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Sacred Czech

Tourist Guide to Sacred Monuments in the Czech Republic


Spiritual history of the Czech and Moravian lands Prague and Central Bohemia (Prague and Central Bohemian regions) Story of a Journey: Winter King Frederick I, King of Bohemia Character of the Landscape Events and Personalities Signicant Places in Prague Important Towns in History and Presence Tourist Routes Southwest Bohemia (South Bohemian and Pilsen region) Story of three journeys: How the Paths of the Three Jans Crossed Character of the Landscape Events and Personalities Important Towns in History and Presence Tourist Routes Northwest Bohemia (Karlovy Vary and st nad Labem regions) Story of a Journey: Bishop as well as Prince Henry Bretislaus Character of the Landscape Events and Personalities Important Towns in History and Presence Tourist Routes Northeast Bohemia (Liberec and Hradec Krlov regions) Story of a Journey: Noble, holy, modest - Zdislava of Lemberk Character of the Landscape Events and Personalities Important Towns in History and Presence Tourist Routes 7 35 36 38 38 45 50 55 73 74 75 76 79 87 99 100 101 102 106 112 117 118 119 120 124 130


Czech-Moravian borderland (Pardubice and Vysoina regions) Story of a Journey: King of the Kalinci (Men of the Chalice)


Ji of Podbrad Character of the Landscape Events and Personalities Important Towns in History and Presence Tourist Routes Northern Moravia and Silesia (Moravian-Silesian region) Story of a Journey:The Silesian Author of a Slovak Bestseller Ji Tanovsk Character of the Landscape Events and Personalities Important Towns in History and Presence Tourist Routes Central Moravia (Olomouc and Zln regions) Story of a Journey: Teacher of Nations: John Amos Comenius Character of the Landscape Events and Personalities Important Towns in History and Presence Tourist Routes South Moravia (South Moravian and Zln regions) Story of a Journey: Maharal Rabbi Judah Loew ben Bezalel Character of the Landscape Events and Personalities Important Towns in History and Presence Tourist Routes Glossary

138 140 140 146 152 161 162 164 164 168 172 181 182 183 184 188 193 201 202 204 204 211 216 221

A time for giving birth, a time for dying; a time for planting, a time for uprooting what has been planted. A time for killing, a time for healing; a time for knocking down, a time for building. A time for tears, a time for laughter; a time for mourning, a time for dancing. A time for throwing stones away, a time for gathering them; a time for embracing, a time to refrain from embracing. A time for searching, a time for losing; a time for keeping, a time for discarding. A time for tearing, a time for sewing; a time for keeping silent, a time for speaking. A time for loving, a time for hating; a time for war, a time for peace. (The Bible, Ecclesiastes 3,2)
The interior of the St. Vitus Cathedral at the Prague Castle, Prague. Photo: CzechTourism.


Magni | Journeys with a Story

Spiritual history

Czech Republic, a country in the heart of Europe, is located at the crossroads of many different routes. There have been merchants and troops from all corners of the world traveling through here as well as pilgrims with their deep thoughts, contemplating the secret of life and that of the entire world. And these are the routes which brought the brothers Cyril (Constantine at that time) and Methodius from Macedonian Thessaloniki. Brothers Cyril and Methodius signicantly contributed to the spread of the Christian faith. It was via these routes that the young princes traveled to be baptized, to study Theology and the Western culture. These trails were frequented by kings, emperors, professors, cardinals, ambassadors, couriers or messengers carrying rare books, sealed documents and architectural plans. And it was not only the pilgrims traveling along these routes but with them also their attempt to spread and heal the Christian faith, in order to move closer to its original mission. Bohemia and Moravia often played a key role in the spiritual life of Europe. Noble and beautiful architectural buildings were being built here and education was evolving and spreading. There was no escaping, therefore, the spiritual struggles, the conicts regarding the purity of faith, and the knowledge of that mystery of life and the world. This ghting brought armies, which once again destroyed and robbed, and the very cradle of the heart of Europe was on the outskirts of the European affairs.

As a testament to the times of building and destroying, of ghting and peace are still places, which in every generation always again and again attract those who seek to understand more--or at least for a while, to escape the rush of this world. These places are nearly in all the Czech and Moravian cities, towns, villages and open countryside. You will nd cathedrals, monasteries, schools, churches, prayer rooms, synagogues, cemeteries, or just small chapels, conciliation stones or crosses in the elds. They are witnesses, and the signs of the ancient human desire to touch the mystery and nd the answers to our questions. We can once again go back to these paths and crossroads, and together seek out the stories which were almost forgotten, reviving thoughts that stirred Europe and indeed the whole world. Touch the ancient stones, buildings and statues which for centuries witnessed not only great historical events but also breathtaking and captivating stories. Magni journeys with a story.

