Infant Jesus in Prague
Loreto Church in Prague
Pribram - Holy Mountain
The pilgrims who once traveled tens or even hundreds of kilometers on foot have been replaced by believers and tourists who use cars and buses.
Svata Hora is a place to meet God and the Virgin Mary. People deeply believed in Our Lady of Svata Hora, bringing her offerings and uttering prayers in her name.
The first archbishop of Prague, Arnost of Pardubice, was known as a great worshipper of the Virgin Mary and an advocate of the small archiepiscopal town of Pribram. The hill Pribram most likely took its name from the shrine on its summit, which was consecrated to the Assumption of the Virgin Mary. Legends speak of a knight named Malovec (Arnost of Pardubice was from the family Malovec), who apparently lived in the 13th century and was miraculously saved from thieves at the site.
The 16th century was a time of unprecendented prosperity thanks to the silver mining around Pribram. From that time, people have travelled from afar to worship at the figurine of the Virgin Mary. The chapel at the site is now a part of the present-day basilica. The most famous resident of the site was the blind hermit Jan Prochazka, who moved there after losing his sight. When he was there, his sight miraculously returned to him. Following that, the legend of the Merciful Virgin Mary of Svata Hora began to spread. The first report of the Svata Hora well, with its miraculous water, also comes from this time.
The Jesuit order built a pilgrimage site there. The construction of the Svata hora complex began in 1658. Building was completed by the famous Svata Hora stairway leading from Pribram town directly to Svata Hora. In 1932, the figurine of the Virgin Mary was crowned. For this special occasion, the figurine was dressed in golden armor called "the coronation armor." Since that time, a Coronation ceremony has taken place every year.
The Jesuit order was abolished in 1773 and Svata Hora was put under the administration of lay provosts. This lasted until 1861, at which time the site was entrusted to the Congregation of the Redeemer, the Redemptorists, whose era has endured despite a break between 1950 and 1990.
April 13 1950 was a black day in history. On that date, all monasteries and friaries in Czechoslovakia were shut, and the monks and friars interned and imprisoned at different locations. Monastic oredrs were made illegal - at one point there was even talk of demolishing the entire complex. But even in these adverse times, there were pilgrimages to Svata Hora. In 1978 the venerable pilgrimage site caught fire. The intensity and rapid spread of the fire, together with the presence of secret police, who acted against amateur photographers trying to record the event, reinforced the feeling among people that a conspiracy was involved.
Following the Velvet Revolution in 1989, religious life was renewed at Svata Hora. On March 1, 1990 , the Archbishop of Prague, Cardinal Frantiske Tomasek, invited the Redemptorists to return to Svata Hora, where they carry out their beneficial work to this day.
Svata Hora has inspired many artists, the most well-known being composer Antonin Dvorak. A visit to the site inspired Dvorak to compose one of his "poetic moods", opus 85. Jakub Jan Ryba , the composer of the famous Czech Christmas Mass, devoted the composition "Svatohorsky kur" (Holy Mountain Chorus) to Svata Hora .
overnight in Tabor
The old medieval town from the 14th century Hussite times. The medieval underground passages , totalling around 14kn in length , originating in the linking of the extensive two and three storey cellars of the townhouses above. The temperature underground varies around 10 degrees C/ 50 degrees F all year.
St. Mary´s church of pilgrimage was built by the benedictine prelate Didacius Converno in 1701 . The construction was finished in 1730 and its rich Baroque cupolas attract attention from far away. The Klokoty pilgrimages were the most famous in the 19th century . The Way of the Cross which leads to the chapel near spring of Good Water is also interesting .
Sepekov Pilgrimage Church of Our Lady
Sepekov is a well-known pilgrimage place. The village lies about 3 km south-east of the town Milevsko.
Its history dates back to the 13th century - it was founded by the family of Vítkovec of Prčice.
The dominant and the most important architectural sight of the village is the pilgrimage Church of the Blessed Virgin Mary. The Baroque building dates from 1730 - 1733 and it was built under the design of Tomáš Haffenecker.
In the central oval building with a presbytary and a tower on the left side there are valuable Baroque furnishings. A Gothic painting of the Virgin Mary of Sepekov can be seen on the main altar. The church is surrounded by a cloister with small chapels in the corners from 1760 - 1767. The sculptures inside were made in the workshop of I. F. Platzer in about 1770.
