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10. 4. 2020


Day temperatures 16/20°C, around 1000m 2°C.
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St Hippolytus’ Church and the Monastery of the Knights of the Cross with the Red Star

St Hippolytus’ Church and the Monastery of the Knights of the Cross with the Red Star


- Maulbertsch’s frescoes above Great Moravian foundations –


In the 9th and 10th centuries, Hradiště (Pöltenberg) was an important western stronghold of the Great Moravian Realm. And it is right here, in the place of the present Hradiště church and monastery, that the first Christian structure in Znojmo and one of the earliest churches in Czechia was built. Archaeologists discovered remnants of a rotunda in the middle of a Great Moravian cemetery. The consecration seems to imply that the church might have been founded by some Benedictine monks coming from St Hippolytus Abbey in the then Eastern March of Bavaria (today St. Pölten, Lower Austria). The church building apparently survived the turmoil after the fall of the Great Moravian Hradiště (approx. 930) and was still used by the first Přemyslid rulers of Znojmo in the 11th century. In 1240 King of Bohemia Wenceslas I donated Hradiště to the Knights of the Cross with the Red Star, in whose property the church and monastery have remained up to the present. The Knights demolished all that was left of Great Moravian structures and built a new gothic church and a monastery in the 13th century. After the Thirty Years’ War the Knights had to rebuild the whole area again. St Hippolytus’ Church was significantly modified once more in the 1760s when it got its late-Baroque dome, so characteristic when looking at Hradiště from afar. Inside an outstanding fresco called The Finding of the Holy Cross was painted by F. A. Maulbertsch (1724-1796), a famous Austrian painter. 

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