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Jesuit College and Church of Saint Ignatius, Chomutov

Scott 3636
CZECH REPUBLIC, 2015, commemorating the 6th Czech-German philatelic exhibition
and featuring the Jesuit Church of St. Ignatius
, Scott 3636

From 6 to 10 May 2015 the 6th Czech-German philatelic exhibition took place in Chomutov, Czech Republic, on which occasion, the Czech Post released, on April 15, a special stamp which depicts the Baroque Church of St. Ignatius with its two towers, built for the Jesuits by Italian architect Carla Lurago between 1663 and 1671. On that stamp to the left, adjoining the east side of the church, is the building called "Špejchar" (granary), dating from the 17th century. It was used by the Jesuits as their first church. Boleslav Jirí Popel of Lobkovice brought the Jesuits into the city in 1589 and a year later founded the Jesuit college. The Church of St. Ignatius was added to the college in 1660s. When the Order was dissolved in 1773, the college was turned into a military barracks. It is now the Center for Librarian and Cultural Services and serves for museum exhibitions.

The Sanctuary of Holy Hostýn, Moravia

Scott 3539 
CZECH REPUBLIC, 2012, the Centenary of the Coronation of Our Lady of Hostýn and its FDI cancel, Scott 3539

Svatý Hostýn, Holy Hostýn, is the most frequently visited pilgrimage shrine in Moravia and after Velehrad the most memorable one. For three centuries now thousands of pilgrims have been converging on Hostýn mountain with its sanctuary of Our Lady to seek and find there a refuge from their troubles and needs. Above the main altar of the Basilica of the Assumption of Our Lady is located a life size statue of the Virgin Mary. The Child Jesus, whom she is holding in her embrace, is aiming bolts of lightening at the Tatars depicted beneath the statue. These cruel marauders, who were threatening Europe during the 13th century, invaded Moravia in 1241, murdering and plundering. The people sought refuge in the forests and mountains to save their lives and whatever property they could bring with them. According to legend, those who found refuge on Hostýn were saved through the intercession of the Virgin Mary, when the encampment of the marauders was destroyed by fire caused by lightning. Written records concerning Hostýn come chiefly from the Jesuit Bohuslav Balbín. In the book, Sacri pulveres, of 1669 by George Crugerius, we read that the people saved from the Tatar invasion erected a statue of the Guardian Virgin Mary on Hostýn mountain out of gratitude. After the Restoration of the Society of Jesus, the Czech bishops entrusted them with the pastoral care of Hostýn 1887 (and in 1890 of Velehrad). Towards the end of the 19th century the Society of Holy Hostýn was established, and since 1895 it has worked with the Jesuits to preserve the Christian character of Holy Hostýn for generations to come both as an important pilgrimage place and also a cultural monument, and to care for the administration, maintenance and repair of the buildings, to secure funds for the further development of Holy Hostýn, and to organizes scores of educational and cultural courses at Hostýn.

The Church of the Immaculate Conception & St. Ignatius, Klatovy

CZECHOSLOVAKIA, 1937, postal card featuring the Jesuit Church of the Immaculate Conception and St. Ignatius at Klatovy

scott 3459  
CZECH REPUBLIC, 2010, stamp (Scott 3459), postal card, and cancel showing the Jesuit church
(the two towers to the right of the central black town hall tower)

CZECH REPUBLIC, 2011, issued by Pressfil (Pre2011/20) for the European Festival of Sacred Music this postal card features the church's main door
CZECH REPUBLIC, 2013, this postal card features the church, issue A 212/2013 from set CDV 160 B

The former Jesuit Church of Virgin Mary's Immaculate Conception and St. Ignatius is located in the center of Klatovy in the southWestern part of the main square and it is a prime example of Czech Baroque architecture. The Jesuits came to Klatovy officially in 1636. They began to teach in a temporary furnished house immediately. In 1655, the foundation stone of the college building was laid and one year later the foundations for their church. The first mass was celebrated in December 1675, and the church, still not yet completed, was consecrated in 1679. The church together with the Town Hall and Black Tower are the most distinctive dominating features of the town. The first builder of the church was Carlo Lurago, an important Italian architect and sculptor. The project was later taken over by Giovanni Domenico Orsi de Ursini, another distinguished Czech-Italian architect. The gorgeous church has a classical Jesuit ground plan of a Latin cross with a dome above the crossing of the arms. As you enter this unique flower of Bohemian Baroque via a richly decorated portal, you will most certainly admire the masterful work of Kilian Ignac Dientzenhofer. The church is located above mysterious catacombs, a former burial ground, which still features about thirty mummified bodies resting in peace. The catacombs received the first bodies in the early 1670s. A sophisticated ventilation system maintains an optimum temperature for preserving them. The visitors can see the bodies in coffins with glass lids! The Jesuit College was aimed at raising the standard of education of the local people. After the dissolution of the Jesuit Order the building was turned into a barracks and a school of brewing. From 1990 it has been used as a shopping center and as the seat of the town library. The Jesuit Baroque pharmacy, another major sight on the main square, with the original 1773 equipment, is protected as one of the UNESCO scientific and technical monuments.

