Marian Shrines in the Czech Republic

 


Religious monuments and places of pilgrimage are a great part of the architectural heritage of the Czech Republic. The map below shows the location of the most prominent ones.
 


Following are the major Marian sites of interest:


HEJNICE







 

 


Name: The Parish and Pilgrimage Church of the Visitation of Our Lady
“Czech Mariazell”
[Miraculous] Image: Wooden (linden) statue (39cm) dated 1380; sometimes called “Mater Formosa” Madonna. Our Lady holds the child Jesus on the left and an apple in the right hand.
Location: In the valley of Jizerské hory at the border of three countries--the Czech Republic, Poland and Germany.
History: A legend tells of a poor workman who one day left his sick wife and his little daughter at home in order to get some wood for his work from the forest close by. On the way back he rested under a linden tree. While sleeping he had a strange dream. The tree was lit by light and there appeared two angels in its crown. They were talking to him: “You are in a beautiful place which God likes very much. Bring a statue of the Mother of God to this place so that everybody who will come here can give thanks to God.” The man immediately did as he was told and went to the nearest town where he bought the sculpture of the Virgin Mary and placed it on the linden tree. Later he brought his wife and his daughter to the linden tree where they prayed together. His wife was instantly healed. The message about the miracle spread very fast and the pilgrims from the whole surrounding area started to gather there. In 1211 a small wooden chapel was built at the very place where the linden tree stood. In the course of the time the chapel was not large enough for the number of pilgrims. It was replaced in 1472 by a Gothic church. In the late seventeenth century the count Franciscus Ferdinand Gallas had a Franciscan monastery built near the church.  Thomas Haffenecker built the cathedral of the Visitation of Our Lady in 1722 – 1729. The Hejnice cathedral is a one-nave building in the shape of a cross. On the main altar stands the sculpture of the Madonna made of linden wood and 39 cm in size.
In 1989 after the fall of communism the Center of Spiritual Revival was initiated there with an annual international “pilgrimage of reconciliation.”
Web link: Czech Tourism- The Parish and Pilgrimage Church of the Visitation of Our lady


BOHOSUDOV


Name: Church of Our Lady of Perpetual Help
Origin: The pilgrimage complex in Bohosudov originated at the place, where the figure of Our Lady of Perpetual Help was found.
Location: North of Prague. Region of Usti nad Labem (Western Bohemia)
History: A stone chapel replaced the original wooden shrine in 1443 and in 1507-1515 a large cathedral nave was attached to it. Seven chapels dedicated to the Seven Sorrows of Mary were added. From 1701-1706 the architect Octavio Broggi built the present baroque church. In 1924 Pope Pius XI raised it to the status of “Basilica Minor.” The following year a Marian Congress took place at this pilgrimage site.
Web link: Czech Tourism- The Church of Our Lady of Perpetual Help 


FRŶDEK – MİSTEK

Name: The Cathedral of the Visitation of Our Lady
Image: The Virgin Mary of Frŷdek-Mĭstek is known for healing miracles of blind and deaf people.
Location: Frŷdek-Mĭstek, Moravian--Silesian region
History: The Cathedral of the Visitation of Our Lady hails from the second half of the eighteenth century. The most valuable art piece is its main altar from the year 1793 crafted by the master-builder Jan Schubert of Opava and the famous Brno sculptor Andrew Schweigl. The cathedral with a set of front towers is surrounded by several chapels built in the nineteenth century commemorating the Way of the Cross.
Web link: Czech tourism- The Cathedral of the Visitation of Our Lady 


HOSTŶN (HOLY)

Name: The Basilica of the Assumption of Our Lady
Location: Svatý Hostýn, Moravia
History: Svatý Hostýn is the most frequently visited pilgrimage place of Moravia. Franciscus Antonius of Rottal built the pilgrimage cathedral in 1721-1748 in the Baroque style. After its consecration the cathedral was destroyed and desecrated during the reign of Joseph II. The pilgrimage place was revived in the years 1841-1845. The coronation of Our Lady of Svatý Hostýn in 1912 was the event of great importance. On the occasion of seventieth anniversary of the coronation the pilgrimage church obtained the status “Basilica Minor.”
Web link: Czech Tourism- The Basilica of the assumption of our Lady
Web link: hostyn.cz/


KLOKOTY

Name: The Pilgrimage Church of the Assumption of Our Lady
Location: Klokoty, Moravia
History: The pilgrimage place in Klokoty originated in the early eighteenth century in the local Church and an old fort which eventually fell into ruins. The Church of the Assumption of Our Lady consists of a one-nave building with attached ambits and four side chapels. The vaults of the church are rich in stucco decoration; the main altar made of gilded silver enshrines the heavily touched-up painting of the Assumption of Our Lady the Virgin Mary of Klokoty from 1636. The Klokoty carillon, consisting of ten bells, is famous. The eldest dates back to 1408.
Web link: The Pilgrimage Church of the assumption of Our Lady- KLOKOTY


