Chapel on the Mountain of the Cross in Cesky Krumlov

The Chapel on the Mountain of the Cross is the archetype of the sensitive perception of the Baroque period, which is distinctive for building-up pilgrimage buildings. Such adoration of the Czech landscape is connected with Madonna cult and places of pilgrimage are often located on a top of a mountain as well as the chapel on the Mountain of the Cross (619 m above sea level south east of Cesky Krumlov).

The sacral area is in terms of style very retarded and even rustic, which corresponds with the local art works of the first years of the 18th century. It reflected the manner of early Baroque architecture. The chapel´s composition is based upon a typical Baroque numerical symbolism.

In the middle of the 17th century, a Jesuit preacher erected there a so-called Spanish wooden cross in order to protect the town against natural disasters. Fifty years later, when the cross had to be repaired, a small wooden chapel was built there from remaining wood. Three pictures of the Cross Path were places by the chapel.

In 1710, prince Johann Christian I. Von Eggenberg and his wife in cooperation with municipal house built a bigger brick chapel. On the chapel´s equipment participated many artists and craftsmen from Cesky Krumlov. It turned out very soon, that the chapel is too small, so the prince decided to build an eight-nave ambit right away. The whole project was finished only in 1726, because of the death of the prince. In front of the main entrance stands a stone-cut three-cross Calvary and two columns decorated with sculptures of Christ the Sufferer and Our Lady Dolorous were situated in front of the southern entrance. Paintings, altars, sculptures and hanging pictures decorated the ambit. A hermit´s dwelling was built inside.

In the middle of 18th century the Cross Path applied big changes. Six new Chapels decorated by František Jakub Prokys were erected instead of old ones.

The chapel was closed down in 1787 and sold in auction. In 1850 the whole area was repaired, but after the last reconstruction the chapel started to dilapidate. It seemed that it would vanish totally after 1918, but fortunately it did not happen. The chapel bought Terezie Schwarzenberg and the place of pilgrimage in Cesky Krumlov was renovated. It was consecrated again in 1933. After the Second World War the chapel was looted and destroyed. Its condition was getting worse and worse until 1990 - 1992, when a reconstruction of the whole area went through.

Today´s use

The chapel is not open to the public during the year apart from the annually holding a pilgrimage celebration of the St. Cross Rising (14.9.).

The chapel is situated south east of Cesky Krumlov, approximately 1,7 km from the Svornosti Square.


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