This trip takes you to the Svata hora (“Holy
Mountain“) complex, a 17th century building
featuring a statue of the Virgin Mary, which is the
focus of a coronation ceremony every year. The
building is accessed by the famous Svata Hora
stairway leading up from Pribram town.
The pilgrims who once traveled tens or even hundreds of kilometers on foot have been replaced by believers and tourists who use cars and buses.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 .
SW from Prague – 1 hour from Prague
1)Svata hora Holy Mountain trip number CS1 – 4 hour round trip
2)Holy Mountain in Pribram S1 + Dobris castle S2 - 6 hour round trip
3)Holy Mountain in Pribram S1 + Pribram mining museums or Vojna Communist Conc. Camp S3 – 6-8hour round trip
4)Holy Mountain in Pribram S1 + Pribram mining museums or Vojna Communist Labour Camp S3 + Dobris castle S2 - 8-10 hour round trip
5)Holy Mountain in Pribram S1 + Stara Boleslav St. Wenceslas´s Martyr Death Place NE3 – 8hour round trip
6)Holy Mountain in Pribram S1 + Dvorak´s museum in Vysoka CB8 - 6 hour round trip