Legend of St. George
A monument of an extraordinarily high value is a mural painting decorating one of the oldest rooms of the Gothic palace. The painted decoration was made upon the order of Oldřich III of Hradec in 1338. In the Czech environment the St. George legend of Jindřichův Hradec represents the first painted work with religious contents used for decoration of secular rooms, and has, in terms of extent, very little comparison in all Central Europe. Creating such a vast cycle fits into the atmosphere of the warring knighthood between the 13th and 14th centuries. Both at the sovereign’s court and in country residences of the highest Czech aristocracy, court knight culture of a high level including popular musical performances by vagabond singers and reciting fashionable literary works – heroic epics or legend about the fortitude and suffering of Christian martyrs – was cultivated and developed in its spirit. An unknown painter skilfully re-told here the heroic life of the patron saint of all knights – St. George - in almost 50 independent scenes.
Adjoining the legend scenes, there are 19 coats-of-arms put next to one another in the lower belt. These are coats-of-arms of Czech noblemen who took part in the Prussian-Lithuanian crusades led by the ruler of Bohemia in assistance to the Order of the German Knights in the years 1322 – 1337, and they make up a compact unit with the legend in terms of artistic elaboration and subject.