The preacher of the Unity of the Brethren, theologian, and global philosopher emigrated after the defeat of the Bohemian estates. While in exile, he met with one of the greatest painters of all time, Rembrandt, and Cardinal Richelieu himself asked him to institute a new school system in France.
The Teacher of the Nation is remembered by the John Amos Comenius Memorial in Fulnek. On the hill near the chateau is a spot where Comenius used to teach his students outdoors in nature. Today, Žákovský háj (Students' Grove) has been transformed for visitors, who can also walk the educational trail here. There is a memorial to Comenius here, as well as a small amphitheatre where he taught his students.
The city of Fulnek was the starting point on his journey as a priest and a thinker. Freshly ordained after a short period of studies in Heidelberg and working in Prague, he became the rector of the Fulnek school and a preacher for the Unity of the Brethren. It is here that he met his wife, Magdalena Vizovská.
During his first stay in Moravia, Comenius, a European in spirit but always a Moravian at heart, wrote one of his most important works, Letters to Heaven, and created a map of Moravia. After the defeat of the Bohemian estates, he took refuge in places around Bohemia, while his wife and two children were dying in a plague-ridden Fulnek. His priceless library was burned at the Fulnek town hall by Capuchin monk Bonaventura.
His emigration began in Lešno, Poland, where he wrote in Czech and drafted reforms of the Bohemian school system. Cardinal Richelieu himself invited him to France so that he could impose reformations on the school system there. When the cardinal died, however, his trip to France was called off.
He lived the last fourteen years of his life in Amsterdam, where he met with such prominent personalities as Rembrandt, among others.