Church with glass roof (and interesting history too!)
Each region has interesting places that people from other regions do not know, but they are a well-known attraction in the place. One of these places is (for the Pardubice region) is the village of Neratov and the pilgrimage church of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary. This building is special thanks to many things. Among other things, because he has a glass roof at this time. But about this later.
Let’s start with history!
The first written mention of the village of Neratov comes from the year 1550. The origin of the village is connected with the existence of the glassworks, which was created at the end of the 15th century in connection with the colonization of the Orlické hory by the German population. Before the Second World War, the village had several hundred inhabitants.
After the expulsion of the German population, which occurred after World War II in 1945 – 1946, the village almost disappeared. In 1989, only two permanent residents lived there. In 1992 Josef Suchár founded the Neratov Association, whose aim was to restore the village. In August 2016 there were about 60 people registered for permanent residence and the village was filled in winter and summer months thanks to holidaymakers.
The first wooden church was built in Neratov in connection with the arrival of the first settlers (glassmakers of German nationality as mentioned above) sometime around the middle of the 16th century.
In the first years of the 17th century, this church was expanded and changed (completed around 1603) to the Protestant prayer hall. It was at the instigation of the then owner of the Rokytnice estate of Kryštof Mauschwitz of Armenruh, who at that time moved to the Protestant faith.
In 1616, Kryštof Mauschwitz was murdered by rebellious peasants. Probably the killing of religious beliefs. Upon the replacement of the authority, there was a gradual recatholization. In the years 1667-1668 a stone church was built on the site of the original wooden church Until now, only the presbytery, which forms the present cemetery chapel, is preserved.
The present Baroque temple was built during 1723-1733.
The church at the end of the Second World War burnt out when it was hit by an anti-tank missile fired by a Red Army soldier. The fire destroyed the roof, the wooden staircase, the clock machine and the bell. Shortly after the fire, repairs began. Their course, however, faced a hostile communist regime and was halted in 1956. At the end of the following year, the drenched vaults crashed. The church was designed to be demolished in 1960 and then in 1973. This was averted by the demand of conservationists to move the valuable Rococo entry staircase to the Skalka Chateau Park in Podbřezí. Luckily, due to lack of funding, the demolition did not take place.
In June 1992 the church was listed as a cultural monument. Since 1990, church services have been held under the “open sky.” In recent years, the church was restored. In 2006, it was roofed with a partially glazed roof, as proposed by Jiří Starý and Petr Dostál.
The impetuous history and impressive atmosphere of the church with a glass roof in Neratov still attracts many pilgrims. The church regularly serves worship, and there are various cultural events. The communist interrupted pilgrimage tradition was also restored.
And what happened to the rococo staircase relocated in the 1980s? There have been many litigation. Finally, the Supreme Court ruled on the case. He eventually decided that the new owners of the staircase did not need to return because it was made of concrete. “That’s what the lesson says, if you want to steal something, steal it, keton it, and do not have to return it,” said the neratovský pastor Josef Suchár.
Few information to the end: The church has a cross-shaped ground plan, a convex front with two towed tower and concave pilasters. It is 48 meters long and 19 meters wide. The original external height measured to the tops of the towers was 47 meters. The north-south orientation of the church is interesting – the main entrance and the facade point to the south, the chancel to the north. Thanks to this unconventional direction, the Christmas sun rays fall on the divine meridian at the right noon right at the tabernacle.