The Rise of the Cult of the “Most Famous Czech”. Public Sculptures of St. John Nepomuk in Slovakia in the Light of Changes

The study examines the rise of the cult of St. John Nepomuk, also known as the ‘most famous Czech’, in the area of contemporary Slovakia in the light of public sculptures. From the early 18th century onwards, it looks at the growing popularity of the saint’s statues (and his cult) in the region, broken down into several time periods. On the basis of the relatively large amount of data available to us, it is safe to say that the claims that St John of Nepomuk was a symbol of Czech expansion after 1918 and a means of some kind of Czech ethnic demarcation are not justified. The heyday of the cult of St John Nepomuk in Slovakia, embodied in the erection of statues, lasted from the second half of the 18th century to the end of the 19th century. From 1918 to the present day, only a few new statues can be recorded.