On the western edge of the historical town of Ostrov, you may find the campus of the former Piaristic College, which has been known as the Posvátný okrsek (Holy Precinct) since a long  time ago. The present-day state of the buildings does not suggest, even faintly, that the unique Baroque structures were not far from almost vanishing from the face of the earth. Since the 1950s, the campus had served as the headquarters of an army unit and especially its sacral structures had been subject to decay and destruction. Vandals also contributed to its deterioration when the campus had been abandoned. The town of Ostrov was trying to determine its ideal use for several years. After massive reconstruction, a complex of municipal flats was built in the convent, and the repaired sacred structures are currently serving for various cultural and religious purposes. Today, the restored Baroque monuments, an almost unbelievable work of art – bear testimony of the rich history of the town of Ostrov.

 


 

Opening hours:

From Tuesday to Sunday: 9.30 am – 12.30 am, 1.00 pm – 6.00 pm

Children under 6 years: free

Children 6 – 15 years: 20 Kč

Entrance to The church and The chapels with a guide: 50 Kč

The church is closed during the concerts and performances, but is possible to visit The chapels – 40 Kč.

The Convent – Piaristic College

The decision to establish a Piaristic College with a Latin school in Ostrov was made in 1666 by the Duchess Anna Magdaléna, the widow of the late Julius Jindřich of Saxon-Lauenburg. The construction, including the church, was headed by Martin Reiner, a Prague builder, in the course of the years 1666-1671. After conducting finishing work, the convent and the church were consecrated on September 16, 1674. The Ostrov High School facilitated access to higher education for boys from the town and its wide surroundings. A number of later prominents studied here.  The Baroque composer and court bandmaster in Baden, Johann Caspar Ferdinand Fischer (1656 – 1746), who had studied in Ostrov in the 1670s, is well-known up to this day. Also Josef Loschmidt  (1821 – 1895), a physicist and chemist, one of the founders of nuclear physics, studied here from 1833 to 1837. And in the 1920s, the actress Zita Kabátová spent two years at a school for girls founded in Ostrov by the Order of the Sisters of Christian Love in the late 19th century.

 

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The Saxon-Lauenburg Funeral Chapel of the St. Anne

The foundation stone was laid by Julius Jindřich, the Duke of Saxon-Lauenburg, on April 20, 1644. He had chosen a remote place just beyond the chateau garden to build
a mausoleum for his family. The chapel was consecrated on September 16, 1663 and soon afterwards, the remains of Julius Jindřich, who died on November 20, 1665, were buried here. The chapel is an octagonal central structure topped by an onion-dome roof with a lantern. Two-floor emporas may be found inside the chapel between pillars with stucco decorations. It is a rare architectonic structure, one of the first Early Baroque central structures in Bohemia.

 

 

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The Chapel of St. Florian

The construction of the chapel was built upon the request of the Margravine Franziska Sibylla Augusta of Baden in the course of years from 1692 to 1693 in memory of a fire on December 28, 1691, which devastated the chateau, yet spared the adjacent town. The central prismatic structure with bevelled corners is roofed with a dome with a lantern. The cupola over the impressive space is decorated with a painting made by an Italian painter, Paolo Manni – The Massacre of the Bethlehem Children  (December 28 – The Feast of Younglings or the Innocent), and the Holy Trinity is depicted in the chandelier. Despite the fact that the dome is dominated by the topic of murder, there is not a drop of blood on the painting. – From 1793 until 1852, the structure served as grain loft and a storage house. In 1933, it was renovated as a monument commemorating the victims of World War I. In September 2007, following an overall reconstruction, a Monument to the Victims of Violence in the Ostrov Region in the 20th century will be opened here.

 

Academic sculptor  Jaroslav Šlezinger 

* 29 April1911 Jemnice † 2 August 1955  Ostrov – Vykmanov

Imprisoned for political reasons in the internment camp of forced labour at Vykmanov from 1951 to 1955. His reliefs of the Way of the Cross with the accompanying text offering personal testimony to the torments suffered at Vykmanov were created secretly during his official work for the decoration of the Ostrov House of Culture. They represent the reverse side of the regime of the fifties. The reliefs have been donated to the city of Ostrov by Mrs. Anna Honová from Uherský Brod, on behalf of the author´s wife Mrs. Marie Šlezingerová.

 Monument to the victims of all violence in the Ostrov District

 

        I. Jesus condemned to death Jesus before Pilatus

They lead you to the court

To hear the judgment

In the folk´s will.

What do they ask? Punishment!

Thus Christ was put to death,

After Hosanna shouts

The day before.

 

II.   Jesus takes the cross on his shoulders

When the soul deplores

The injustice of fate,

When you defy in vain

The blows, the weight of cross,

Then have a look at Christ,

The modesty with which

He does the cross accept

And He will give you strength,

The courage that you need

For the sad

Prison way.

 

        III. Jesus falls under the cross for the first time

                        More than is bearable,

The strokes of fate

Do weigh on you,

You sink into a futile

Liberation search.

Now get a grip on you

             And meekly bear

Your cross

Down to the end of pain.

Oh Jesus, You who falls

Under the weighty cross,

Give me your solace

And without murmur

Let me follow you.

        IV. Whipping and mocking scene

Sad and double painful

Is your mother´s way

To meet with you in prison.

Instead of joy and pride

Humiliation to tears.

How can she console you?

No need of words where the heart talks.

If all are beating you,

                   Mother will caress, still,

                  If all do despise you,

                  Mother will cheer you up.

                  Behold!  God´s Mother meets her Son

                  Whom murderers now push to death,

                  Embracing Him with loving eyes.

