Church of the Assumption of Our Lady and Saint John the Baptist
The Church of the Assumption of Our Lady and Saint John the Baptist is a Gothic and Baroque Gothic church north-east of Kutná Hora in the Czech Republic and is listed in the UNESCO World Heritage List together with the Chapel of All Saints and its ossuary and other monuments in Kutná Hora. It is one of the most important Czech Gothic buildings built in the time of the very last Přemyslids and also a very important and one of the oldest examples of the Baroque Gothic style (connected with the Czech Baroque architect Jan Blažej Santini-Aichel).
The church was built first in the Gothic style around 1300 as one of the first High Gothic building in the Kingdom of Bohemia and as the first church in the kingdom resembling French Gothic cathedrals. It was built on the place of an older church and was a part of the Cistercians Sedlec Abbey, which was the oldest Cistercian abbey in the Czech lands founded in 1142. The abbey was burnt down by the Hussites in 1421 and the church became a ruin for the next two centuries.
In 1700 the abbot of the Sedlec Abbey Jindřich Snopek decided to rebuild the old church. The reconstruction was conducted by the architect Pavel Ignác Bayer. After three years the new architect became Jan Blažej Santini-Aichel who had worked for the Cistercians already in Zbraslav. He completed the reconstruction of the church in his original style called Baroque Gothic. His most impressive works in the church are the amazing vaults and front wall of the church with its antechamber decorated with the statues by Matěj Václav Jäckel. The church was consecrated in 1708.
Although the church was rebuilt in the early 18th century his eastern part with side chapels, choir and transept should have preserved its original appearance (from outside).
The latest restoration of the church took place in 2001.
- Kotalík, Jiří (2001). Architektura barokní (in Czech). Praha: Správa Pražského hradu a DaDa, a. s. p. 169. ISBN 80-86161-38-2.
- Černá, Marie (2005). "Země Koruny české". Gotická architektura (in Czech). Praha: IDEA SERVIS. p. 60. ISBN 80-85970-46-5.
- Pavel Kalina,The Hybrid Architecture of Jan Blažej Santini-Aichl and Patterns of Memory in the Post-Reformation Bohemia, Umění/Art LVIII, Issue 1, 2010, p. 42-56.
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