Which king, the first Bohemian to be Holy Roman Emperor, chose to commemorate him in this way?

Answer: King Charles IV

Charles IV ordered the building of St. Vitus Cathedral in Prague Castle. He proposed the building of a chapel fit to be the resting place for his country's patron saint. The walls were to be built of amethyst and jasper and decorated with frescos depicting Wenceslaus's life.

As well as building the chapel, Charles dedicated the Czech crown to Wenceslaus's name and had his skull gilded.
10. A legend says that at a time when his motherland is in danger, Wenceslaus's statue will come to life to defend it. To help him in this endeavour will be an army on horseback who live within one of Bohemia's mountains. What is the name of these riders who will help bring eternal peace to the country?

Answer: Blanik's Knights

The legend supposedly comes from a prophecy told to King Charles IV. The knights were said to reside inside an ark-shaped area of the Blanik mountain, just beneath the summit on the southern side. Should the Czech Republic be attacked from all directions, then the mountain would open and the knights would ride on their black horses to drive the armies back to Prague. Once in Prague, they would join with Wenceslaus on his white steed to achieve the final victory.
Source: Author Snowman

This quiz was reviewed by FunTrivia editor CellarDoor before going online.
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