Monuments and Memorial Sights of Prachatice
Walls and surroundings
After a short rest on any of the park benches, you can pass through the Lower Gate to leave the Old Town. Directly past the gate, on the right, you‘ll see the Baroque Chapel of St. John of Nepomuk. This chapel comes from the early 18th century. In addition to the chapel decorations, the original Baroque iron-wrought grating is also interesting.
If we cross the intersection below the Lower Gate, we get to the place known as Skalka (Cliff). This is a distinctive quartz rock formation from which Jan Žižka led the siege of Prachatice in 1420. This is why this natural monument is sometimes called “Žižka‘s Cliff”. The nearby stone spire with its sphere and cross on the peak has an interesting story behind it – this is a small monument to commemorate the sudden death of one Prachatice inhabitant in 1803.
Close by the former Upper Gate (Horní brána, also known as Passau Gate) we see two Baroque chapels, one after the other. The first was founded in 1730 and is consecrated to St. Anthony of Padua, whose statue decorates the chapel. A bit further stands the next chapel, coming from the later 18th century and consecrated to St. John of Nepomuk.
On the site where there used to stand a fortification pond serving as a source of water for the fortification moat, a town park was opened in 1881. It was named Štěpánčin (Stephanie‘s Park) to honour the Belgian Princess Stephanie, the bride of crown prince Rudolph. There are a number of rare evergreen and deciduous trees growing in the park, such as the northern red oak (Qercus rubra L.), Ginkgo biloba, and others.
Not far from the park, we continue along the Ulice Zlatá Stezka (Golden Path Street) to the Gymnasium schoolhouse. It was built in 1896–1897 during the economic revival at the end of the 19th and beginning of the 20th century. Before the schoolhouse you‘ll notice a statue from sculptor Otto Herbert Hajek entitled “Sign”. The artist donated the work to the city in 1998.
At the end of Ulice Zlatá Stezka stands a shrine chapel consecrated to the Virgin Mary of Lorraine. It was built in 1862–1864 on the site of an earlier chapel. All we know about it is that it was built by a certain Hübler, so the chapel is sometimes named accordingly. The structure is a tasteful combination of folk style with Baroque ecclesiastical architecture.
The earliest history of the town is associated with the cemetery church of St. Peter and Paul above Old Prachatice. The cemetery, founded in the early 16th century, is the burial place of the parents of St. Jan Neumann. The single-nave church is Romanesque in origin – part of its walls likely come from the 12th century, making it the oldest structure in the city. It was reconstructed in Early Gothic style in the late 13th century and again in Baroque style in the 18th century. The tower is from the 16th century – it originally bore a pear-shaped cupola, while its spherical shape comes from 1891. There is writing on the wall on the room in red clay below the tower worth mentioning – they come from the 16th and 17th century and are the “work” of the students of the Prachatice school.
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