Paths of Celts, Romans and Slavs became paths of Christians Synopsis (9th11th Century A.D.): Following the collapse of the Frankish Empire of Charlemagne into three parts (in 814), and in the shadow of the rising of Eastern Frankish Empire, the basis of the new state of the Western Slavs Great Moravia - is formed. Great Moravia


maintains contacts with the Christian West (Rome) and the East (Byzantium). After the fall of the Great Moravian Empire - the centre of power was transferred from Moravia to Bohemia, under the Pemyslids which creates closer ties with the Western Christianity. Prominent gures of this period are Byzantine missionaries Constantine and Methodius, Pemyslid Prince Wenceslas and Adalbert of Prague (a bishop from a noble Czech family of Prince Slavnk). The era of the birth of the Czech statehood is followed by the rise of the Holy Roman Empire, which brings the victory of Christian education, and culture. The European continent is endowed with a common spiritual dimension. These ancient routes, which for centuries had been carrying the Celtic merchants and the Druids, the Roman legions, the Slavic tribes, the Avars nomads, Irish missionaries and Carolingian (Frankish) troops, brought (in 864) into the area of Moravia from Macedonian Thessaloniki two brothers - Constantine and Methodius. They were sent here by the Byzantine Emperor Michael III. at the request of the Moravian Prince Rastislav I with the intention to teach the Christian religion, educate priests and established churches. The success of the two brothers was primarily based on the fact that they didnt insist on using Latin. Instead, inspired by the Greek alphabet - they devised a Slavic script - the Glagolitic alphabet. They translated basic Christian texts and brought the Slavs Christianity in their native language. They worshiped and taught Christianity in the Old Church Slavonic language. The remains from

Spiritual history

Saints Cyril and Methodius Josef Zelen, 1863 a painting in the Rajhrad monastery

this period can still be found in Southern Moravia, in particular in Mikulice and Star Msto u Uherskho Hradit. The spreading of faith from above The rst baptism of Czech Princes took place as early as the year 845 in Regensburg, Germany. The ancient pagan ways were converted to Christian ways when Pemyslid Prince Boivoj and his wife Ludmila received baptism at the hands of Archbishop Methodius in Moravia in the year 880. This baptism was most certainly celebrated in a Church which was built according to a model of Byzantine churches. Its lightweight and illuminated dome representing the heavenly dome symbolizes the celestial kingdom of heaven with a reigning Christ; the lower hall, intended for gatherings, represented the human



world (the most famous example of a church of this type is the Hagia Sophia in present-day Istanbul). The Byzantine churches used to have the western hall covered. It was called narthex and designated for people who were not yet baptized and who were studying the Christian faith. Boivoj, the rst known Pemyslid Prince, had to be very much impressed by this because the Slavic liturgy was then in Bohemia used alongside the Western (Latin) until the time of his grandson, Prince Wenceslas. The focus of Wenceslas, however, was to the west - towards the Eastern Frankish Empire. The rst Pre-Romanesque churches are being built on the Czech territory. They are inspired by the Western models. The oldest of these is the rotunda in Lev Hradec dedicated to St. Clement, whose remains were brought from Crimea to Rome by the Thessaloniki missionaries. The Church in Star Boleslav was dedicated to the same saint. It was commissioned and built out of wood by the order of Prince Wenceslas. It was later decorated with precious frescoes after the Romanesque reconstruction. These frescoes depict not only Prince Wenceslas but also St. Ludmila - his pious grandmother. She raised him and his brother Boleslaus in a Christian faith. Meanwhile - the country was ruled by the mother of the teenage boys - Princess Drahomra who acted as a Regent. Princess Drahomra did not welcome the new Christian innovations. The result of the rivalry between mother-in-law and daughterin-law was the political murder of St. Ludmila performed by two guards from the Drahomras entourage. The main

Spiritual history

Saint Ludmila Alphonse Mucha, 1930s Stained glass in the St. Vitus Cathedral, Prague

dispute of the two princesses was only connected to the adoption of or a failure to adopt Christianity it had to do with the foreign policy. One of the women wanted to focus in the foreign policy on Bavaria where Wenceslas father Vratislaus had maintained good relations, the other preferred Saxony, whose king Henry Fowler was more and more powerful. Others had a different opinion one that the dishonest Boleslaus listen to and it was suggesting to try to ght for full sovereignty from the German princes and kings... Wenceslas let Ludmila be buried at the Prague Castle and punished his mother by banishing her from the Royal Court (indeed, perhaps even from the country) as soon as he grew up and took over the government. Later, however, he was able to forgive her and it is possible that Drahomra tried to warn Wenceslaus about the intentions of his brother Boleslaus who was encouraged by the belligerent Lords to commit fratricide, which he did in front of the Saints Cosmas and Damian Church in Star Boleslav in 935.



