5 gates, 5 chapels, 5 altars and 5 stars. The Church of St. John of Nepomuk on Zelená hora is one of the most original buildings in Europe, which still amazes people from all over the world to this very day. This UNESCO monument and work of the talented architect Jan Blažej Santini Aichel is aplace which deserves to be visited by all those who appreciate its mysticism and unique architecture, interwoven with the powerful story of St. John of Nepomuk, the Czech saint.

The founder of the church was motivated to build it by the story of the Czech saint, John of Nepomuk, who was killed because he was unwilling to divulge the queen’s confessed secrets to the king Václav IV. Saint John was tortured for a long time and his body then hurled from Charles Bridge in Prague into the River Vltava. The legend tells that five stars appeared above his head at that moment. Since that time, stars and the number five have been regarded as symbols of this saint.

Discover the Santini code

This legend was used ingeniously by the architect Santini, who designed the whole church on the floor plan of a five-pointed star. The symbol of the stars and number five appear in the building countless times. In the area around the arcade are five gates and five chapels, in the church are five altars and on the high altar are five central stars. The whole complex is literally interwoven with mystical symbols and enigmas. Experts are to this very day still looking for the entrance to a secret corridor, which allegedly led from the church to the monastery in the nearby Žďár Estate.

Visit the New Generation Museum

When visiting Zelená hora, make sure to stop by at the former Cistercian monastery from the 13th century, today a chateau, bearing Santini’s legacy, which includes the New Generation Museum, a modern exposition combining experience elements with exhibits from prominent Czech institutions. This multimedia experience exposition is dedicated to the legacy of Cistercian monks and the boom days of the Baroque period. It is a unique audio-visual project, the only one of its kind in the Czech Republic!
Visit other Baroque sites near Žďár nad Sázavou connected with the name of Jan Santini Aichel: the churches in Bobrová, Obytčov and Zvole.

Where else to set out for?

If you are planning to stay in Vysočina for at least a few days, don’t hesitate to also visit the other interesting locations to be found here! Nobody will be disappointed by a trip to one of the most beautiful Moravian castles, Pernštejn. If you want to experience what it is like being in a fairytale, at least for a while, set out for the town of Telč, which will captivate you with one of the most beautiful squares in Europe.
Visit Zelená hora and get to know one of the most original of Czech buildings!