KRÁLÍKY

Name: The Pilgrimage Church of the Assumption of Our Lady
Location: Hradec Králové, Moravia
History: Tobias Jan Becker, the bishop of Hradec Králové initiated the construction of the pilgrimage place on the Marian Hill in the seventeenth century. At that time pilgrims started coming to the hill, because according to the legend a mysterious glow was radiating from it. The pilgrimage complex has an oblong ground plan, in the middle of which the Church of the Assumption of Our Lady is located. The recent Neo-Renaissance church dates back to the time around the year 1900.
Web link:
The Pilgrimage Church of the assumption of Our Lady- KRÁLÍKY


KŘTINY

Name: The Pilgrimage Church of the Blessed Virgin Mary
Location: Křtiny, Moravia
History: The pilgrimage Church of the Blessed Virgin Mary is called “the pearl of Moravia.” It is one of the oldest pilgrimage places in Moravia. The name Křtiny (Christening) indicates that at this site the first Christians of Moravia were baptized.
At the place of the present Church of the Blessed Virgin Mary which is the work of the famous architect Giovanni B. Santini there used to be two churches one for the Czech speaking people and one for the German speaking people.
Web link: The Pilgrimage Church of the Blessed Virgin Mary


MARIÁNSKÁ TŶNIC




 

Name: The Pilgrimage Church of the Annunciation of Our Lady
Location: Plasy, Western Czechia
History: The beginning of the pilgrimage place in Maránská Týnice goes back to the year 1230 and is connected with the activities of the Cistercian monastery in Plasy. In 1711 the foundation stone of the future pilgrimage Church of the Annunciation of Our Lady was laid. Giovanni B. Santini was the architect of the church. The church built on the ground plan of the Greek cross was completed in the second half of the eighteenth century. In 1920 its dome collapsed and was reconstructed in the year 2000.
Web link: The Pilgrimage Church of the Annunciation of Our Lady- MARIÁNSKÁ TŶNIC


MOST


 

Name: The Deanery Church of the Assumption of Our Lady
Location: Most, NW Region of the Czech Republic
History: The Church of the Assumption of Our Lady together with the Hněvín castle is the most visited place in Most. In 1964 the historical downtown area of Most was torn down and it was decided to move the late Gothic church. The moving process was begun in 1971 and it took thirteen years to complete the stabilizing, installing and restoring of the church. The church was reopened as a landmark. After the turn of events in 1989 the interior of the church was gradually returned e.g. the Baroque altar, the organ, etc. In 1993 the church was consecrated and reopened.
Web link: The Church of the Assumption of Virgin Mary - MOST


OPAVA

Name: The Church of the Assumption of Our Lady
Location: NE Czech Republic, in Moravia, on the Opava River and near the Polish border.
History: The Church of the Assumption of Our Lady is the prominent building in the town of Opava. The Order of German Knights built it in the fourteenth century in the style of Silesian Brick Gothic.
Web link: The Church of the Assumption of Our Lady- OPAVA


PRAGUE



 

 

 

 



Name: Loreto Chapel
Location: Prague
History: Kateřina of Lobkowicz, the wife of Vilém Popel of Lobkowitz, initiated the construction of the Loreto chapel in 1626, inspired by the Holy House of Loreto, Italy. It is known among other Catholic treasures for its carillon (thirty bells) and its monstrance, the “Sun of Prague.”
Web link: prague.net/loreto-church


RUMBURK

Name: The Chapel of Our Lady of Loreto
Location: Rumburk, Northern Region of Usti nad Labem (Western Bohemia)
History: The Rumburk Loreto is a copy of the Italian original House of Mary. Anthony Florian Lichtenstein had it constructed by the master-builder John Lukas Hildebrandt in 1704-1709. The building is made of sandstone. The chapel of Our Lady of Loreto soon became a popular place of pilgrimage and many, not only local, pilgrims used to come here, among them pilgrims from Lusatian Serbia. Inside the chapel there is the Black Madonna with the Infant, which was crafted in Rome in 1694.  In 1743-1749 a Way of the Cross was built around the Loreto House. Added to the traditional fourteen stations are paintings from the life of the Virgin Mary.
Web link: The Chapel of Our Lady of Loreto- RUMBURK


STARÁ BOLESLAV



 

 

 