The establishment of the diocese of Prague Bohemia and Moravia made a signicant spiritual step in establishing the diocese of Prague in 973. Saint Adalbert of Slavnks dynasty was elected the second bishop of Prague (and the rst Czech bishop) in 982 in the rotunda in Lev Hradec (the same place where he was previously conrmed and ordained as a deacon). As a young man he studied theology in Magdeburg where he became acquainted with future Emperor Otto III. Ascetic traits of Saint Adalbert of Slavnks dynasty were in conict with the reality of the Bishops Ofce in Czech lands where the inhabitants were just recently baptized and their faith was not yet steadfast. He left the Bishops Ofce after 5 years of fruitless efforts to eradicate the slave trade (from which Prague of that time was getting its wealth), polygamy and alcoholism and with Radim Gaudentius (who was his brother and an inseparable companion) traveled to Rome. Adalbert

returned to his post as a bishop in 992 after an appeal from Prince Boleslaus II. and brought with him a group of Italian Benedictine monks. He founded the rst male monastery in Bohemia for them near the Prague Castle - in Bevnov. The rst convent in the Czech lands was the womens Benedictine convent of Saint George at the Prague Castle which was founded in 976. Adalbert dies as a martyr on a mission trip to the Baltic Prussians. At the same time - the Eastern Frankish Empire connects with the spiritual authority of Rome to form a big power in Central Europe - the Holy Roman Empire. Bishop Adalbert of Prague tried to strengthen the autonomy of the Church, which was then heavily dependent on secular power. He is one of the most important saints in Hungary and in Poland because of his evangelical activities there (according to a legend - he baptized the future rst Hungarian King - Stephen I.). St. Radim Gaudentius, who witnessed his brothers death, was captured and is responsible for making the Polish King Boleslaus I the Brave win Adalberts body from the hands of the Prussian pagans (according to a legend - his body was bought back for its weight in gold). Adalbert was then buried in a central Polish city of Gniezno, where on that occasion, archdiocese was founded and entrusted to Radim Gaudentius. Adalberts remains returned to Prague in 1039 as the spoils of Bretislaus I and are stored in the St. Vitus Cathedral. The monastery in Szava and the diocese of Olomouc Bohemia became the spiritual intersection between the Christian East and West

Spiritual history

Saint Adalbert Mihly Kovcs, 1855 Oil on canvas



again during the reign of a tough warrior Ulrich, the Duke of Bohemia. He found a monastery in Szava after meeting hermit Procopius in 1032 and made him its rst abbot. Saint Procopius of Szava is the rst Czech saint, who did not come from the ruling family, and whose earthly life did not end in a violent death. The Szava monastery was Benedictine but Slavic liturgy was used and books were written in the Old Church Slavonic language. The monks have established ties with Kievan Rus. Ties to the West, however, were stronger, and the Church Slavonic language in Szava was no longer used in 1096 when the monks were expelled and replaced by the Benedictine brothers and Latin liturgy. The founding of the diocese of Olomouc in 1063 at least symbolically continues in the heritage left by Methodius (it, together with the diocese of Prague, belonged under the Archdiocese of Mainz). The diocese of Olomouc was established after the formal division of Christendom into the Eastern (Byzantine, later Orthodox) and Western (Roman Catholic). This division in 1054 brought to an end a rivalry lasting several hundred years between the two spiritual powers about the leading authority in the Christian world. Moravia was divided one year later. It was controlled by the Pemyslids (after the fall of the Great Moravian Empire). Bretislaus I, Duke of Bohemia, shortly before his death in 1055 divided Moravia into three appanage principalities, which he entrusted into the care of his sons. Those principalities were Olomouc, Brno and Znojmo. These three principalities were in 1182 merged into the March of Moravia (Margraviate of Moravia), which

Spiritual history

throughout the history always had a certain political and religious independence with its own Assembly and later also provincial committee.

Paths of monks, pilgrims and Crusaders Synopsis (1112th Century A.D.): Princely Pemyslid Bohemia has irreversibly become part of the Christian West, mainly due to the growing status of the Holy Roman Empire, which is described as the successor of ancient Rome. So called - investiture struggle - between the Emperor (Kings) and Pope (the Church) is at its peak in the West. The struggle has to do with the right of appointing Church dignitaries. New religious movements and orders are increasingly coming to Bohemia and Moravia which together with the German-speaking population colonize poorly accessible border regions. They bring with them education and new architectural styles (Romanesque and Gothic). The medieval culture of the Christian West is signicantly affected by the desire for a spiritual journey leading to the Saints. This has a logical continuation in an era of crusades into Palestine (Holy Land) for the liberation of the tomb of Jesus Christ. This period is known as the High Middle Ages and ends with the crisis of the Church and Western Christianity. Bohemia and Moravia are at this time fully a part of the Western Catholic world, namely, the Holy Roman Empire. This can also be conrmed by the rapid spread of the Romanesque style, which in itself masterfully connects the Byzantine, Celtic and barbaric inuence.