The village Rimov is a very well-known and important South Bohemian pilgrimage place. It is situated about 14 km south of the town Ceske Budejovice.
Its history dates back to the 10th century, but the first mention comes from 1383 - it reports about Horni Rimov settlement (Upper Rimov). The free fortress in Dolni Rimov (Lower Rimov) is first mentioned in 1395. From 1626 the village belonged to the Jesuits from Cesky Krumlov. The pilgrimage place with the Loretto Chapel and with the Stations of the Cross arose here in the second half of the 17th century by the idea of Jesuit Jan Gurr.
The Loretto Chapel was built in Rimov between 1648 - 1653 and it is an authentic copy of the famous Loretto in Italy. It was the third one in Bohemia. In each of its corners there are altars. Around the chapel there is a cloister with richly painted and decorated walls and arches.
The Church of the Holy Ghost was founded a short time after the Loretto Chapel. The rotunda in the Baroque style dates from 1762.
Around the chapel, in radius about 5 km, we can find 25 small Baroque chapels of the Stations of the Cross (so-called Římov's Passion) with wooden statues. The chapels originate from the second half of the 17th and the first quarter of the 18th century. Their positions in the terrain corresponded with the traditional placement of Stations of the Cross in Jerusalem.
Pilgrimage Church of Mother of God , national cutlural memorial , was built in the years 1471-1485. Since this place of pilgrimage had been very popular , in 1630 it was extended by the building of pilgrims . New parish was built in 1661 and the chapel of st. Jan Nepomucky in 1699. In 1930 monks came to Kajov and intiated reconstruction of the area into the convent.
The village Kájov is one of the oldest Marian pilgrimage places in Bohemia. It lies in the beautiful scenery above the valley of the Polečnice brook about 4 km west of the town Cesky Krumlov, 540 m a.s.l. The hill above the church offers nice views of the country - Protected Landscape Area Blanský Les (Blansko Forest) and Klet mountain.
The unique precinct of the pilgrimage Church of the Assumption of Virgin Mary with the small Church of Death of Blessed Virgin and a noted rectory connected with a hospital have been preserved since 1995.
The oldest part is the small Church of Death of Blessed Virgin from the second half of the 13th century. The main building is the Church of the Assumption of Virgin Mary, which represents the zenith of the South Bohemian Late-Gothic style. It was founded in the 14th century and its present face comes from the Late-Gothic recontruction between 1471 - 1483; the church was enlarged in that time into two-aisled with the tracery vault. Not many important changes took place in the Baroque style during the 18th century. The furnishings of the church are mostly from the Baroque period, partially from the Gothic period. The Late-Gothic sculpture of Madonna of Kájov from the 15th century can be seen on the main altar.
The church's tower with the cupola stands in the south-western corner. The Chapel of Death of Blessed Virgin adjoins with the church's sacristy. The chapel (with the valuable Late-Gothic furnishing) was rebuilt in 1488 and in the 18th century it was reconstructed in the Baroque style.
The Early-Baroque Chapel of St. John Nepomuceno in the precinct dates from 1699.
overnight in Cesky Krumlov
seeing Cesky Krumlov
UNESCO NUMBER ONE IN EUROPE
Cesky Krumlov is situated on the River Vltava with the ancient town center on one bank and the castle ground on the other bank. The landmark of the panorama of the town is Cesky Krumlov Castle which consists of two parts: the Lower castle with a round tower (built in the 13th century) and the Upper castle, built in the 14th century. The castle was expanded several times. Later, the owners made some Baroque modifications: the chapel was rebuilt, masquerade hall decorated and a new manor theatre built. After Prague Castle, it is the second most outstanding castle in the Czech Republic. The magnificent interiors of the castle are open to the public (historical interiors--two sight-seeing routes). The castle´s viewing tower and exhibition rooms are also open to the public. You can also see the Museum of the famous painter Egon Schiele in the town.
Monastery , national cultural monument , was founded by Vok Rozmberk in 1259. The oldest part of the monastery is today´s sacristy . The Cistercian order was invited to the original chapel whose members started to build St. Mary´s Church . The family tomb of Rozmberks is placed undreneath the presbytery . At present the church was returned to the Cistercian Order and the church with the gallery are accessible to the public .
