THE UNESCO SITES
The Church of St. John of Nepomuk at Zelená hora
The Pilgrimage Church of St. John of Nepomuk was built according to the designs of the great Prague high Baroque architect, Jan Blažej Santini – Aichl. The building was commissioned by the abbot of the Žďár monastery, Václac Vejmluva, a keen admirer of St. John of Nepomuk, who decided to have it built immediately after an undamaged tongue was allegedly found in the saint´s tomb in St. Vitus Cathedral in Prague in April 1719, during the beatification process. The building of the church commenced in August of the same year and a hill above the convent’s lake was chosen for the church, southeast of the monastery. The church was consecrated in September 1722 and is considered to be the peak of Santini´s work. Due to the originality of the Czech Baroque Gothic and the masterful composition of the grounds, symbolising the five-point St. John Star, the church was inscribed on the UNESCO world cultural heritage list in 1994. Inside the church, the symbol of the magical number five is shown primarily by five altars and five hallways, and the five stars and five angels on the main altar. The courtyard of the pilgrimage site is delimited by ambits with five gates and chapels. The gates placed in the middle of each arm boast cupola roofs and are supplemented with statues.
St. Procopius Baslilica
The Romanesque – Gothic basilica, originally consecrated to the Virgin Mary, was built for the Benedictine monastery in 1250 and is a marvel of medieval architecture. In the middle of the 15th century, it suffered significantly when Třebíč was surrounded by the armies of Matthias Corvinus; and for the two centuries that followed, it was used as a horse stable, silo, and brewery. After an overall renovation between 1725 and 1731, it was consecrated to St. Procopius and again used for sacral purposes. The most valuable parts include the extensive triple-nave crypt with pillars, the choir vaulted with a double eight-piece stone vault, the round rosette window in the eastern part of the apse, and the northern entrance portal. The present appearance of the basilica’s interior is the work of Kamil Hilbert, from 1924 – 1935. Together with other Třebíč sights, the Basilica has been inscribed on the UNESCO world cultural heritage list since July 2003. The Basilica can be visited with a professional guide.
The Jewish Town
From the urbanistic and historical point of view, the Jewish town district, with narrow winding streets, vaulted passages, and two synagogues, is unique in Europe. That is why it was inscribed on the UNESCO world cultural heritage list in July 2003. This is the only Jewish monument registered on the UNESCO List of World Cultural and Natural Heritage outside the territory of the state of Israel. We can found in Třebíč Back and Front Synagogue, the Jewish cemetery, as well as school, town hall, or poorhouse.
The Renaissance chateau came into existence through the 16th-century rebuilding of a defensive Gothic castle. Of especial value are its interiors. The final form was given to the chateau grounds by the Italian architect Baldassare Maggi. It is one of the best-preserved Renaissance chateau complexes in the country. Especially precious are the interior furnishings. The basic tour features a visit to the original Gothic part and magnificent halls (Blue, Golden, Knights’) with well - preserved wooden cassette ceilings, valuable furnishings, and rich collections of weapons and paintings. The second tour passes through the residential grounds used by the last owners of the chateau, the Podstatsky-Lichtenstein family, until 1945. Their furnishings provide important testimony about the appearance of the aristocratic interiors of the time. The chateau is surrounded with a natural park boasting a Classicist hothouse. The chateau premises also house a branch of the Vysočina Museum and the Chateau Gallery. The chateau and the historical centre of the town have been inscribed on the UNESCO list of world cultural heritage since 1992. The chateau courtyards and historical halls are popular venues for musical concerts.
Other sites of Vysočina region
This originally Gothic castle, which once underwent a Baroque renovation, was adapted in the 19th century in the manner of romantic Neo-gothic. Its exhibits feature the history of the castle and it houses an exhibition of unique historical motorcycles from the turn of the 20th century. The most valuable items include a Laurin and Klement motorcycle from 1898. An exhibition of furniture and accessories gives a hint of the atmosphere of life at a castle in the second half of the 19th century. The castle is surrounded with a landscaped park, dominated by an extensive alpine garden. Throughout the year, seasonal exhibitions are held there, and the Knights’ Hall is a venue for concerts, social gatherings, and wedding ceremonies.