Prague and Central Bohemia

Prague and Central Bohemian regions

Do not miss...
Prague Castle saint Vitus Cathedral Jewish town Old-New Synagogue Tnsk chrm Tn church Betlmsk kaple Bethlehem chapel Sts. Cyril and Methodius Cathedral Place of Pilgrimage Svat Hora at the town of Pbram Basilica of St. Wenceslas and church of St. Clement in the town of Star Boleslav St. Barbaras cathedral in the town of Kutn Hora e Chapel of the Holy Cross at the Karltejn Castle e church of Sts Peter and Paul and ikas hall in the town of slav

Church of Our Lady before Tn view from the Old Town Square, Prague. Photo: Magni



Winter King Frederick I, King of Bohemia

In the dim light of early morning, a small group of pilgrims was hastily leaving the Prague Castle into the inclement autumn weather, setting off on a long and uncertain journey. In this undignied manner, Frederick I was leaving Bohemia this was the king elected by the Protestant estates of the realm of Bohemia, that is, representatives of the higher and lower nobility and of royal towns. The day before, on November 8, 1620, their army had been defeated by the Catholic League in the rather short Battle of White Mountain which lasted a mere two hours. Nevertheless, due to its implications, the battle was extremely signicant. The battle was a result of the events which started in 1618 with the defenestration of Prague throwing the viceregents of the Emperor out of a window as an expression of resistance against the absolutism of the House of Habsburg and against religious intolerance. The Rival King Frederick Frederick V, the Elector Palatine (in Czech called Fridrich Falck), was elected King of Bohemia on August 26, 1619. His reign in the Czech lands lasted from one winter to the next, hence he is sardonically referred to as the Winter King. The election of the Calvinist Frederick was the result of many previous events. Besides the attempt to acquire a large degree of autonomy against the foreign (and Catholic) House of Habsburg, the motivations also included the desire to emancipate the Protestant faith, which was claimed by the majority of estates of the realm of Bohemia. Frederick V, who was elected king by the estates of the realm, was actually a rival king of Ferdinand II, who had been elected a year earlier as the successor of Mathias of Austria, because he pledged to respect the Letter of Majesty of 1609 which promised religious freedom. However, Ferdinand did not keep his promise, and when he ordered the demolition of a Protestant church in the town of Hroby (now called Hrob), the outraged representatives of the estates of the realm decided to defenestrate the emperors vice-regents. When Frederick escaped Prague, he lost not only his seat and the capital, but the entire kingdom. The medieval motto PRAGA CAPUT REGNI (Prague, head of the kingdom), which is also inscribed in the Old Town Hall, aptly expresses how indivisibly the destiny of the Czech lands (kingdom, state or republic) is connected with the destiny of its capital Prague. For the Czech lands, the Battle of White Mountain meant the beginning of the Thirty Years War, which affected a large part of the whole continent. The Peace of Westphalia, which ended this war for most of the parties in 1648, secured the principle of the Augsburg Settlement (1555): cuius region, eius religio whose realm, his religion. In most of Europe, this meant better conditions for the Protestant religions. However, for the Protestants in the Czech lands which were ruled by the Catholic House of Habsburg, it meant two centuries of illegality, persecution and re-Catholicization. Letter of Majesty and the Contention
Prague and Central Bohemia



Frederick I (as the Czech king) Gerard van Honthorst, 1634 Oil on canvas

of Brothers in the House of Habsburg In 1609, Emperor Rudolf II issued the Letter of Majesty (in Czech referred to as Rudolfs Majesty) granting religious freedom throughout the Czech lands. However, Rudolfs thirty-ve-year rule was nearing its end. The ageing ruler suffered persistent depression which was later joined by nervous degeneration caused by syphilis, and his pathologically ambitious younger brother Mathias II had already been keen on Rudolfs imperial crown for a long time. In 1608, Rudolf had already been compelled to promise the religious freedoms which were later granted in the Letter of Majesty to the estates of the realm of Bohemia, in order to gain their support against Mathias whose army was then approaching Prague. At that time, the two brothers signed the Peace of Libe, which preserved Rudolfs rule over Bohemia, Silesia and both Lusatias, while Mathias gained rule over Austria, Moravia and Hungary. Mathias had already been proclaimed the head of the family by the assembly of the Habsburgs in 1606 however, this happened secretly,

