Pilgrimage Church of St. John of Nepomuk at Zelená Hora

Pilgrimage Church of St. John of Nepomuk at Zelená Hora

The Pilgrimage Church of St John of Nepomuk at Zelená Hora (Gruenberg) is a religious building in Žďár nad Sázavou, Czech Republic, near the border between Bohemia and Moravia. It is the final work of Jan Santini Aichel, a Bohemian architect who combined the Borrominiesque Baroque with references to Gothic elements in both construction and decoration.

In 1719, when the Roman Catholic Church declared the tongue of John of Nepomuk to be “incorruptible”, work started to build a church in Zelena Hora, where the future saint had received his early education. It was consecrated immediately after John’s beatification in 1720, although construction works lumbered on until 1727. Half a century later, after a serious fire, the shape of the roof was altered.

The church, with many furnishings designed by Santini himself, is remarkable for its gothicizing features and complex symbolism, quite unusual for the time. In 1993, it was declared a World Heritage Site. The nomination dossier pointed out to Santini’s ratios aimed at “the creation of an independent spatial reality”, with “the number 5 being dominant in the layout and proportions” of the church.

Outline
The Pilgrimage Church of St John of Nepomuk at Zelená Hora (Gruenberg) is a religious building in Žďár nad Sázavou, Czech Republic, near the border between Bohemia and Moravia.

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