The Virgin Mary and St Wenceslas’s Basilica at Louka
- An encyclopaedia of architectural styles under one roof –
The central church of the Louka Abbey, once the biggest medieval domain of the Znojmo Region, is a virtual encyclopaedia of architectural styles starting from the Romanesque up to the Baroque. The Louka Premonstratensians began to build the church in the first third of the 13th century, influenced by Late Renaissance structures in neighbouring Lower Austria. The lower parts of the chancel walls and the eastern apse still bear many traces of this phase as well as the breathtaking Romanesque crypt with short yet impressive pillars. Having been considerably damaged by the Hussites’ plundering in 1425, the church was subsequently reconstructed and augmented in the Gothic style. The central nave was then modified in the Renaissance period. In the 2nd half of the 17th century Louka abbots rebuilt the two western towers and the whole front to the present Early Baroque form. The statue of St Wenceslas was fixed at the central top niche. The Baroque church organ belongs to the oldest ones still in use all over Moravia. In 1742 King Friedrich II the Great of Prussia, having invaded South Moravia, visited the church.