without Rudolfs knowledge. After the invasion of the Passauers led by Rudolf and Mathias cousin Bishop Leopold, Rudolf was forced to resign. Mathias was not like his lax brother he began the re-Catholicization of the Kingdom of Bohemia as soon as he assumed the long-desired throne. However, since Mathias, like his brother, was childless (and thus without a successor), the estates of the realm of Bohemia elected Ferdinand II to be his successor. Ferdinand, after entering the ofce and suppressing the Bohemian Revolt in 1620, destroyed the Letter of Majesty both guratively and literally, cutting it into pieces and burning its seal. In 1621, he passed a law proclaiming Catholicism the only religion allowed in Bohemia.

Story of a Journey

The Hundred-Spired Destination The historical core of Prague is one of the UNESCO World Heritage Sights and its many well-preserved religious and secular architectural sights attract millions of tourists every year. Prague is the sixth most visited city in Europe, after London, Paris, Vienna, Madrid and Berlin. The Prague Urban Conservation Area and the Prague Castle Complex are among the largest of their kind in the world. Pragues epithet hundred-spired became common in the 19th century. At that time, historians counted all the spires of Prague excluding those belonging to private houses and water stations and came to the number 103.



Events and Personalities

Prague is referred to as the heart of Europe, and not only because of its geographical position. It is the traditional seat of Bohemian dukes and kings, and several Holy Roman emperors made their seat here as well. It is one of the most beautiful cities in Europe. Besides the interesting, ragged alternation of hills, valleys and plains, its scenic beauty is also underlined by the bends of the river Vltava. However, we should not forget to mention the importance of Central Bohemia, without which Prague would not have been able to achieve its fame Central Bohemia is the neck without which the head would not exist. Besides having fertile agricultural plains, the region is also rich in mineral resources. In the Middle Ages it provided approximately one third of all the silver produced in Europe. In the course of centuries, Prague witnessed many epoch-making events. To recall some of them: the establishment of the Prague Bishopric (993) and Archbishopric (1344); the foundation of the Prague University (1347); the rst sermon delivered by Jan Hus in the Bethlehem Chapel (1402) and the beginnings of the Reformation; and the
Prague and Central Bohemia

Bohemian Revolt and the Battle of White Mountain (1620), one of the key events of the beginning of the Thirty Years War, after which then mostly Protestant Bohemia and Moravia were, often violently, re-Catholicized.

Foundation of the Czech State and its Christianization The Central Bohemian Basin in which Prague is located had originally been home to Germanic tribes. In the 6th century, Slavs started settling the area. The foundations of the Czech state were planted in the 9th century by Boivoj, the rst historically documented and Christian Duke of Bohemia. The princely, and later royal Pemyslid dynasty founded by Boivoj was thus from its very beginning Christian and is largely credited for the Christianization of the Czech lands. This is obvious to this day from the large number of churches and monasteries that the Pemyslids founded in Prague and elsewhere. In Prague, among these are the Rotunda of St. Vitus from 926, the Basilica of St. George and the rst mainly by the rolling hills and uplands. The most signicant mountain ranges are Brdy, starting in the area southwest of Prague and stretching for dozens of kilometres, the limestone Bohemian Karst and the area around Kivoklt Castle with its deep forests In the Middle Ages, key deposits of silver were found around the town of Kutn Hora.

Character of the Landscape

The so-called Central Bohemian Basin rises gradually in almost all directions towards the state border, starting from the valley of the river Vltava and the wide Polab lowland along the river Elbe. These lowlands, especially in the north, are important agricultural regions. The attractiveness of the rest of the area is ensured



Bevnov Monastery, Prague. Photo: Magni

convent in the Czech lands in the Prague Castle, the Basilica of St. Laurence and the Basilica of Ss. Peter and Paul on Vyehrad, the Benedictine Monastery in Bevnov, the Premonstratensian Abbey in Strahov, the Cloister of the Cistercian order in Zbraslav and St. Agnes of Bohemia Convent of Poor Clares in the Old Town. Among those outside of Prague are the centre of Slavonic knowledge, the Szava Monastery, and many others. Wenceslas I, the husband of Agnes, began construction of the city walls around the Old Town in 1231. At the time of the foundation of Prague Castle at the latest, the settlement around the castle was spread over the left bank of the river Vltava in 1257, this area was granted town

