Olomouc-Svatý Kopeček, bazilika Navštívení Panny Marie
Basilica of the Visitation of Our Lady was built in 1669-79 as a place of pilgrimage in Klášterní Hradisko, an Olomouc Premonstratensian abbey. The main architect was Giovanni Pietro Tencalla.
Thanks to its location, architecture and artistic decoration, the church belongs to the most admired Baroque buildings.
The facade of the Basilica of the Visitation of Our Lady is vertically divided into three fields and horizontally by a massive cornice into a lower and upper part. A portal with three valuable statues depicting generosity, fame, and hope, created by Josef Winterhalder in 1731, dominates the lower part. Three niches containing statues of St. Stephen (in the middle), the patron saint of the Hradisko monastery, St. Augustine (left) and St. Norbert (right), complete the lower part of the facade. A stone statue of Our Lady of Holy Hill with baby Jesus dominates the upper part of the facade. The facade of the Basilica is complemented by wings of the residence buildings, constituting an architecturally impressive unit, even though the wings were not built concurrently with the church. Above the horizontal cornice running through their upper part, there are sculptures of the twelve apostles together with two patron saints of plague.
When entering the church, the visitor is surprised by its spaciousness, luminosity, and rich artistic decorations. It is a longitudinal single aisle building with two sacristies and longitudinal chapels on the circumference. Above the crossing of the nave and the transverse aisle, which both are of the same high and width, there is a large dome. A wagon vault with lunettes is covered with plastic stucco decoration and fresco paintings. The vault of the presbytery is adorned with rich stucco, in places 30 cm thick. Symbols of the invocations from the Litany of Loreto can be found on the fresco paintings in the presbytery. In the middle of the dome there are three large fresco paintings: the Holy Trinity, three Charites and Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary. The vault of the dome is divided by the stucco decoration into six cartouches with frescos showing life events of six biblical women. The dome is surmounted with a lantern crowned with a dove as a symbol of the Holy Spirit surrounded by heads of little angels.
The four window lunettes represent a hymn to Virgin Mary by four human ages: childhood, youth, adult age, and old age. The two big oval-shaped fresco paintings depict Virgin Mary’s devotion to God and St. Michael Archangel struggling with the devil.
The stucco and plastic decoration of the organ loft constitute a top-rated harmonic whole, belonging to significant sights within the Central-European area. The organ instrument was built in 1722-1725, by the organ manufactory of David Sieber from Brno. In the period of 1995-1998 the at those days significantly damaged instrument was rebuilt by the local organ manufactory of Stavinoha brothers at Valašské Meziříčí.
While entering the church, the visitor is enchanted by the architecture of the high altar. The reredos consists of two pairs of columns with a pediment and plastic decoration, representing God the Father surrounded by angels. An altarpiece of the Visitation of Virgin Mary by J. Spillenberg is embedded in the midst of the reredos. In the front, there is a free-standing altar mensa with a tabernacle and a canopy for the miraculous Marian image adjoined from above. The miraculous image of Virgin Mary is a relief made of tufa, depicting the Mother of God with the baby Jesus on her right arm, the little Jesus stretching his hand towards an apple his mother holds in her left hand. The image was crowned by Roman crowns in 1732 but they were stolen in 1919. New crowns were consecrated by the Pope John Paul II during his visit to the Holy Hill on 21st May 1995.
Distance from the object