Pilgrimage Church of the Virgine Mary
1718 - 1750, new building; investors Hugo Bartlicius and other Abbots of Premonstratensian Monastery in Zabrdovice near Brno
The Pilgrimage Church of the Virgin Mary in Krtiny near Brno is one of the oldest pilgrimage sites in Moravia. According to an old story, Saints Cyril and Methodius and their disciples performed baptisms in the local valley. In 1718, the abbot of the monastery in Zabrdovice gave the project of replacing the monumental medieval complex with a new Baroque building to Jan Santini. In addition to his creative powers, Santini designed an extensive complex that became the Baroque jewel of Moravia. The entire building was not completed until long after Santini’s death in 1750. This included changes made primarily for economical reasons. The central layout of the church has a ground plan of a Greek cross fixed into concentric circles. At the height of the vault, the arms of the cross interconnect in baroque-style curves. As is typical of Santini’s work, the light plays an important role as it passes through the interior space and models the individual structural elements of the interior architecture. Santini’s original design did not include an axial façade tower with high garret roofs and the Chapel of St. Joseph on the side. This chapel, together with the existing Chapel of St. Anne, was planned to centralize the entire complex and complete the horizontal and vertical elements. However, the Chapel of St. Joseph was never built. The residence itself was originally designed as a big, sophisticated chateau. Nevertheless, even in its reduced form, the complex in Krtiny represents a remarkably ingenious and crystallized architectural achievement. Not to mention that it uniquely integrates into the landscape.