About St Michael the Archangel Church, Vítochov

The Roman-Catholic Church of St Michael the Archangel is located in Vitochov village, Czech Republic, 696 meters above sea level. The exact date of its foundation is not clear. The archaelogical research proved there used to be a pagan burial ground in the site of today´s church. Later, there was a church with its own burial ground – people used to be buried under the church floor in the old times. Dozens human skeletons were found under the floor, all of them heading east, respecting the architecture of the church. The tallest skeleton was a 210 cms tall man.

The legend says, the church was founded by Saint Methodius more than a thousand years ago, in 10th Century. However, there is no written document about this. We know the church existed in 13th Century as it was built in the old Romanesque-Gothic style with the typical Gothic arch, the southern entrance with a stone portal and the original really narrow slit window. During the centuries, parts of the church were repaired and renovated several times. There are some proofs - a beam with the year “1661” carved into the wood was found, and the year “1783” carved into the gallery. The vestry was built around 1740.

The church was built from quarry stone and grout, with a stone wall around the graveyard. This makes the church look almost like a fortress. There are two entrance gates. The presbytery has a stone arch, the lime plaster has fresco paintings. The tower is standing next to the nave, its upper part used to be wooden, built on consoles. There are two bells in the tower, made in 1500 and 1535. In 19th Century, the wooden floor was replaced by stone, built in a Pseudo-Roman style with four arches in the corners. The plasters were repainted into sgraffitoes with a central red rose.

In 1979, the roof was replaced by copper roofing. There is a graveyard surrounding the church, with a polygonal morgue which was most probably built along with the tower. There are three doors leading into the church – one in the tower, one on the western side of the church, and the vestry has its own door.

The interior is decorated with frescoes, a Roman baptismal font and Renaissance gravestones. The frescoes show Jesus Christ and the four signs of the evangelists – a man, a lion, a bull and an eagle. There are also pictures depicing the suffering of Jesus, The Last Judgement, the Virgin Mary, and Saint Michael. Unfortunately you cannot see the frescoes nowadays as they are covered due to their bad state. The floor tiles come from 1967. There are older layers of tiles under this one – one in a checkered pattern and two brick layers. The main altar used to be covered by a plate with the Egyptian cross, the side altars are decorated with angel statues and a painting from 1846.

The church is closed for most of the year, there are several services held throughout the year. There is a pine tree planted in 2002 and devoted to the Czech actor Jan Munzar outside the church yard. A video for the song “Mrtví” (The Dead) by Jiří Pavlica was filmed near the church – you can find it on youtube by “Hradistan Mrtvi.”

St. Anna Church
St Michael the Archangel Church - Vitochov 01
St Michael the Archangel Church - Vitochov
St Michael the Archangel Church - Vitochov 02
St Michael the Archangel Church - Vitochov
St Michael the Archangel Church - Vitochov 03
St Michael the Archangel Church - Vitochov
St Michael the Archangel Church - Vitochov 04
St Michael the Archangel Church - Vitochov
St Michael the Archangel Church - Vitochov 05

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