Fragments from Karlovy Vary Region
Church of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary in Svatobor
At the outset, it is worth mentioning that the area of the church with the rectory and the cemetery has been protected as a cultural monument since February 11, 1964.
The Church of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary in Svatobor is the ruin of a former parish pilgrimage Roman Catholic church in Svatobor (part of the village of Doupovské Hradiště) in the district of Karlovy Vary in the Karlovy Vary region. It is located at the edge of the Hradiště military district in the Doupovské hory. After the reduction of the military district, the monument is located outside the borders of the military area.
On the site of the current ruins of the church, there originally stood a Gothic, perhaps wooden church of unknown dedication, probably built at the beginning of the 13th century. In 1272, the area between Ohří and the Deserted Castle was taken over by King Přemysl Otakar II. from the jurisdiction of the burgrave of Loket and handed over to the Cistercian monastery in Osek.
The Cistercian monastery had a new Gothic church of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary built in 1352 on the site of the original church in Svatobor according to the design of an unknown architect. He was solemnly ordained the same year. The parish church belonged to the Ossetic monastery until 1465, when it was ceded to King Jiří of Poděbrady, who annexed it to the Andělská Hora castle estate. It then became a branch church of St. Michael the Archangel in Andělská Hora. Over the centuries the church fell into disrepair and a report dated 27 September 1721 shows that it was in a very poor condition.
The Baroque church was built between 1731 and 1736 by Count František Josef Černín according to the design of architect František Maxmilián Kaňka. It is an oriented single nave with a rectangular, semicircular presbytery. The area also includes a wall.
Until the Second World War, the church suffered various damages (e.g.: tower fire caused by lightning, windstorm). The church, rectory and adjacent farm buildings underwent thorough repairs and reconstruction in the years 1885–1888.
After the Second World War, the German population was displaced, and Svatobor was only partially settled by inhabitants from the interior, and the local parish was abolished. From December 1946, priest Vojtěch Sádlo from the Order of the Cross with the Red Star, who commuted from the Church of the Ascension of St. Crosses in Rybáry. In 1953, the territory was incorporated into the newly created Military District of Hradiště. The church was closed and transferred to the administration of the army. Part of the rich inventory was transported to other churches, e.g. to the Church of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary and St. Mary Magdalene in Chlum Svaté Maří. A baroque organ was transported to the Prague Mirror Chapel. Other equipment was stolen or destroyed. The unmaintained church subsequently served as a warehouse, military estates stored rapeseed here. In 1966, the church was most likely deliberately set on fire, although the military forests stated that the fire was caused by the spontaneous combustion of stored rapeseed. After the fire, the church remained abandoned and was completely devastated during the second half of the 20th century.
From the end of 2003, the church was gradually secured by the army, the collapsed parts of the presbytery were bricked up, the damaged wood from the ship’s vault was removed, and in 2011 the building was provisionally roofed, and the church tower was then given a simple low conical roof. The empty church was temporarily closed, bars prevented access to the interior. In 2015, the entire area was newly fenced. At the beginning of 2016, the objects were transferred to the property of the newly established municipality of Doupovské Hradiště. The Society for Documentation and Restoration of Karlovarsk Monuments is trying to save the church. In October 2016, the association, in cooperation with the municipality, started work on the overall revitalization of the devastated cemetery.
Despite the repairs carried out after 2000, the vault of the presbytery collapsed, and the damaged brickwork of the triumphal arch is also in danger of collapsing. Both parts should be reconstructed in 2019 on the basis of the project for the total restoration of the church, the realization of which was estimated at 32 million crowns. It also includes the modification of the lookout tower. After the repair, the church should serve as a cultural hall and an exhibition hall.
The Goblin Rocks are a national natural monument and a geologically unique location of pseudokarst cavities in volcanic breccia in the western part of the Doupovské Mountains, less than a kilometer as the crow flies to the east of Dubina, part of the Šemnice municipality in the Karlovy Vary district above the Svatobor municipality. The protected area, which lies on the cadastral territory of the municipality of Doupovské Hradiště, established in 2016 after the reduction of the area of the Hradiště military district, is under the administration of the Ministry of the Environment of the Czech Republic.
These are rock cavities of an elongated oval shape, some of which are up to 150 cm wide. There are currently three theories describing the origin of these geologically interesting shapes. The territory is also rich in rare vegetation.
The place is associated with a legend and elves, after which the location got its name.
In the steep rock above Dubina, which has long been called Skalka spríktů, there are many mysterious caves. These abandoned dwellings and corridors are a reminder of their ancient inhabitants. They were peaceful goblins who guarded a great treasure here, in the territory of the Doupov mountains. They lived well with the people of the surrounding villages and, as invisible helpers, helped them with their daily hard work. For this they only demanded a little food from the householders. Over time, however, the peasants became greedy and no longer wished for greed and elves. They preferred to eat the bread previously intended for the goblins themselves. In addition, the age-old peace of the woods was disturbed by the ringing of the church bell in Svatobor. Therefore, the goblin nation decided to leave this region. So one day the king of the goblins came to the ferryman across the river Ohři in Dubina and asked him if he would take his numerous people across the river. The ferryman agreed and carried the invisible elves from one shore to the other all day long. When he transported the last elves at dusk, the king rewarded him with gold. He also asked if he wanted to be the last to see his nation here. The ferryman wanted to, because he was curious about how many elves he had transported. The king shouted: “Hats off!”. At that moment, the ferryman was amazed – he saw several thousand elves in the meadow. After that, the king said goodbye to him, the goblins waved to him and set off with the heavy load towards the Ore Mountains. No one has seen the sprites since then.
Šemnická skála (Šemnická rock)
Šemnická rock is a prominent landscape feature and a natural monument in the Karlovy Vary district (proclaimed in 1933). It is located in the northeastern edge of the PLA Slavkovský forest approximately 1 km southwest of the village of Šemnic between the villages of Andělská Hora and Dubina. The subject of protection is a bell tower with unusually shaped rocks and other geomorphological phenomena, on which valuable plant communities have formed on rock formations.
The administration of the PLA Slavkovský les is entrusted with the care of the territory.
The place was originally called Panenský skok. The current name Šemnická skála was adopted only in the 19th century. In the past, the top of the rock was decorated with a cross in memory of a girl who, according to legend, fled from a cruel lord there so that she wouldn’t have to marry him, and pretended to jump off the rock (the lord then allegedly fell off the rock).
From the top of the rock there is an extraordinary view of the ridge of the Ore Mountains, the Doupovská Mountains and the Ohře Valley. The rock can be reached from several directions along marked hiking trails. The educational trail Andělská Hora – Kyselka leads over the Šemnická rock.