privileges by King Ottokar II. In this way, the Lesser Town of Prague was created. The dynasty of the Pemyslids ruled the Czech lands for 400 years. When Wenceslas III was murdered in Olomouc in 1306, the husband of Princess Anne of Bohemia (Anna Pemyslovna), Henry VI of Carinthia ascended the throne. But instead of the much needed consolidation, he let the state become poor and disjointed. The Czech noblemen therefore decided to depose him and they arranged the marriage of the last unmarried daughter of Wenceslas II, Elisabeth of Bohemian (Elika Pemyslovna), with the Holy Roman Emperor John the Blind (Jan Lucembursk). When John arrived with his imperial army, it was no good for Henry that his mercenaries from Carinthia had taken over Prague and Kutn Hora, the second most important Czech town of the time. The reversal was completed and the House of Luxembourg ruled in Bohemia for the following approximately 100 years. Because of the importance of Kutn Hora, which once could have even become the capital of the kingdom, the rst Cistercian monastery in Bohemia was founded in nearby Sedlec in 1142. Together with the Cathedral of St. Barbara in Kutn Hora, the Monastery with the Church of the Assumption of the Virgin, it is among the UNESCO World Heritage Sights. Besides the aforementioned town of Kutn Hora, the towns of slav, Koln and Pbram owned by the Prague Bishopric had mining privileges as well. In central Bohemia, you can also nd the oldest place of pilgrimage connected to the tradition of St. Wenceslas the town of Star Boleslav. At the gate of

Events and Personalities



Prague and Central Bohemia

St. Barbaras Church, Kutn Hora. Photo: Magni.

In the 14th century, the Church was going through a power crisis. This is illustrated by the fact that there were two Popes at the same time; moreover, they excommunicated each other. In 1409, the Council of Pisa was summoned and elected a new Pope. It was expected that the two opposing Popes resign. However, this did not happen and thus the church had three Popes at the same time. The situation was only settled at the Council of Constance which was summoned soon afterwards.

Ss. Cosmas and Damian Church (probably in the year 935), Duke Wenceslas was assassinated. A century later (1039), Duke Bretislaus I built the Basilica of St. Wenceslas with the Chapter of Ss. Cosmas and Damian (the oldest chapter in Bohemia) on the site of the assassination of his ancestor. The chapter was supposed to take care of the place of pilgrimage dedicated to St. Wenceslas, and also of the cult of the patron saint, the Duke of the Czech land. Later, it was also consigned with the Palladium of the Czech land (see the boxed text), which is closely connected with the cult of St. Wenceslas. Today, the Palladium is kept in the Baroque Church of the Assumption of the Virgin,



Important Towns
in History and Presence
Bechyn Was established around the year 1323 by King Jan Lucembursk. The most signicant owners of the domain were the ternberks, whose gravestones are exhibited in the monastery church, as well as the last Rosenberg Petr Vok. There is an exhibition on his life at the local chateau. The most dominant structure in the town is the Dean Church of St. Mathew from the turn of the 13th and 14th century. Monuments: Church of St. Mathew, re-built in 1740; monastery church of the Ascension of the Virgin Mary (1491); chateau from the 16th century. esk Budjovice Was established in the 13th century at the initiative of Pemysl Otakar II. as support for royal power in this region and a counter balance to the inuence of the Witigonens. It is the metropolis of the South Bohemian region and a city heritage site. In addition to the sacred monuments, it is also well worth visiting a number of museums, from the regional through the beer brewing museum. Monuments: Dominican monastery with church of the Virgin Mary (1265); Baroque Samsons fountain (172127); Cathedral of St. Nicholas (est. 1265, from May 2011 following 2 years of renovation) and its bell tower the Black tower, built in the gothic style up to the 5th storey and completed in the Renaissance style; the three-nave Husv sbor (1924) esk Krumlov A unique and picturesque city on the shores of the Vltava river, established at the beginning of the 13th century. The Rosenbergs transferred their headquarters to it, displaying their ambitions through their construction activities. The medieval city center is registered on the world heritage list of UNESCO. Monuments: state castle and chateau esk Krumlov; city center with many Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque buildings; Gothic three-isle church of St. Vitus from the years 140839; the Gothic church of St. Jot today houses a toy museum, the neo-Romanesque synagogue (1909) with art nouveau elements and the rst reinforced concrete construction in Austro-Hungary.
Important Towns

Husinec Located on the Blanice river not far from Prachatice. The historic city center was



Important Towns

Pilgrimage church at Klokoty in Tbor. Photo: Magni.

