Two years ago, we decided to answer our need for spiritual fulfilment and embarked on an adventure to the pyramids in Bosnia. Whether they are in fact actual pyramids or just hills that bear an incredible resemblance to them is not too important. Either way, if you are going to visit Bosnia’s Visoko, you will find yourself amidst picturesque nature lined with forests and fields and pass through places where you’ll suddenly feel a sense of ease and happiness, for no specific reason. Fast forward to July of 2019, we find ourselves on our way to the magical Moravian Karst, best known for its Macocha gorge and system of caves, of which the most popular is the Punkva Cave. Indeed, the beauty of the Moravian Karst alone is reason enough to visit, but it wouldn’t be us if we didn’t go looking for gems off the beaten track. Among pilgrims, Christians and esoterics there is a known place hidden from the world by thick forest and a rock massif. This is the picturesque town of Křtiny and its Church of the Name of the Virgin Mary, designed by the architect Jan Blažej Santini-Aichel. The fact that it’s not just an ordinary church may be obvious from the introduction. The location, which has attracted numerous pilgrims through the Marian pilgrimages, possesses a powerful atmosphere. If you believe that certain spaces can shine with energy, you can be sure that Křtiny is one of those places. And if you don’t, just let yourself revel in how spectacular the architecture and decoration of sacred buildings from the first half of the 18th century can be.
Part of this pilgrimage spot is also a former residence of the Premonstratensians, today known as the Křtiny Chateau. Following an extensive reconstruction, it now contains a hotel, restaurant and large, fully equipped conference facilities. Although the hotel complies with modern standards, much of the original building has been preserved, maintaining the overall atmosphere of this historic site. We recommend going up to your room via the original stone staircase, where time has left its distinct footprints. Look out the window and bask in the view of the surrounding nature or the Church of the Name of the Virgin Mary. Interesting events or exhibitions often take place in the chateau and its park. Nowadays, technically oriented visitors can enjoy the exhibition of chainsaws from the previous century. We also recommend taking a walk along the Stations of the Cross, also named “joyful,” which we thoroughly enjoyed, given the sheer amounts of wild strawberries and raspberries found along the way.
If you’re visiting the Křtiny Chateau, do not miss the nearby cave Výpustek, which is one of the five most important caves of the Moravian Karst. Its uniqueness can be felt upon entering through the heavy doors leading into a concrete bunker, a former backup command post of the Czech and former Czechoslovakian army troops. In 1961, this bunker was built into a vast cave corridor, and during the tour you will get to experience what it would be like to face the onslaught of weapons of mass destruction as a professional soldier. From the shelter you will then move on to the cave spaces, which served as a German underground factory in times of war. You can also look forward to the stalactite decorations and many other attractions from the magical world of cave systems.
If you would like to experience the mysterious beauty of the Moravian Karst, we can recommend the location of the Křtiny Castle as an ideal starting point.
- Location of the Moravian Karst
- Conference facilities with large capacity
- Genius loci of the area
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