Go to content
Poppy Mountain (Maková Hora)

Inspiration

The Most Beautiful Pilgrimage Sites in Central Bohemia

10. 9. 2022

The charm of religious tourism and an abundance of pilgrimage sites. Get inspired and discover the beauty of the local landscape and yourself.

The charm of religious tourism and an abundance of pilgrimage sites. Central Bohemia offers you all this. Get inspired and discover the beauty of the local landscape and yourself.

Choose one of the Central Bohemian jewels, both famous and forgotten, as the destination of your pilgrimage. Their spiritual charge will resonate with you long after your visit. Or take one of the pilgrimage routes that criss-cross the picturesque Central Bohemian countryside.

Places of pilgrimage with a unique spiritual atmosphere

Do you know them all? Soothe your soul at places that have been revered and admired for centuries. Because of their spiritual charge and atmosphere, they have become destinations for pilgrims, both religious and non-religious.

Skalka Pilgrimage Site in Mníšek pod Brdy
i
Skalka Pilgrimage Site in Mníšek pod Brdy
©Daniel Stiborek

Skalka

Like a balm for the soul, this is the atmosphere of the Baroque grounds located on the edge of the Brdy Highlands. The picturesque place comprising a church, monastery and a way of the cross leading to the hermitage was created by the hand of Kryštof Dientzehofer. And while you recharge your mental energy with a walk around the grounds, you can recharge your caloric energy at a local stand where you can roast a fragrant sausage over a warm fireplace.

Stará Boleslav

One of the oldest Marian pilgrimage sites is Stará Boleslav. The Church of St. Wenceslas was founded by Prince Břetislav I on the place where St. Wenceslas, the prince and patron saint of the Czech lands, was allegedly murdered in 935. Today, pilgrimages are held in Stará Boleslav, associated not only with the cult of the Czech saint, but also with the so-called palladium– a Gothic relief considered to be the protector of the Czech lands. The spiritual dimension, peace and tranquillity are an integral part of the place.

Holly Mountain in Příbram
i
Holly Mountain in Příbram
Source: Vladimír Holan

Holy Mountain

Another place brimming with energy is Svatá Hora in Příbram, one of the most valuable monuments of the early Baroque period in Bohemia. The core of the complex became the Church of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary with the title basilica minor, built according to the project of the leading Italian architect Lurago. The famous builder Dientzenhofer also participated in the decoration.

Budeč

According to legend Budeč is the place where the young Prince Wenceslas was taught, so it is possible that Princess Ludmila also stayed there. The rotunda, which you can visit, is actually the oldest still standing church in Bohemia. There are also the remains of a hillfort from the time when Budeč used to be the main power centre of the Přemyslids. Pilgrimages here are held twice a year.

Letecký pohled na kostel sv. Jana Nepomuckého v Tetíně, při západu slunce
i
John of Nepomuk Church in Tetín
Source: Daniel Stiborek

Levý Hradec

Located near Prague Levý Hradec is a remnant of a medieval Přemyslid fortress where Princess Ludmila and Prince Bořivoj I resided. The Church of St. Clement, which was built here at the end of the 9th century, became the first church in Bohemia. The local nature trail, less than a kilometre long, guides visitors to Central Bohemia through the spiritual history of this place.

Tetín

Tetín rightly deserves a lot of attention due to its connection with the patron saint of the Czech country, Saint Ludmila. In 2021 it will be 1,100 years since the she was murdered on the Tetín hillfort The inconspicuous village near Beroun boasts three churches and wins the hearts of pilgrims thanks to its romantic view of the deep valley of the Berounka River. A visit to this pilgrimage site with a strong spiritual atmosphere will certainly evoke a sense of peace.

Sázava Monastery
i
Sázava Monastery
© CzechTourism, Jaroslav Renner

Sázava

Sázava Monastery is closely connected with the life and work of the hermit and patron saint of the Czech lands, St. Procopius. Come and experience the atmosphere of a place sanctified by the work, prayer and miracles of this saint. The best way to get to know the monastery is to take one of the guided tours: Czech patron saint Prokop or Sázava of St. Procopius.

The Church of St. Jacob, Církvice

Where to look for a building from the 12th century, richly decorated with the largest preserved set of Romanesque sculptures in the country? On a hill above the Klejnárka River in the middle of the large village square of Jakub, now part of the village of Církvice. The presence of the royal couple at the consecration of the church built on such a remote site raises questions and is of interest to historians and laymen alike. In the Czech Republic, it has no parallels.

Poppy Mountain (Maková Hora)
i
Poppy Mountain (Maková Hora)
© Marek Šaroch, Adobe Stock

Maková Hora

If any of the pilgrimage sites has a unique genius loci, it is Maková hora. The Baroque church from the 18th century is located a stone’s throw from the Vltava River, yet it remains hidden from human eyes behind the wooded slopes. Maková hora has been experiencing a renaissance among tourists in recent years, yet you can still enjoy moments of silence and solitude here.

Hrádek u Vlašimi

The main Marian pilgrimage site in Podblanicko is Hrádek u Vlašimi with the Church of St. Matthew. Here, the pilgrimage traffic is connected with the worship of the pardoned Gothic statue of the Virgin Mary of Hrádecko from the end of the 14th century. Discover this oasis of calm all year round, join other pilgrims on the famous Hradec Pilgrimage in July.