                  Devote your mother and yourself     

                  To Her - abased, yet celebrated -

                  Ask Her to pray for both of you

                  Requesting mercy.

                                   Jesus coming across his Mother:

                                   This scene is missing in the cycle.

                                   It has been replaced by the scene

                                   of whipping and mocking, although

                                   not typical for the Way of the Cross.

            V. Simon of Cyrene helps Jesus to carry the cross

Do not despair,

Not in the deepest lack of hope,

Feeling exhausted,

Lonely,

Forlorn.

God does not let you die

Mid of your journey.

He will send a friend

At the worst point

To comfort you,

To support your cross,

Your burden

To relieve,

To help you in achieving

Redemption.

 

        VI. Veronica tends the drape to Jesus

The prison will imprint

An indelible sign on you,

The one of wrong and of disgrace.

With whom would you now share

The heavy burden?

See, you can just put your head

Into the palms of the one loyal soul,

Weeping away

The pain and sorrow.

 

        VII. Jesus falls under the cross for the second time

Beg Jesus

Who has sunken for the second time

Under the heavy weight of cross,

Beg Him to pardon

Your small belief,

The weakness of yourself.

How tortured are His looks.

And think of sufferings of His

Before He terminates his Work.

One has to fall

For understanding

The fullest resignation

Into the will of our Lord.

 

        VIII. Jesus meets with women

Tormented and demeaned,

Dishonoured, stained with blood,

Spitted on, trailed to death –

Jesus comforts the weeping women,

With loving sight

Offering mercy

And forgiveness.

When going for a visit,

In anguish and desire,

Don´t show your pain –

But spread your love,

The wounds of heart

be hidden by your smile.

 

        IX. Jesus falls under the cross for the third time

Only a glance upon the cross

Can make you brave enough

To get up once again

When feeling

That you can´t proceed

In agony of hopeless pain.

Behold, how Jesus falls anew,

Weary to death,

But gets upright

To carry on his cross

Up to the humbling hill.

 

        X. Jesus deprived from abashment

Have You not felt ashamed,

As they pulled down at court

Your drape of honesty,

Dirtying your name,

Your family and friends,

With mean derision

Over the simple deeds of Yours?

How small is your own suffering

Against His pain,

When they pulled down His garment,

Exposing Him

To greedy hangmen´s eyes.

 

    XI. Jesus nailed to the cross

They nailed Jesus to the cross.

This is the peak of tragedy.

Also your tragedy had culmination.

One speech made people tremble:

The prosecutor´s one.

Judgments were pronounced,

Your name was heard:

A hammer blow.

Stand the pain. Be strong

In this last while.

The audience is watching.

Don´t show it hurts,

But rather show contempt.

Hold on, to termination.

 

XII.      Jesus dies on the cross

            The work has been done!

            The work of wrath, anger, hatred,

            And that of fear!

            The staging is over,

            Just for a while the powerful

            Feel safe again.

            You´re dead for the world,

            Cleared from the path.

            To death tormented Jesus, though,

                Gives strength to you and hope

                  That also you can share

Revival.

 

        XIII. Jesus taken from the cross

Sullen and grey and sad is the prison,

As tomb feel cold its walls,

The same as guards,

And heavier than tombstones

Is human hatred, yes, indeed.

But do believe that Christ

Also for you

Has risen from the dead,

From the demeaning grave,

And you´ll be sent an angel, too:

To roll away the closing stone

For you, for being free

And clean!

 

    XIV. The body of Jesus put to grave

Alleluia!

Our celebrated Lord has risen!

The hopes of the damned are dashed,

His murderers defeated.

He has risen also for you,

To lift the cuffs of your degradation

To revive you to life

In Glory.

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The Einsiedeln Chapel

The chapel is a copy of the Lady Chapel in the pilgrimage site of Einsiedeln, Switzerland, built in the course of years from 1709 to 1710 upon the wish of the Margravine of Baden. The structure was allegedly designed by the court builder, J.M.Sockh. A similar chapel was also built by the builder J.M.Rohrer in Rastatt in 1715, where the margrave family had moved. The oblong chaple with a rectangular, indented closure has a richly decorated facade, diversified by protruding columns and corner pilasters with decorated capitals. The Saxon-Lauenburg-Baden alliance emblem may be found over the entrance with stucco reliefs on both sides of the entrance – i.e. the Annunciation and the Birth of Our Lord  - and the relief of the Death of the Virgin Mary in the high gable. The top of the chapel is decorated by the statues of Our Lady, St. Benedictine, and St. Moor. A legend is associated with the chapel which you will certainly learn during your visit to the chapel. The main character in it is relentless time and the deceptive helper of the builder – the Devil.

 

 

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The Church of the Annunciation of the Virgin Mary

The heart of the cloister grounds is formed by the Church of the Annunciation of the Virgin Mary, a single-nave structure with a rectangular chancel. The nave area with six chapels is vaulted over by a cylindrical vault with three pairs of sectors projecting from the grandiose pillars. The tall prismatic bell tower was connected with the church through the vestry only later.  Three two-floor cloister annexes are attached to the church, with an internal court and a   cloister. The architectonic design of the facades is quite frugal. Only a few items have been preserved from the interior furnishings of the church: some altar fragments, several statues, and two pictures. However, photo documentation of the original state has been preserved. All that survived the last fifty years is exhibited in its original locations. The church is designated for various cultural events.

 

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The complex of historical buildings also includes the small Chapel of Our Lady of Sorrows as well as garden-house and a grotto in the cloister garden.