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:
Name: The Parish and Pilgrimage Church of the Visitation of Our
[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
Czech Tourism- The Parish and Pilgrimage Church of the Visitation of Our lady
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
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
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
Czech tourism- The Cathedral of the Visitation of Our Lady
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
Czech Tourism- The Basilica of the assumption of our Lady
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.
The Pilgrimage Church of the assumption of Our Lady- KLOKOTY
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
The Pilgrimage Church of the
assumption of Our Lady- KRÁLÍKY
The Pilgrimage Church of the Blessed Virgin Mary
Location: Křtiny, Moravia
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
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.
The Pilgrimage Church of the Annunciation of Our Lady- MARIÁNSKÁ TŶNIC
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.
The Church of the Assumption of Virgin Mary - MOST
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.
The Church of the Assumption of Our Lady- OPAVA
Name: Loreto Chapel
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
Name: The Chapel of Our Lady of Loreto
Location: Rumburk, Northern Region of Usti nad Labem (Western
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.
The Chapel of Our Lady of Loreto- RUMBURK
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
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.
The Pilgrimage Church of the Assumption of Our lady- STARÁ BOLESLAV
SVATÁ HORA U PŘİBRAMI
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.”
The Provost Church of the Assumption of Our Lady- SVATÁ HORA U PŘİBRAMI
(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
Church of the Visitation of Our Lady- Svatý Kopeček
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.
The Church of Our Lady of Newborn Children- Zlaté Hory