16th century the domain belonged to Vclav Robmhapov, the local scribe of the Czech Kingdom, originally from Such. Monuments: pomnk Jana iky (Jan ika memorial) Tbor Established by the Hussites in the spring of 1420 and named after the biblical Mount Tabor, where according to Christian tradition, the Transguration of Christ took place. Following peace with Emperor Zigmund, Tabor was declared a royal city in 1437 and in 1452 the Hussite city was handed over to the provincial administrator and

later Utraquist king, Ji z Podbrad. Tbor Church subjugated itself to Jan of Rokycany and the Hussite administrator up to that time, Mikul of Pelhimov was imprisoned. In 1547 the city refused military aid to Czech King Ferdinand I. in the campaign against the German Lutherans. The Habsburg ruler harshly punished the city residents, in particular by conscation of extensive land holdings. Tbor refused obedience to the Habsburgs in 1618 and joined the uprising, led by the non-Catholic nobles. At the end of the thirty-year war Tbor was occupied by the Swedes who sacked the city. A period of consolidation and prosperity began in the second half the 17th



Route 12 | Visiting Historic Church Buildings and Monuments Along the River Tepl
is the Holy Trinity Column from which you can take a short walk to visit other Transport: train, bicycle churches of Karlovy Vary. Places: Karlovy Vary, First you will go past an Beov nad Teplou, Tepl Anglican church dedicated to St. Luke and some ten In Karlovy Vary, the most minutes later you will reach famous Czech spa, you the pearl of Karlovy Vary can enjoy twelve local and one of its dominant springs and typical spa features: the Russian Orarchitecture. When you thodox Church of St. Peter have fully enjoyed all the and Paul. colonnades with Mlnsk Then you can go south being undoubtedly the along the river Tepl, and most famous and after whatever means of transyou have looked over the port you choose, you will town from some of the surely enjoy this picturmany observation towers esque landscape. with the best being Diana The rst stop will be Beov observation tower, access- nad Teplou. The most ible by cable car you can famous sight in this small turn your attention to the town with a history dating interesting historical sacred back to the 13th century is buildings. You should not a castle and a chteau of miss the Baroque Church the same name. The castle of St. Mary Magdalene built by Kilian Ignac Dientzenhofer at the beginning of the 18th century not far from the renowned Vdlo (Hot Spring). In the basement of the church, there is a crypt you can visit after making arrangements at the town information centre. At Trit (Marketplace), there
Starting point: Karlovy Vary

built in the late Gothic style was reconstructed in the Renaissance style, and in the 18th century a new Baroque chteau was added to it. Today, the second most precious treasure in the Czech Republic (after the crown jewels) is kept in its walls the Reliquary of St. Maurus, to which a sightseeing tour is dedicated. (MaySeptember open daily 09:0017:00, except for Mondays; in April and October only on weekends and bank holidays). The second stop is the Tepl Premonstratensian monastery, founded by the Blessed Hroznata in 1193. The monastery survived the turbulent period of the Hussite Wars only to be looted three times during the Thirty Years War, rst

Tourist Routes

Premonstratensian cloister in Tepl. Photo: CzechTourism.



by the armies of the Winter King and then twice by the Swedes. After a re in 1659 the convent was completely rebuilt in the Baroque style, and this is how it has been preserved until today. The biggest attractions are the
Karlovy Vary and st regions

Roman-Gothic Church of the Annunciation and also the monastery library, the second biggest in the Czech Republic. During your visit, you may also take a walk in the local picturesque monastery park.

If those visitors who came by bicycle are still full of energy, they may visit the Trappist monastery in Nov Dvr u Dobr Vody to buy the excellent local mustard (shop open on weekends and afternoons). 10 km 5 miles

Karlovy Vary




Beov nad Teplou



Lzn Kynvart Marinsk Lzn

210 E49


Karlovarsk kraj Chodov Plan

21 E49

Plzesk kraj




Abbess The superior of a convent as opposed to the title of abbot for the superior of a monastery Abbot From Lat. Father. The representative of a monastic community, of a monastery. Its parallel in the convents is Abbess, the Superior Sister. Absolution Remission of sins. An act carried out by a Roman priest after an aural confession, by which the sinner gains after having regretted his sins, confessed and expressed his will to reform a remission during his deeds of penance. In non-Catholic churches: preaching of Gods grace after the performance of a general and public confession before the Holy Communion. Adamites A southern Bohemian sect from the time of the Hussite revolution, adhering to the radical teaching about the Eucharist, to eschatological delirium and possibly to moral devilry. Its main representatives were Petr Kani, Martnek Huska. The liquidation of the Adamites was carried out by Jan ika in 1421. Administrator Bishop or priest who leads as a proxy the religious administration of an emptied parish or a bigger Church formation.

