Altar of the Brethren (Brüderaltar)

Sacred area and romantic picnic spot with a rock overhang, rock niches and statuary on a plateau on the north-eastern slope of Jehla (478 m) near Česká Kamenice.

The date and origin of the Altar of the Brethren are unknown. According to folk tradition, during the 16th - 17th century Catholics from all around used to come here and take part in secret masses. After the Battle of the White Mountain, it was allegedly secretly visited by evangelists in the 17th century. It is possible that the Altar of the Brethren is related to the work of the religious brethren (Brüderschaft) from Česká Kamenice (1665-1783).

During the 19th century this was a pilgrimage place, attracting believers from the surrounding parishes. It was also a popular tourist destination. The creation of the new religious complex in the 19th century was evidently connected with a feeling for the beauty of the forest land and a romantically-biased interpretation of history. In the 1880s statues of St. John of Nepomuk (1718) and St. Anthony of Padua were added from the Church of St. Jacob the Elder in Česká Kamenice. In 1887 the townspeople of Česká Kamenice had a new wooden altar built on the site of the spacious altar table. The painting of the Prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane is by Josef Strobach. The work was performed by the carpenter Anton Gampe from Česká Kamenice. The statues of the angels are the work of the sculptor Franz Wenzel Fischer. 1887 the Stations of the Cross were put in place; pictures of the Stations of the Cross were placed into 13 rock niches. The Chapel of the Holy Sepulchre was also built, and placed nearby was a statue of the Genius of Death (an angel). The site and the natural park around Jehla were looked after by a beautification association from Česká Kamenice (Anpflanzungs- und Verschönerungsverein). The site was renovated in 1915 and 1923. Besides the construction of the steps, benches and railings, the Stations of the Cross were also replaced.

The dilapidated site of the Altar of the Brethren was cleaned up in 1993. During restoration work carried out in 2010-2011 copies of the pictures of the preserved Stations of the Cross were placed in the rock niches. After the steps had been repaired, copies of the statues made from artificial stone were installed in the original places. The restored original statues were moved to a safe place.

 

Address: 

Česká republika
50° 48' 30.1428" N, 14° 25' 53.2416" E

Category: 

  • Monument