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Pilgrimage Church in Chlum Svaté Maří

 

Region: Sokolov and its surroundings Town: Chlum Svaté Maří 

 

The village of Chlum Svaté Maří (St. Mary's Wooded Hillock) is a much sought-after pilgrimage site, entwined with interesting legends.

According to one of them, a butcher's apprentice found a statuette of the Virgin Mary with the Infant Jesus in the middle of a hazel shrub a long time ago. He took it home with him but there was no sign of it the next day. The statuette was once again in the hazel shrub where he had found it the day before. Convinced that it was a sign from God, the apprentice built a wooden shelter over the statuette to protect it. Another legend says that in the late 13th century, the Virgin Mary appeared on that site before a youth who had lost his way. She showed him the way home after he had promised to repent his sins. The youth built a wooden chapel around the statuette, to which many pilgrims soon started coming from all over the country.

By the end of the 14th century, the wooden chapel was replaced by a small stone church that was gradually rebuilt and enlarged. In the 1660s, a chapel was built in front of the church and the Marian statuette was placed there. The present-day Pilgrimage Church of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary and Mary Magdalene was built and consecrated in 1702 and it has remained a popular pilgrimage site ever since.

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