Just a few kilometres south of Green Mountain in Žďár nad Sázavou, you will find the ancient Marian pilgrimage site of Obyčtov. In 1734, the Abbot of the monastery in Žďár commissioned Santini to build a new church that would be equally as important as the Marian pilgrimage shrine. The Baroque church is interesting due to its turtle shaped ground plan and was actually completed after Santini’s death, following his design.
The oblong nave represents a turtle’s body, the square chapels in the corners its legs, the shallow presbytery with sloped eastern corners its neck, the sacristy resembles the head of a turtle and the western chapel with an entrance hall is the tail. Unfortunately, the spires of the chapels have not survived. A turtle was symbolic of constancy in faith and the Latin word for turtle aestudo also means shield, which in this case refers to the protection provided by the statue of the Virgin Mary.

The interior of the church is strangely undemanding for Baroque, which reflects Santini’s personal style. Its main nave is characteristic in making brilliant use of light, without having abundant Baroque stuccos. The main altar under a canopy carried by two cherubs features a Baroque copy of the originally Gothic statue of the Virgin Mary from the Chateau in Žďár nad Sázavou which was the original destination of pilgrims in Obyčtov.


Roman Catholic Parish Obyctov, Obyctov 47, 591 01 Žďár nad Sázavou