Samonosné schodiště, Santini, Kutná Hora Sedlec
i
Cathedral of the Assumption of Our Lady in Sedlec
Source: Ondřej Soukup

Kutná Hora – Sedlec

Rare and unique is the Cathedral of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary and St. John the Baptist in Sedlec near Kutná Hora, which used to be the convent church of the oldest Cistercian abbey in Bohemia, founded in 1142. For almost 300 years, the church remained in ruins after being sacked by the Hussite army, and its subsequent restoration was carried out by, among others, the master Jan Blažej Santini – Aichel, who implemented his ideas of Baroque Gothic here. With humility, as you wander, remember the constant presence of death, which no one can avoid. Where else but in the nearby famous Sedlec ossuary.

Klášter sv. Františka z Assisi ve Voticích
i
Francis of Assisi in Votice
© Jiří Beran

Votice

The history of the Votice monastery dates back to 1625. After extensive reconstruction, it was recently reopened and you can visit the exhibitions From the Life of Franciscans, Exhibition of Baby Carriages and Dolls, Homeland Museum of the Votice Region, Collectivisation in the Votice Region, Gallery of Paintings by Vladislav Kaska – Da capo al fine, history of the monastery and important personalities of the Votice region and various seasonal exhibitions.

Island of St. Kilian with the remains of the monastery of St. John the Baptist in Davle

Convince yourself in Davle that discovering pilgrimage sites can be an adventurous journey at the same time. There is no other way to get to the island of St. Kilian with the remains of the monastery of St. John the Baptist, historically the first male monastery on our territory, than by boat. It is located just before the confluence of the Vltava and Sázava rivers, in the middle of deep forests that perfectly suited the needs of the Benedictine order, whose monks devoted their lives to contemplation and prayer. Slow down and soak up the peaceful atmosphere of the place, benefits guaranteed!

Pilgrimage Site Svatý Jan pod Skalou
i
Svatý Jan pod Skalou
©Libor Sváček, MCU

Tismice

The Basilica of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary in Tismice is a collection of great mysteries. It is rather a miniature version of a Romanesque basilica, it has miniature dimensions and you will feel nice and mysterious with it. It is still not known by whom it was built, but it was certainly a very rich and educated man who knew the European architectural trends of the time. It was found that the Romanesque towers were added to the small basilica in the Gothic period – a phenomenon unprecedented elsewhere in Bohemia.

St. John under the Rock

Climbing the rock spur above the Benedictine monastery is a real challenge, but the view of the village surrounded by high hills is reward enough. Looking into the valley, you will understand why St. John under the Rock is considered one of the most beautiful villages in Central Bohemia. The monastery has a pilgrimage church, through which you can reach the cave of St. Ivan. Next to the church there is a healing spring, which was used in the 20th century in the now defunct hydrotherapy spa.

Pilgrimage Blaník-Říp? Or along the Way of St. James?

While wandering on foot, one gets to know a piece of beautiful nature and oneself. When else will there be so many opportunities for undisturbed contemplation of all kinds of things? So that you don’t have to think about where to go for a long time, follow the routes that others have already laid out for you and that hundreds of pilgrims have walked before you.

One such pilgrimage route connects two historically significant Central Bohemian hills Blaník and Říp. It is divided into seven stages, each of which incorporates a theme with questions that people of all ages ask themselves, regardless of their religion or culture. Did you know that walking can relieve tension and help to calm the soul? Choose your own pace, pick up the Pilgrim’s Diary and set off on your journey.

On the feast of St. Wenceslas on 28 September, the pilgrimage route Říp-Blaník was also inaugurated, this time divided into four stages, which together cover almost 300 km.

Stone Kight, Blaník Mountain
i
Stone Kight, Blaník Mountain
Source: Ondřej Soukup

Ways of St. James, do you know? There are several of them passing through the Czech Republic and many of them also cross Central Bohemia. The Všeruby pilgrimage way of St. James will lead you, for example, to the castle Karlštejn and to St. John under the Rock, it will take you through the picturesque valley along the Berounka River and through the Brdy Mountains, and it will also show you the Marian pilgrimage site of Svatá Hora.

Through Karlštejn and St. John under the Rock you will also follow the Iron Way, which passes through the forests in the Talich valley behind the royal Beroun and along the slopes of Děd Hill to Nižbor with its château situated high on a promontory. Through the picturesque landscape of the Křivoklát region you will arrive in Roztoky, from where the road winds through the Berounka valley through remote areas that turn into a boater’s paradise in summer, to Liblín, from where it heads through Kozojedy to Kralovice.

The East Bohemian route in its Central Bohemian part will direct you to Kutná Hora, but before that you will pass through the villages of Svatá Kateřina and Svatý Mikuláš, reminding you of the influence of the Cistercians from the monastery in Sedlec. The Church of St. James in the village of Církvice  is definitely worth a short visit. Don’t miss the Empire-style château Kačina. You will pass through the quiet valley of the Vrchlice River and along the Sázava River to Vlašim, where the route connects to the Jihočeská route (South Bohemian route).

The Zittau route will show you Mnichovo Hradiště in Central Bohemia, founded by the Cistercians from the nearby former Hradiště Monastery, with its Baroque château and the Chapel of St. Anne, where the remains of Albrecht von Wallenstein are kept. At Bakov nad Jizerou you will join the Jizera River, over which the ruins of castles Zvířetice and Michalovice will start to rise after further wandering. In Mladá Boleslav you will visit several sights before moving on to Benátky nad Jizerou with its château and to Stara Boleslav, the most important pilgrimage site on the route.

 

Worth To See


Similar articles