U svateho kamene - At the Holiest Stone - The pilgrimage Church of Our Lady of Snow
The small village Svaty Kamen - the Holiset Stone above the Malse river lies about 3 km east of the small town Dolni Dvoriste on the small river Ticha.
The pilgrimage Church of Our Lady of Snow stands here on the hill. It was built between 1653 - 1701. During its history it was closed and reopened several times (in 1907 and 1991). There was a monastery by the church, but it was closed in 1950 and later the building was removed totally.
The small Baroque chapel stands on the spring of healing water not far from the church.
Dobra Voda u Novych Hradu
The pilgrimage place Dobrá Voda ("Good Water") lies on the northern slopes of the Novohradské Hory (Nové Hrady Mountains) about 7 km south-west of the town Nové Hrady, 695 m a.s.l.
The dominant feature of the village is the pilgrimage Church of the Assumption of Virgin Mary. The valuable and magnificent Baroque building stands on the radioactive spring in the imposing position with a nice view of the country. It was built between 1708 - 1715 under the design of an unknown architect, but it is attributed to K. I. Dienzenhofer.
The church was founded on the rectangular layout extended with two apses on both sides, three towers with domes and with the three-winged cloister.
The treasurable paintings from 1729 can be seen on the ceiling. They were partially repainted in 1888. The Baroque furnishings originate from the 18th century.
The healing water from the radioactive spring was found here in the 16th century and the village was a sought-after spa.
The terrace in front of the church offers nice views of the region.
Trhove Sviny - the Church of the Holiest Trinity
The pilgrimage Baroque Church of the Most Holy Trinity
The church was built under the design of the unknown creator between 1705 - 1709. It is often attributed to the architect K. I. Dienzenhofer. It has the layout in the shape of a pentagram and in its vertixes there are three semi-circular and three rectangular niches with small turrets. The church is enclosed with the polygonal cloister with three gates. The look of the church with domes is similar to Russian churches.
The central nave is arched with a dome containing a lantern. The frescos in the interior originates from the time of the construction of the church. The furnishings are in the Baroque style, the main altar is by Master V. Jäckel from 1718.
Telc - overnight
seeing Telc (UNESCO)
Telc is one of the best preserved ancient towns in the Czech Republic.
A combination of pure Renaissance and Baroque buildings, typically grouped, makes Telc one of finest examples of medieval urban architecture. The magnificent square, surrounded by arcaded houses and with a Baroque fountain in its centre, still retains the atmosphere of the Renaissance period.
The chateau was originally a Gothic castle from the 14th century, but in the second half of the 16th century it was converted into the Renaissance building. The chateau interiors have rich decoration, carved and painted ceilings, frescoes, and other splendid features.
Kremesnik Pilrgimage Church of the Holy Trinity
The wooded hill with the radioactive spring of healing water was a well-known pilgrimage place. The Church of the Holy Trinity was founded on the top between 1710 - 1720. It was rebuilt from the original Gothic chapel from 1555.
The Baroque chapel from 1689 stands near the spring, at the beginning of the Stations of the Cross, which lead to the church. The uncompleted building of the romantic Windy Castle from 1930 can be seen not far from the church.
The remains of silver mining dating back to the 15th century can be found on the slopes of the hill.
Pohled Pilgrimage Site
The Baroque Church of St. Anna is the well known pilgrimahe place in the Highlands. It is surrounded by the chapels reminding the stations of the cross. There is lightly radioactive water.
The small town Želiv lies about 10 km west of the town Humpolec, 495 m a.s.l. The local monastery is one of the oldest monasteries in Bohemia and it belongs to the best preserved medieval precincts in the Czech Republic.
The monastery was founded together with the monastic Church of the Nativity of Virgin Mary on the high spit between the Želivka and Trnava rivers in the first half of the 12th century. Originally it was a residence of the Benedictine Order, but they were expelled early and replaced with Premonstratensians. One of them was later the very well-known Hussite preacher Jan Želivský too.
