Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Ride to Church

My sister Claire asked me to submit a "Ride to Church" episode for her blog. So, here it is.

Near our house in the Czech Republic there is a "place of pilgrimage" where an ascetic saint, Ivan, lived in the 9th or 10th century, at a time when Bohemia was transitioning to Christianity. Later, a church and adjoining monastery were built around the cave where, as tradition has it, St. Ivan lived.

In our case, the "ride" to church entails walking from our house down a hill through a forest and then along an asphalt road.






The walk down is very scenic.



Views of the forest that you walk through to get from our house to the church.




Views of the forest that you walk through to get from our house to the church.



This is a pub on the road leading to the cave/church/monastery. We usually stop here when we walk down.



The next thing you notice walking down the road is the Neo-Gothic mausoleum at the cemetery.


This looks like an abandoned building, but I believe it's inhabited.



Cemetery with Neo-Gothic mausoleum


The cemetery gate.


Another view of the cemetery.


View of the rock (towering over the village) from the asphalt road.



View of the rock (towering over the village) from the asphalt road.



A house on the road leading to the church.


Pig pen by one of the houses on the asphalt road.


This is the masonry fence around the monastery garden.


Views of a house near the monastery.

Views of a house near the monastery.


Views of a house near the monastery.


The monastery/church complex.


Views of the church/monastery itself.


The white part is the church and the greyish part is the monastery, which is maintained by a different entity.


This is where you can get water pumped from St. Ivan's pool.


This is a traditional Czech "prayer for water".


This painting of St. Ivan hangs on the wall above the pool. The inscription says "St. Ivan Pray For Us".



This is self-explanatory (obviously :-)



A visitor getting some St. Ivan pool water, which is delicious.


The pool is part of the church/cave complex, but accessible from the outside.


 There is also a learning path, with info panels.


This info panel explains St. Ivan's cave.

Inside the cave: St. Ivan's bed.



The chapel of St. Mary (inside St. Ivan's cave).


St. Ivan's tomb (exhibit inside the cave).


Chapel inside cave.


Altar in another chapel further inside the cave, which has several chambers.


The deepest chamber in the cave has a wall where the monks buried their dead.


A gravestone in the cave.


Another gravestone in the cave.


The altar in the Chapel of St. Mary (inside the cave).



More views of inside the cave.

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