Name: The Pilgrimage Church of the Assumption of Our Lady
Location: Central Bohemian Region of the Czech Republic on the banks of the Elbe river, in the heart of an agricultural region about 25 km north-east of Prague.
History: The Church of the Assumption of Our Lady is a one-nave Early Baroque cathedral with two towers. The architect Jacob de Vaccani built it in 1617-1623. The façade is decorated with sculptures of the Czech saints St. Ludmila, St. Procope, St. Wenceslas, St. Adalbert and St. Jan Nepomucene dated from the eighteenth century. In the church is a sacred object, the so-called Palladium of Bohemia, the aim of Marian pilgrimages. It is a Gothic copper relief of the Madonna of Stará Boleslav. According to the legend, Princess Libuše gave it to her grandson Wenceslas. He wore it around his neck until the day he was murdered by his brother in Stará Boleslav.  The group of sculptures of the Assumption of Our Lady decorates the main altar as well as the sculptures of St. Cosmos, St. Damian, St. Wenceslas and St. Ludmila. In 1674 the so-called Holy Path was founded. It was to link Prague to Boleslav, and is flanked by forty-four little Baroque chapels with niches decorated with frescoes. The distance between them corresponds to the length of the Charles Bridge and only a part of them is preserved.
Web link: The Pilgrimage Church of the Assumption of Our lady- STARÁ BOLESLAV


SVATÁ HORA U PŘİBRAMI



 

 

 



Name: The Provost Church of the Assumption of Our Lady
Location: Přibrami, Bohemia
Image: Blessed Virgin Mary with Infant
History: Svatá Hora (the Holy Mountain) is the oldest and most important Marian place of pilgrimage in the Czech Republic. The chapel on Svatá Hora, originally a simple Early Renaissance building, was built in the early sixteenth century. According to a legend, Archbishop Arnošt of Pardubice is the author of the local sculpture of the Virgin Mary with the Infant from the mid fourteenth century. The sculpture was brought to Svatá Hora in the sixteenth century. Soon afterwards many pilgrims began to walk in procession to this place.  In 1647 the Jesuits took charge of the administration of the place and initiated the renovation of Svatá Hora. The church was completed and consecrated in 1673. The image of the Virgin Mary of Svatá Hora was crowned in 1732. In 1861 the Redemptorists took over the administration of the place and stayed until 1950. Forty years later, after the fall of Communism, they returned to Svatá Hora which received the title “Basilica Minor.”


Web link: The Provost Church of the Assumption of Our Lady- SVATÁ HORA U PŘİBRAMI
svata-hora.cz


SVATỲ KÁMEN
(HOLY LITTLE HILL)

Name: The Pilgrimage of Our Lady of the Snows
Location: The pilgrimage Church of Our Lady of the Snows is situated on the hill near Rychnov nad Malší Village, close to the border-crossing Dolní Dvořiště.
History: The one-nave Baroque church is attached to a triangular chapel. In 1945 the pilgrimage place was closed and devastated by the frontier guards. In 1989 began the reconstruction of the place supported by Austria and Germany and in 1993 it was completed.


SVATŶ KOPEČEK U OLOMOUC
Holy Little Hill








 


Name: Church of the Visitation of Our Lady
Location: The monumental church on the hill Svatý Kopeček (Holy Little Hill) is situated in the fertile area of Olomouc, Moravia.
History: A rich wine merchant of Olomouc, Jan Andrejsek, promised to build a chapel on Svatý Kopeček, after the Holy Virgin Mary appeared in his dream. The chapel, which was consecrated in 1633, was built on the territory of the Premonstratensian Abbey Klášterní Hradisko near Olomouc and, since 1651, the Premonstratensian Order has been in charge of administration for the pilgrimage site. The pilgrimage complex consists of a church, an ambit with a chapel, residential as well as utility buildings. It was built in the seventeenth and early eighteenth century in the Baroque style. A special chapel in the church holds the “Holy stairs” as a reminder of the twenty-eight stairs in Pilate's Jerusalem palace, which Jesus had to climb.  In 1995 John Paul II honored Svatý Kopeček with a visit. In the same year the Church of the Visitation of Our Lady was given the title “Basilica Minor.”
Web link: svatykopecek.cz/main/index.php
Church of the Visitation of Our Lady- Svatý Kopeček


ZLATÉ HORY
Golden Mountains


Name: The Church of Our Lady of Newborn Children
Location: Central-eastern part of its historical region of Moravia
History: This place is devoted to the Virgin Lady of newborn children. According to legend, during the Thirty Years' War a heavily pregnant Anna Tannheiserová hid here from the Swedish soldiers and gave birth to her son Martin who later became an honored citizen and municipal councillor. His daughter had a copy of the famous picture of Madonna of Pasov by Lucas Cranach made and hung it at the place of her father's birth.
Web link: The Church of Our Lady of Newborn Children- Zlaté Hory
 

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