Name of Monument:

Svatý Kopeček (“Holy Hill”)

Also known as:

Basilica of the Annunciation at Svatý Kopecek – Basilica Minor


Svatý Kopeček, near Olomouc, Moravia, Czech Republic


1629–1633; 1669–1679; 1684; 1722–1732


Giovanni Pietro Tencalla (1629 Bissone? – 1702 Vienna?), Giacomo Tencalla, Baldassare Fontana (1661–1733, Chiasso), Quiricho Castelli, Domenico Gagina, Carlo Borsa, Matteo Contessa, Martin Antonín Lublinský (1636 Lesnica – 1690 Olomouc), Johann Spillenberger (1628 Košice – 1679 Engelhartszell), Tobias Pock (1609 Konstanz – 1683 Vienna), Michael Zürn Jr. (1654–1698), Johann Sturmer (1675 Königsberg – 1729 Olomouc), Ludwig Sebastian Kaltner, Paul Troger (1698 Zell, near Welsberg – 1762 Vienna), Jan Kryštof Handke (1694 Janovice u Rýmařova – 1774 Olomouc), Dionysius Friedrich Strauss (1660 Moravská Třebová – 1720 Hradisko), Johann Hagenmüller, Bernard Antonio Fossati, Mikuláš Indegrenz, Josef Winterhalder Sr. (1702 Vöhrenbach – 1769 Vienna), Johann Joseph Wirth (active 1733–1757)

Denomination / Type of monument:

Religious – Pilgrimage Church and residences


Premonstratensian order


Legend has it that the chapel on the hill was built by Andrýsek, an Olomouc burgher who had a vision of the Virgin Mary. In 1645 the chapel was plundered by the Swedish army. The abbot of the Premonstratensian Monastery in Hradisko asked Bishop Karel II of Lichtenstein for permission to build a new Church of the Annunciation. In 1684, two single-floor residences were added to the sides of the church, the one on the north for priests and that on the south reception halls. The pilgrimage site was visited by Empress Maria Theresa (1748). In 1784 the church was granted the status of “basilica minor”, meaning that pilgrims could receive the same indulgences there as in Sta. Maria Maggiore, Rome.


The church frontage, with wings for the two residences, lies at the top of a hill rising abruptly over the Olomouc flatlands and dominating the surrounding landscape. The segmented, three-axis frontage of the church protrudes into the surrounding space. The portal is crowned with statues of Generosity, Glory and Hope by J. Winterhalder Sr. (1731); the niches contain statues of St. Stephen (patron saint of the Hradisko Monastery), Sts Augustine and Norbert, patron saints of the Premonstratensian order, and the Virgin Mary of Svatý Kopeček with Child, in the upper section. The residential wings are lined with statues of the Apostles and two Protectors from the Plague. The church vault is covered with organically interconnected stuccos and frescos. In the window lunettes, the Four Ages of Man sing praises to the Virgin Mary. Two oval frescos depict Mary’s Devotion to God and Mary as Protectoress from the Onset of the Devil. The south wing houses several historical halls, such as the Chinese Hall and the festive Andrýsek Hall, with pictures by P. Troger. Behind the church complex are an open semi-circular cloister and a chapel, making up a spacious courtyard.

View Short Description

With a spatially segmented frontage opening onto the countryside, the pilgrimage complex is a typical example of Counter-Reformation architecture. The church vaulting, decorated with spectacular stuccos, is among the largest specimens of the style north of the Alps. The vaulting was created by Italian sculptors and decorators, whose further work had a profound influence on art in Moravia. The complex, equipped by leading artists from Vienna and Olomouc, includes a unique series of artworks from the second-half of 17th century, only a tiny proportion of which have survived in the Czech lands.

How Monument was dated:

Handke’s painting is dated. A print of the high altar, created on the occasion of the coronation of the Marian picture in 1733, gives Fontana as the (concept) artist. Archive sources regarding the building such as contracts, receipts and a chronicle of the Premonstratensian residence have survived.

Special features

Presbytery vaulting


Quiricho Castelli, Domenico Gagina, Carlo Borsa, Matteo Contessa, Martin Antonín Lublinský (1636 Lesnica – 1690 Olomouc).