At the end of the 12th century the monastery in today's town Milevsko was staffed from this one. In 1420 and 1424 the monastery was captured and destroyed by the Hussites. It was partially reconstructed after this, in the middle of the century. The owners of the domain, the family of Trčka, built a new residence called Trčka's Castle in the precinct. The control of Premonstratensians was reinstated at the end of the 16th century. In the 17th century the monastery was rebuilt into the Baroque style (finished in 1688) by G. A. Maggi. After the fire in 1712 the buildings were reconstructed under the design of G. Santini and he rebuilt the church into the Baroque Gothic style. At the beginning of the 20th century the last modification of the monastery was in the Neo-Renaissance style.
The central building of the precinct is the Church of the Nativity of Virgin Mary. It adjoins with the originally Early-Baroque convent built between 1652 - 1688. The courtyard is enclosed between the former prelature (southern part) and the Trčka's Castle with a tower (northern part).
During the communist era, till 1989, the monastery was used as a sanatorium. In 1990's it was given back to Premonstratensians and reconstructed. Both churches and the Trčka's Castle are open to the public.
Not far from the monastery the single-aisled Church of Sts. Peter and Paul can be found. It dates from the first half of the 12th century, between 1712 - 1719 it was renewed and it was restored in 1930.
overnight in Kutna Hora
Kutna Hora , Sedlec (UNESCO)
Kutna Hora is a superb example of medieval architecture. In the Middle ages Kutna Hora was the second most important town after Prague due to silver mines. The core of the town consists entirely of Gothic and Baroque buildings and it is the unique collection of around 457 objects on an area covering 60 hectares.Of the municipal buildings the Italian Court is the most outstanding. It became the mint of the Czech lands.( Minting in Kutna Hora ceased in 1726.) You can see there St. Wenceslas and Vladislav Chapel, the council chamber and museum of coins. One of the best examples of Bohemian High Gothic is the Cathedral of St. Barbora, the patroness of miners, began around 1380 and finished in the 16th century. It is the landmark of the city panorama.
Also worth to see is the Ossuary of Sedlec Monastery, 1km behind the town. There are about 40.000,- human bones stored in the crypt, from which the blind monk made the pyramides in the 15th century. The monastery was bought by the Schwarzenberk family and they established the tobacco factory there and one of their artist, Mr. Rint, changed the ossuary into a very bizarre place, he made from the bones the chandelier the coat of arms of the Schwarzenberks and the altar. This is memento mori, symbol of passing character of life.
Stara Boleslav Pilgrimage Place
Stara Boleslav played an important role in the beginning of the Premyslid state. There are two famous pilgrimage churches – Basilica of Saint Wenceslas and the Church of Ascension of Virgin Mary.
Stara Boleslav got famous by an important historical event – prince Wenceslas, one of the most important sovereigns in our history, was assassinated by his own brother Boleslav in 929 there. And therefore the basilica was built on the same place where Wenceslas died. Prince was later cannonized and proclaimed a saint patron of Bohemia and a symbol of the Czech statehood.
Stara Bloeslav is also well known for the bronze relief of the Virgin Mary with her child Jesus, Palladium of the Bohemian lands.
The legend says that local farmer found this relief in 1160 and it was said to have a miraculaous power.
According to the legend Saint Ludmila, Saint Wenceslas´ grandmother, gained it from Saint Metod and prince Wenceslas inherited it. After his assassination one of his friends blessed Podiven to take it and hide it as the enemies of Saint Wenceslas could not get it. Unfortunately Podiven was murdered too.
The baroque church was built on the same place in 17th century and it is situated near basilica.
Church of Saint Kliment, which is situated next to basilica of St. Wenceslas, belongs to the oldest romantic buildings in the Czech Republic. It was built in about 11th century and decorated in 12th century.
Kosmonosy Pilgrimage Place Loreto
The important baroque complex was built up in the years 1704-1712 according to the plan of Giovanni Battista Alliprandi like the copy of the Prague Loreto on the site of the wooden church of saint Martin.
The Santa Casa - the Holy Chapel is srurrounded by the ambits and the there is the baroque church of saint Martin.
The spiritual center of the whole place is the church of the Holy Cross, the constraction of which was planned by Francesco Caratti. Interesting is to mention that here worked also the father of the famous architect J.B. Santini.
back to Prague
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