Cemetery Church of the Virgin Mary in Broumov

This cemetery church is one of the oldest wooden sacral buildings in Central Europe and is remarkable for its architecture and interior painting. We know nothing of how the church originally looked, perhaps apart from the fact that it was made of wood. It was burned down when the town was besieged by the Hussite troops in June 1421 and the church’s present-day appearance probably dates back to 1450.

The church is consecrated to the Virgin Mary and is exceptional not only for its age, but also for its construction technique. Not a single nail is used; it is a half-timbered structure made from massive oak beams. The entire beam structure of the nave and chancel, ceiling and roof trusses on which the high bell tower stands all form a single unit, a perfect example of carpentry which has survived the centuries. There is a covered gallery all around the church nave. Its current appearance is the result of restoration work on the church after the Prussian invasion in 1779, when the original gallery with its plank-studded walls was torn down at the orders of General Anhalt to enable the church to be used by the army. In the gallery the church is encircled by 9 wooden panels, which chronicle the history of the town. They show, for example, that in 1542 the local inhabitants were afflicted by great swarms of locusts, as well as adoration to Emperor Joseph II in 1766. A number of Renaissance and Empire tombstones from abandoned graves have been moved to the church gallery.

Besides floral ornamentation and stylised animals, the painting inside the church also features Late Gothic lettering, creating mysterious inscriptions, although as a whole they do not mean anything. The rare interior paintwork is enhanced by a valuable oil painting from the early 17th century, depicting the patron saint and Czech saints with Broumov in the background.

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Cemetery Church of the Virgin Mary in Broumov
Křinická, Broumov, 550 01
Tel.: +420 491 523 796

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