Kostelní Vydří, poutní kostel Panny Marie Karmelské
At the end of the 17th century, it was said that a strange glow sometimes appeared near the wayside shrine on the hill above Kostelní Vydří. Its new owner, Gerhard Jindřich Butz from Rolsberg, consulted Felix Karel Slavata, a priest and monk of the Order of the Discalced Carmelites in Telč. Upon his advice, Baron Butz built there a chapel into which he placed a painting of Our Lady of Mount Karmel. This happened in 1709. Since then, pilgrims have been coming to this place to ask Our Lady for intercession.
The subsequent development of the pilgrimage site was significantly influenced by other members of the Rolsberg family. After less than thirty years, the founder’s nephew Matěj Jindřich Butz rebuilt the chapel. His sons Josef Ignác and Jan Matěj were both priests and canons in Olomouc, and in the second half of the 18th century they succeeded as owners of the estate of Kostelní Vydří. They supported the expansion of pilgrimages as well as the associated construction activities. This led to a gradual construction of the monastery (only the chaplain lived there at that time), the nave of the church (the original chapel forms the presbytery of today’s church), the cloisters and the enclosure wall with three gates. Jan Matěj Butz died in 1803 and was buried at the south wall of the church opposite to the monastery. A tombstone reminds of his burial place until today.
The interior of the church is simple, and its current appearance was greatly influenced by the Carmelite brothers who came to Kostelní Vydří at the beginning of the 20th century. Nowadays we can still see three original pieces offurnishing, the main altar with a miraculous image of the Our Lady of Mount Carmel, a baptistery, and a pulpit. On the 200th anniversary of the pilgrimage site, the bretherns had the whole church painted with Marian and Carmelite themes. Afterwards they also bought benches and confessionals, and after World War I, a new Stations of the Cross was made. After the liturgical reform, they added a new altar facing the people, an ambon and a presider’s chair.
Most pilgrims come in the summer months, especially during the week around the feast of Our Lady of the Mount Carmel (16th July). On the Sunday before the feast, the so-called small pilgrimage is celebrated, on the Sunday after the feast, the so-called big pilgrimage. 16th July itself belongs in Kostelní Vydří traditionally to the pilgrimage of priests. Apart from this, there are also pilgrimages of May, August and October celebrated on particular Sundays of the year. Regular devotions on first Saturdays of each month are also occasion for a pilgrimage. Many pilgrims also come individually – whether to attend church services, or just to calm down and pray – sometimes just as a short break on a family or business trip.
One part of the service to pilgrims is also the sale of books (mainly with Christian themes) and devotionals in a monastery bookstore. The store is open Monday to Friday from 9 a.m. to 12 noon and from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m., on Saturdays and Sundays only from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.
At the beginning of the 20th century, a forest cemetery was built opposite the pilgrimage church. It has been used as a burial place of the members of the Dalberg aristocratic family (the monastery’s patrons) as well as the monks from the monastery.
Distance from the object
Railway station3,5 km (Dačice)