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South Moravian Catholic Pilgrim Sites

Velehrad, Krtiny, Hostyn

Order Tour Code: C SEE11
Tour availability: Tour available in summer season Tour available in winter season

The monastery was founded earlier by Cistercian monks in 1205 in the charming valley of the little river Salaska with the financial help of Vladislav Jindrich, Margrave of Moravie. By the mid 13th century there was already a triple-aisled Romanesque basilica with transept and five apses at the east end. The sanctuary was consecrated in 1228, and by the end of the century a single-aisled chapel called the Cyrilka was built within the monastery precincts.
Badly damaged in 1423 by the Hussites, the buildings were not radically renovated until 1681-1769. Giovanni Pietro Tencalla was the architect responsible for the refashionning of the Romanesque basilica, Baltazar Fontana and Josef A. Winterhalder for the stucco of both the church and the monastery, while the sculpture was executed by Michal mandik and Antonin Riga, and the paintings by M.L. Willmann, F. Eckstein, J.G. Etgens and I. Raab. Nearby, an extensive lapidarium has been erected to contain architectural and sculptural fragments mostly deriving from the late Romanesque state of construction. Velehrad is a lively religious attracting thousands of pilgrims every year.
Wine grapes are cultivated throughout all of Europe, usually in vineyards, though in Finland and Iceland they are grown in greenhouses. Wine is adored throughout the world, and has cultivated an eager following of experts and aficionados for whom life without wine would be no life at all. Once considered the nectar of the Gods, wine is also a commodity, for buying, selling, and collecting. It is also a cytalyst for love. Most handbooks on wine miss an important point, namely, that this royal beverage can be understood as a measure of manīs own spiritual manurity.
The grape-vine was grown in the Czech lands during the time of the Great Moravian Empire. Legend has it that Prince Svatopluk sent Prince Borivoj (the grandfather of St. Wenceslas) and his wife Ludmila a cask of wine in honour of the birth of their son in 892. During a period of great drought, it is said that Ludmila sacrificed much of the gift to the Goddess Krosyna, hoping for rain. Her prayers were answered.
During the Middle Ages Czech grapes were grown primarily by monks, for more than just religious purposes. The Premonstratensians monks in Louka near the town Znojmo and the Cistercians at velehrad at Zernoseky owned the rights to their vineyards for centuries. Wine underwent a substantial "renaissance" under the Czech king and emperor Charles IV, who isseud an edict in 1358 calling for the cultivation of new vineyards. Wine soon became an important trade item, the selling and buying of which were influenced later by monarchs such as Rudolph II and Joseph II.

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The pilgrimage church of the Birth of the virgin at Krtiny, nestling in a lovely wooded valley near Blansko, is a typical example of Czech Baroque planning.
The years 1712-1750 saw the construction of the massive cross-shaped central edifice with its monumental dome and facade surmounted by a tower for which the Baroque architect, Giovanni B. Santini, supplied the plans. The focus of the church was a spectacular 15th century statue of the benevolent Virgin, the object of the pilgrimīs worship. The original Baroque interior, created by the foremost Baroque artists of Moravia, remains almost unchaged. The murals are by Johann J. Etgens, the painting on the high altar is by Joseph Winterhalder, and there are carved wooden ornaments by Andreas Schweigl. There is also a noteworthy series of Stations of the Cross by the Jesuit painter, Ignaz Raab. Adjoining the church there is an oval cloister surrounding the chapel of St. Anna, patroness of the family.

Not far from Zlin is Hostyn hill which has a history of two thousand years of settlement. It was at the ramparts near the top of this memorable hill, that the local population was saved from the invading Tartars. The spot has become a place of pilgrimage. The Baroque church of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary remained an active place of pilgrimage even throughout the years of teh communist regime when such acts of worship were strongly discouraged.

South Moravia, SE from Prague
1)South Moravian Pilgrim Sites SEE11 - 10 hour round trip
Trips combinations:
2)Catholic Pilgrim Sites in Moravia SEE11 + Vranov chateau SEE10 - 13-14 hour round trip
3)Catholic Pilgrim Sites in Moravia SEE11 + Mikulov chateau and town SEE9 - 13-14 hour round trip
4)Catholic Pilgrim Sites in Moravia SEE11 + Lednice chateau SEE8 - 13-14 hour round trip
5)Catholic Pilgrim Sites in Moravia SEE11 + Namest chateau SEE7 - 13-14 hour round trip
6)Catholic Pilgrim Sites in Moravia SEE11 + Jaromerice chateau SEE6 - 13-14 hour round trip
7)Catholic Pilgrim Sites in Moravia SEE11 + Moravsky Krumlov chateau SEE5 - 13-14 hour round trip
8)Catholic Pilgrim Sites in Moravia SEE11 + Brno town SEE3 - 13-14 hour round trip
9)Catholic Pilgrim Sites in Moravia SEE11 + Moravian Karst SEE4 - 13-14 hour round trip
10)Catholic Pilgrim Sites in Moravia SEE11 + Trebic Jewish Quarter and Basilica SEE2 - 13-14 hour round trip
11)Catholic Pilgrim Sites in Moravia SEE11 + Telc town and chateau SEE1 - 13-14 hour round trip

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Last updated on Mar 23, 2011