St. Barbara Church & the College, Kutna Hora

Scott 240 Scott 13, Michel  13 II Scott 29 Scott 53
CZECHOSLOVAKIA 1937, Scott 240; SLOVAKIA, 1939 overprint (not shown), Scott 15; and BOHEMIA AND MORAVIA, 1939, 1939 and 1941, Scott 13, 29, 53
The overprinted stamp shown is an error: 8ÖHMEN not BÖHMEN.

The history of the Jesuits in the Czech Republic began in 1556, the year Ignatius died, when just months before his death he sent 12 Jesuits to Prague to a newly prepared home by St. Clement Church. The Bohemian Gothic Church of St. Barbara at Kutna Hora was granted to the Jesuits in 1626. At the right of the picture can be seen the corner tower of the Jesuit college attached to this church.

Scott 394 Scott 3056
, 1949, the 7th centenary of the Czechoslovak mining industry, Scott 394

CZECH REPUBLIC, 2000, Cultural Heritage of Humanity, Scott 3056

CZECH REPUBLIC, 2012, postal card celebrating European Heritage Day issued by Pressfil (Pre2012/51)

Scott 1144c
UNITED NATIONS, 2016, honoring World Heritage sites, Scott 1144c;
(Geneva Offices) Scott 627c; (Vienna Offices) Scott 592, 594c.

The Jesuit University and Library, Olomouc

Scott 1412
CZECHOSLOVAKIA, 1966, the 4th centenary of the Research Library in Olomouc, Scott 1412

In 1566 a Jesuit academy was founded in Olomouc and with it a library. In 1573 the academy was raised to the status of a university, the second university in the Czech Lands after Charles University in Prague. Jesuits ran the university until the Suppression 200 years later. After the Suppression, in 1775, the university and its library were taken over by the state. It began to be shut down in 1848 to punish the students for their role in the revolution and by 1860 had ceased to operate. The Faculty of Theology, however, together with the University Library, continued in existence. In 1946 the Czechoslovak National Assembly voted to reestablish the university and gave it the name Palacký University. The library attached to the original academy and the university has become a public library, the second oldest and the third largest library of its kind in the Czech Republic. The above stamp in 1966 celebrated its 400th anniversary.

Bethlehem Chapel, Prague

Scott 535 Scott 845
1952, the 550th anniversary of Hus' installation as pastor, 3.00 koruna value, Scott 535
1958, the 80th anniversary of the birth of Zdenek Nejedly, restorer of the chapel, Scott 845

The Bethlehem Chapel in Prague was founded in 1391 for sermons in the Czech language. Jan Hus preached there from 1402 to 1412, and it became symbolic of the Hussite movement in Bohemia. It reverted to Catholicism and was given to the Society of Jesus in 1622. The chapel was demolished in 1786, but rebuilt again after 64 years.

The Church of Our Lady before Tyn, Prague

Scott 408  
CZECHOSLOVAKIA, 1950, Scott 408
FRANCE, 2008 from a souvenir sheet honoring Prague, Scott 3535

CZECHOSLOVAKIA, 1968 postal card of the Church of Our Lady before Tyn honoring the Prague 1968 World Exhibition of Postage Stamps

  Scott 3517
CZECH REPUBLIC, 2003 with face values of 6.40 Kc (Scott 3196) and 6.50 Kc (Scott 3222)
2011, the stamp is now somewhat redesigned and the face value replaced with a letter.
The Church of Our Lady before Týn may be seen in the background, Scott 3517

BELARUS, 2008, a postal card shows (lower left) the Church of Our Lady before Tyn in the distance.