The stucco decoration is 30 cm deep in places. The designs for the cartouche frescos were created by M. A. Lublinský, an Olomouc canon and artist. The vault frescos symbolise the invocation of the Loreto litanies. The painting of the Holy Trinity above the altar is accompanied by the Celebration of the Lord by the Three Virtues and the Assumption of the Virgin Mary.


1675–1679; 1731

Baldassare Fontana (1661–1733, Chiasso), Jan Kryštof Handke (1694 Janovice u Rýmařova – 1774 Olomouc)

The pillars continue in four pendentives with allegories of Europe, Asia, Africa and America (J. K. Handke, 1731); the niches feature statues of the Evangelists. The stucco decoration divides the vaulting into six cartouches, the frescos of which represent Old Testament accounts of Sara, Rebecca, Abigail, Bathsheba, Judith and Ester – prototypes of the Virgin Mary. The upper third of the cartouches contain invocations of the prayer Salve Regina (Steger, 1677). The cupola, centralising the longitudinal building, is crowned with a lantern and a dove, symbol of the Holy Spirit.

High altar


Baldassare Fontana (1661–1733, Chiasso), Johannes Spillenberger (1628 Košice – 1679 Engelhartszell), Johann Hagenmüller, Bernard Antonio Fossati, Mikuláš Indegrenz

Fontana, who was acquainted with Bernini’s work, made the rich figurative and decorative components give way to an image of the Virgin Mary Adored. The baldachin is topped with a sculpture of God the Father. Through the interplay of light and colour, and the transition of altar architecture into the stucco decoration of the vault, the baldachin accentuates the centrepiece of this pilgrimage complex.

Chapel of St. Pauline


Paul Troger (1698 Zell, near Welsberg – 1762 Vienna)

Andrýsek’s original chapel stood until 1677 but was pulled down during the course of the construction of the new church. The frescos commemorate the origins of the pilgrimage site. The altarpiece represents the Olomouc patroness whose remains were donated to the Olomouc Jesuits by Pope Gregory XV in 1623. The procession held as part of the transfer of the relics was said to have thwarted the plague.

Chapel of St. Joseph


Tobias Pock (1609 Konstanz – 1683 Vienna)

The altarpiece represents St. Joseph, husband to the Mother of the Lord. The artist, who trained in Swabia, settled in Vienna after a journey to Italy and supplied altarpieces for Moravian churches. The tabernacle and reliquaries were originally part of the high altar. The glass case (1750) contains a wax figurine with relics of St. Liberata, donated by Pope Benedict XIV.

Selected bibliography:

Milan Togner, Jan Kryštof Handke – malířské dílo, Olomouc, 1994.
Zdeněk Kudělka, in Ivo Krsek –­­ Zdeněk Kudělka (ed) –­­ Miloš Stehlík –­­ Josef Válka, Umění baroka na Moravě a ve Slezsku, Prague, 1996, pp. 296, 352, 485.
Jana Oppeltová, Slavnosti a efemérní architektura, in Jiří Kroupa (ed), Dans le miroir des ombres. La Moravie al la age baroque 1670–­­1790, Paris–­­ Rennes–­­Brno, 2002, pp. 148–150.
Martin Pavlíček, Josef Winterhalder st. (1702–1796), Brno, 2005, pp. 56–63.
Pavel Suchánek, K větší cti a slávě. Umění a mecenát opatů kláštera Hradisko v 18. století, Brno, 2007, pp. 217–253.

Additional Copyright Information:

Copyright images "Královská kan. premonstrátů Strahově": Královská kanonie premonstrátů na Strahově.

Citation of this web page:

Zora Wörgötter " Svatý Kopeček (“Holy Hill”)" in "Discover Baroque Art", Museum With No Frontiers, 2021.;BAR;cz;Mon11_F;16;en

Prepared by: Zora Wörgötter
Copyedited by: Jiří Kroupa
Translation by: Irma Charvátová
Translation copyedited by: Mandi Gomez

MWNF Working Number: CZ 16