Visiting Svata Hora (Holy Mountain) a 16C pilgrimage site
Down here on the outskirts of Prague, in the central Bohemian region, is an ancient silver mining town called Pribram.
Above Pribram is a mountain, and on that mountain is a 16C Baroque complex of buildings which serves as a holy pilgrimage site to the Virgin Mary.
It’s not much of a mountain as far as my West Coast mountains go, it’s more like a hill. But a good hill. A holy hill…an eminence! Yeah, that’s it, an eminence.
It’s a fair bit of a climb to get to the top of this eminence, but then, what good pilgrimage comes easily?
Happily, the climb is past beautiful meadows full of wildflowers.
Being at the top, at the holy site, is breathtaking…even for an agnostic like me.
Inside, the complex is cool and beautiful.
There is a long and amazingly painted arched corridor to walk all the way around the inside of the complex, with flights of stairs leading to several chapels in the central area.
The whole place is adorned with life-sized stone statues.
Many of them gilded.
It’s beautiful to touch the 16C stone. It’s so warm in the sunshine.
Angels are everywhere. Flitting past the virgin Mary, fluttering across ceilings, cascading down walls.
And inside the chapels are treasures of silver and gold.