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22. 10. 2017

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Content

THE DUCAL ROTUNDA OF THE VIRGIN MARY AND ST. CATHERINE


The oldest picture gallery of the Czech statehood 


The unique building of the Romanesque rotunda of the Virgin Mary and later St. Catherine is the only wholly preserved historical building of the Přemyslid castle in Znojmo, founded at the turn of the 11th and 12th centuries by duke Conrad the 1st and his son Litold as the seat of the principality and the main stronghold on the southern border of Přemyslid Moravia. The older fortified Přemyslid seat on the mount of St. Hyppolitus, i.e. at Hradiště near Znojmo, probably did not meet the defence and representative requirements and was therefore eventually abandoned. It did, however, maintain its position as an ecclesiastic centre until Znojmo was elevated to town status in the 1st third of the 13th century. 

The Rotunda was built on a dominant site in the midst of the new castle shortly before 1100. Archaeological research in the years 1987 - 1989 and the subsequent structural and historical research excluded the hypotheses of the Great Moravian origins of the building. When the Znojmo castle was being built, a quite large area around it was developed as well, the roots of a future city, and on its highest hill they founded the church of St. Michael. The new castle chapel (rotunda) was affiliated to this church. The fate of the Znojmo rotunda was also influenced by the complex relationships between the members of the Přemyslid dynasty in the first half of the 12th century. The ruling Czech duke Sobeslav the 1st arranged for Conrad the 2nd of Znojmo to marry Mary, the daughter of the Serbian ruler Uroš, the sister of the Hungarian queen. On this occasion, probably in 1134, the rotunda was adapted and given new patrocinium - St. Catherine. Originally the temple was consecrated to the Annunciation of the Virgin Mary, as is documented by the Gothic Latin inscription, discovered during the restoration of paintings in 1949 by the academic painter František Fišer. From the 13th century on, the rotunda is designated as the ruler's chapel, regia capella - "royal chapel". In 1320, king John of Luxembourg authorised the county governor Jindřich z Lipé to dispose of the patronage to the church of St. Michael and the castle chapel of St. Catherine; in the same year, by will of Henry, the patronage was given to the Sisters of St. Clare from the monastery of the Mother of God below the castle. In 1555, in the tumultuous era of the Reformation and the decline of the monastery of the Sisters of St. Clare, the patronage passed on to the city of Znojmo. The rotunda stopped being a royal chapel in 1710, when emperor Joseph the 1st sold the whole front part of the Znojmo castle to the city of Znojmo, which founded a brewing right endowed brewery. In 1861, the brewery passed into private ownership (Maural), sealing the doom of the rotunda. It served as a wood shed, pig sty, pub and dance hall as well as a basket-making shop.
It wasn't until the 60ies of the 19th century that the custodian of the then Františkovo museum in Brno, Mořic Trapp, pointed out the significance of the rotunda. After lengthy delays, as late as 1891 - 1893, the paintings were restored by the Vienna restorer Theofil Melicher. After the Czech borderlands were occupied by Nazi Germany in 1938, for a short time Dr. Walliser from Vienna continued restoration work on the rotunda, but after partially uncovering the original of the Přemyslid series the town hall of Znojmo of the time, due to a political decision, stopped the works shortly afterwards. Further restoration of this precious work of art was continued after 1945 by the State institute of monument preservation and administration - the South-Moravian museum in Znojmo. In 1945 - 1949, academic painter František Fišer did extensive restoration work here. Another stage was started off in 1965 by the Znojmo native - academic painter Oldřich Míša, and continued in 1969 - 1973 by restorers Pavel Lorek, Jaroslav Alt and Alois Martan. The two latter conserved the paintings in 1988.
A number of scientific researches from various fields are now dealing with questions around the rotunda. Besides art historians and archaeologists, there was also geophysical and engineering geological researches conducted here of the bedrock under the building and a study of the microclimate in its interior. After the research ended, the Znojmo rotunda was once again open to the public.                                                                                                                                                                  

source http://www.znojmuz.cz/

 

Open from May 1st to September 27th 2015

The Rotunda is open to the public in a trial visitor's regime depending on the current status of the microclimate of the interior. Maximum 10 people per 30 minutes. The tour takes 15 minutes.

Entry at:
9:15, 9:45, 10:15, 10:45, 11:15, 11:45 AM 

12:15, 12:45, 1:15, 1:45, 2:15, 2:45, ​3:15, 3:45,​ 4:15 PM
Entry is prohibited in case of bad climatic conditions! 
Open from:

You can make a non-commitment booking with the box office of the Znojmo castle at the telephone number: 515 222 311

 

 

 

 

June - September

Tue - Sun

9 AM - 5 PM

 

entrance fee:

full

  90 CZK

 

we accept:        SPHERE CARD 10% discount

SPHERE CARD, FAMILY PASS

 

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