Also Utraquist administrators played a signicant role in our surroundings, who after the death of the elected Hussite archbishop (although not approved by Rome) Jan Rokycana administered the national Utraquist church until the White Mountain times. Advent The four weeks fast time preceding the festivity of the birth of Jesus Christ (Christmas) Adventists, Church of the Adventists of the Seventh Day A protestant movement founded in 1863 in the USA by Ellen H. White. The Adventists celebrate the seventh day (Saturday), baptism in adulthood and strictly respect moral principles. In our country were the Adventists persecuted by the Communist regime, with which it interfered in the controversial point of the working Saturdays. Anabaptists New Baptists. Radical followers of the Lutheran reformation, who in the 16th century put an emphasis on the conscious confession of the one who wants to get baptised and enter the Church, they rejected therefore the childs baptism which does not meet the mentioned demand. They didnt hesitate to baptise even already baptised ones, which is considered a blasphemy by other churches. They were often persecuted, not only because of the moral excesses that appeared in their communities, but




also just for their different way of life. We can nd their residues in the so-called Haban ceramics in our surroundings, their traces are otherwise shattered from Germany to the territory of the former Yugoslavia. Anglican Church A national Church with the British ruler at its head, originated in the reign of Henry VIII, who relieved the Church in the country from the subordination to the Roman pope and who named himself the head of it in 1534. The religious representative of the Anglican Church is the Bishop of Canterbury, the Church holds on to the Episcopal system and it mixes both Roman and protestant theories and practices. Antichrist Strictly taken everyone who is against the Christ. A notion of a personied Antichrist with anthropomorphic features has developed in the time, having been elaborated especially in the Middle Ages, so many people saw the Antichrist in the ruler or the pope. The rule of the Antichrist had also to foreshadow the times of the Last Judgment. We can nd echoes of this thinking especially in the enthusiastic Christian Churches and sectarian groups. A completely different role is played by Antichrist in todays entertaining business, which only partly takes over the models created by the medieval Church a long time ago. Apocalypse Gr. Revelation. Favorite literary genre of the late Judaism and of the rst Christians, which expresses faith in a hopeful and meaningful ending of the human

history. The most known apocalypse is the Revelation of St. John, the last book of the Bible, which was created in the surroundings of the persecuted Christians, whom it consoles through the prospect of Christs triumph in the end of the world and of the fall of the Antichrist and the anti-Christian powers. Apocrypha Gr. hidden writings. Designation of some Jewish and Christian writings that enjoyed a signicant authority in their surroundings, however were not included into the canon of the Bible for their speculatively philosophical timbre, that could have been misleading the Christians in the wider circle. Christians generally appreciate the usefulness of these books, the Roman church even uses some of them (the so-called Deuterocanonical books of the Old Testament) within the framework of its liturgy. Apostle Gr. Envoy, the one who was sent. It is a designation for one of the so-called twelve disciples of Jesus Christ (except for Judas Iscariot, on the place of whom was later elected Matthew) and also for St. Paul. An apostle is the one who conrms the identity of the Church teaching at the emergence of a Church with the reality of Christs earthly story and who is summoned to a mission. Archbishop One of the highest degrees of priestly consecration in the Roman-Catholic church. The Archbishop assures not only the functioning of his own Church diocese, but is at the same time superior of other bishops. He resides in an archbishopric


Sacred Czech

The most significant sights of Christian and Jewish spiritual tradition in the Czech Republic. Plan your tours with the help of the tourist tour itineraries. Get to know the stories of the spiritual traditions of Catholicism, Reformation, Orthodoxy and Judaism with the help of video documents and animation. Download a guide for your tour, in mp3 format, through the most important and interesting places in Bohemia and Moravia.



Magni | Sacred Czech

Published by HelpTour Agency for Tourism Support Budejovicka 73, 140 00 Prague, Czech Republic (Europe) tel.: +420 226 209 018, +420 724 091 762, e-mail: in 2011 as part of the project Presentation of religious monuments and cultural herritage of christianity in the Czech republic. Project has been nancially supported by Integrated Operation Program of European Structural Funds and State Budget of the Czech Republic. Editorial Staff Evropsk vydavatelstv, s. r. o. Kateina Nohavov, Silvestr paek, Bohumil Kej, David orm, Veronika mdov, Marek Touek Experts Ota Halama, Blanka Rozkon, Martin Horlek, Jaroslav ebek Translation Mezinrodn pekladatelsk servis s.r.o. Graphic design Euro Media House s. r. o., Petr Stiegler Designology DTP Dongo Creative, s. r. o., Daniel ehk Photography Euro Media House Czechtourism Jakub Frey Printed in the Czech Republic (Europe) First Issue All rights reserved No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in or introduced into a retrievel systm, or transmitted, in any form or by any means (electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or other wise), without the prior written persmssion of the above Publisher of this book. |

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