The Church of Our Lady before Tyn, an imposing Gothic church with a Baroque interior, dominates one side of the Old Town Square in Prague. Around 1385, this one time hospital church was converted into the main cathedral of the Old Town. Between the beginning of 15th century and 1620 this was a stronghold of the Hussites. Its church was taken over by the Jesuits in 1623, who symbolically made the church Catholic and their own by recasting its bell and replacing the Hussite chalice between the towers with a ten-foot figure of Mary. The church contains the grave of the famous Danish astronomer Tycho de Brahe. Tyn means a foundational town protected by a fence or a fortified area where merchants could sell their wares safely, and such an area was once part of old town, though nothing now remains of it.

The College of St. Clement, Prague

Scott 1446
1967, Prague the Mother of Cities, showing St. Clement College (right) as well as St. Nicholas Church (left), Scott 1446

Scott C44 Scott 855
1955, Scott C44
1958, Scott 855

The first three items show Charles Bridge crossing the Danube in the center of the picture. The dome and clock tower of St. Nicholas Church, soon to be mentioned, can be recognized to the west (left) of the bridge, although it is not present in the 1628 depiction (above right) which antedates its construction. Immediately to the east (right) of the bridge on the Old Town side of the Vltava River (in German, the Moldau) may be seen the towers that belong to the Clementinum or College of St. Clement, founded by St. Peter Canisius in 1556. It is the largest complex of historical buildings in the city. Six years later the college received authority to confer degrees in theology and philosophy and became Ferdinand University, in honor of its protector, the emperor. The Caroline or Charles University was joined to this Jesuit university beginning in 1622. After the Jesuits were suppressed in 1773, the Clementinum became Prague University and the home of the Czech National Library. The buildings now house the St. Salvator Church (the Roman Catholic Academic Parish of Prague) with the seal of the Society at the top of its facade, and St. Clement Cathedral both part of the Clementinum, in which the National Library of the Czech Republic is now housed. St. Salvator Church was built by the Jesuits between 1578 and 1601.

CZECH REPUBLIC, 2006 a view of the Clementinum in this postal card issued by Pressfil (Pre2006/09cp)

CZECH REPUBLIC, 2003 with face values of 6.40 Kc (Scott 3196) and 6.50 Kc (Scott 3222)
2011, the stamp is now somewhat redesigned and the face value replaced with a letter.
The graphic composition is centered around the astronomical tower of the Clementinum with the statue of Atlantis.

Scott 2707

Scott 346 Scott 347 Scott 348 Scott 349
CZECHOSLOVAKIA, 1988, Charles University, Scott 2707 which also appears on a souvenir sheet, Scott 2708a
CZECHOSLOVAKIA, 1948, four stamps to honor the 600th anniversary of Charles University, Scott 346-9

Scott 3040a
CZECH REPUBLIC, 1998, from a souvenir sheet to commemorate Prague's 650th anniversary, at stamp with the seal of Charles University, Scott 3040

The Holy Mountain near Pribram

Scott 3243
CZECH REPUBLIC, 2004, Scott 3243

Svatá Hora (Holy Mountain) overlooks Príbram about 35 miles southwest of Prague. The first chapel of Our Lady may have been built here in 1260, a somewhat larger sanctuary had been built by the 16th century. Originally watched over by recluses, Svatá Hora was entrusted to the Jesuits in 1647 who maintained it for the next 126 years until their Suppression. They built the present sanctuary in 1673 consecrated in honor of the Assumption of Our Lady. The Holy Mountain is among the most famous places of pilgrimage in the Czech Republic.

The Sanctuary of the Assumption, Velehrad

Scott 147 
CZECHOSLOVAKIA, 1928, 10th Jubilee Anniversary of Czechoslovakia, Scott 147
CZECH REPUBLIC, 1990, a special cancel to mark the visit of Pope John Paul II to the Velehrad Sanctuary on 22 April 1990

CZECHOSLOVAKIA, 1936, to the left, the last of a set of 58 scenic cards (CDV 61/58)
both cards were issued (CDV62/1-2) with the inscription (bottom left):
The Millennial Anniversary of Saints Cyril and Methodius May 17-October 4, 1936

CZECH REPUBLIC, 2003, (#A133) and 2014 (PressFil 2014/15) postal cards
featuring the Velehrad Sanctuary

The Sanctuary of the Assumption at Velehrad, founded by the Cistercians in 1205, was entrusted to the Jesuits in 1890 as a novitiate. An adjoining building, until 1950, housed the Pontifical Institute of Saints Cyril and Methodius to prepare missionaries for the Slavic world. (Velehrad is the site of Methodius's tomb) On April 13, 1950 the Jesuits and other religious communities not yet expelled were evicted, collected into former monasteries, and subjected to forced labor. The Sanctuary was returned to the Jesuits in 1990.