Castle Lipnice nad Sázavou
One of the most massive Czech castles was built at the beginning of the 14th century on an elongated top of a rocky crest. At the beginning of the 16th century, it was rebuilt in the late-Gothic style and later received Renaissance adaptations. The castle’s St. Lawrence Chapel was adapted in the Baroque style at the end of the 17th century. The castle was abandoned after the 1869 fire and was partially renovated in the first half of the 20th century. The castle walls boast a view of up to 70 km. The guided tour starts in the armoury and carries on to the archaeological exhibition with a collection of Gothic stove tiles, to St. Lawrence Chapel, the dining hall of Jindřich z Lipé, and the extensive cellars, which have an original medieval well. In the summer, the courtyard comes to life with theatre, fencing, and musical performances.
The originally Gothic defensive castle was converted into a Renaissance hunting lodge in the 16th century. After it was struck by lightning in 1915, the castle burnt down; but, it was repaired and opened to the public in the 1960s. Presently, the castle presents collections of the Vysočina Museum of Jihlava. On display are porcelain, pottery, pewter, period furniture, and a folk nativity scene; the exhibition also presents the history of hunting weapons and the tradition of stone masonry in Vysočina. The walls of the Botanical Hall are decorated with pictures of medicinal herbs and agricultural plants. The castle’s landmark is the 45-meter heptagonal tower, serving as a lookout for visitors. Many cultural events are held in the castle courtyard every year in July and August, night tours can be ordered, and weddings are held in the historical halls. The castle is surrounded by an enclosure, first mentioned in historical sources in 1592. It is the home of a herd of 100 mouflon and some forty wild boars. The enclosure can be accessed via an interpretive trail.
The Italian-type, early Baroque chateau was built by Count Vilém Leopold Kinský in the early 1700s, on the site of a Gothic fortress. The chateau was renovated in the 19th century and after a 1927 fire. It is surrounded by a 15-hectare English garden in the protected valley of the River Doubrava. The chateau is held by the Dobrzenský family, which has resided there since 1836. The museum collections are housed in a Baroque hall and five former guest rooms. They document the town’s historical development, and it has rich collections of fine art, historical weapons, and sacral art. It presents the major figures of the town and shows the furnishings of a town salon from the first third of the previous century. The tour includes the chateau’s Chapel of the Holy Trinity from the early 18th century, noteworthy for its stucco decorations on the ceiling and walls.
Chateau Jaroměřice nad Rokytnou
The originally Renaissance chateau was built on the site of a Gothic water fortress and was later converted into extensive Baroque castle grounds with St. Margaret’s Parish Church. It is surrounded by a symmetrical Frenchstyle garden which turns into a landscaped park. The chateau features an installation of period interiors with valuable furnishings and collections. The historical exhibition commemorates the musical tradition connected with Count Jan Adam Questenberk and the Kapellmeister of his chateau ensemble, František Václav Míča. Visitors can choose from two tour circuits that provide access to all of the parts of the castle originally inhabited by nobility. Many concerts are held at the chateau every year; the Peter Dvorský International Music Festival builds on the musical tradition.
Chateau Náměšť nad Oslavou
The predecessor of today’s chateau was a medieval castle, one of whose cylindrical towers has survived to this day. The chateau received a Renaissance renovation and later Baroque adaptations. The chateau chapel is decorated by statues and paintings from an abolished Capuchin monastery. The vault of the chateau library boasts rich stucco and fresco decorations. There are 16,000 volumes in the library, one of the most valuable ones being the Kralice Bible. After 1946, the chateau was adapted to be a summer home for President Beneš. The chateau’s halls house an extensive exhibition of tapestries from the 16th to the 19th centuries. Concerts are held regularly in the chateau library and in the courtyard. The chateau is surrounded by a park with many old precious woody species.
Chateau and Monastery Žďár nad Sázavou
The Cistercian monastery established in 1252 by the Znojmo Burgrave Boček of Obřany was renovated in the 18th century according to the designs of the architect Santini. The chateau received its present form after 1784, when the monastery burned down, was abolished by the decision of Emperor Joseph II, and rebuilt into an extensive chateau. The core of the former abbey building and a part of the convent are Gothic, and the farm buildings in the first courtyard are Baroque. The convent building now houses permanent museum exhibitions. The ground floor features an exhibition devoted to Santini, offering the visitor a peek into the history of the convent and presenting Santini’s buildings through photographs, models, and drawings. It is supplemented with originals and copies of sculptures, period paintings, and video projections. The prelature, rebuilt by architect Santini, today houses the Museum of the Book.