Jablonné v Podještědí, Bazilika svatého Vavřince a svaté Zdislavy
This jewel of the Central-European Baroque, a spectacular monument today known as the Basilica Minor of St. Lawrence and St. Zdislava, was built in the years 1699-1729 in honour of Zdislava of Lemberk who is buried here. The construction of the church designed by a famous Viennese architect Johann Lukas von Hildebrandt was financially supported by the owner of the estate, František Antonín Count Berka of Dubé. The basilica stands on a place of a former Gothic church founded by Zdislava and her husband Havel at the same time as the monastery, i. e. before 1252. The foundations of the present church were laid in 1699. They are secured by pillars sunk to a remarkable depth of more than 30 m below the level of the church. Its height of 50 m makes it a dominant feature of the surroundings, and the sublime green dome cannot be overlooked. It is said that Emperor Leopold I was inspired by the model of this church when commissioning the construction of St. Peter’s Church in Vienna. In 1788, Jablonné was hit by a fire. The church did not escape, and its furnishings were destroyed. Some valuable equipment was however saved and forms a part of the furniture until today. The interior decoration of the temple was gradually restored after this unfortunate event. The pseudo-baroque main altar in the façade of the presbytery was created by Wilhelm August. A large altarpiece, created by Karel Krattner in 1900, depicts St. Lawrence. In 1973 the altar was supplemented by a smaller portrait of St. Zdislava by František Mervart. Classicist pulpit with a bust of St. Peter in the foreground dates from 1792 and it is a work of a local carver Josef Neumann. The organ, which was built for Jablonné by Heinrich Schiffner in 1895, has recently undergone a demanding reconstruction under the guidance of an organist family the Žloutek. There are side altars on both sides of the basilica. In the front left niche, there is an altar of St. Anne; opposite to it in the front right alcove, one can find a baroque altar of Holy Cross from 1718, and in the back right niche an altar of St. Joseph. The most precisous altar is an original Baroque altar of Our Lady of the Rosary which dates from 1732 and is located in the right transept. Opposite to this altar we can see its imitation – a pseudo-baroque altar of the Sacred Heart from 1911. Pilgrims also venerate another altar, a Marian-Zdislava altar adorned with a late Gothic Madonna from 1510 and with a reliquary containing since 1908 the skull of St. Zdislava. Located nearby is a baroque wrought iron grille dating from 1732 and enclosing a view into the crypt where the tomb of St. Zdislava lies. This neat underground space of the tomb houses a marble sarcophagus and the remains of St. Zdislava in a decorated case. It can be visited for a prayer or as a part of the tours. The walls used to be decorated with a small gallery of 24 paintings on copper from 1660 depicting Zdislava’s miracles, but after a recent restoration these were moved to the Zdislava Hall. The basement of the basilica used to serve as a burial place of nobles, important burghers, and religious brothers. For example the donor of the church, Count Berka of Dubá, and a Dominican Father Ambrož Svatoš who contributed largely to the canonization of St. Zdislava are buried there.
Zdislava of Lemberk was beatified in 1907 by Pope St. Pius X. She was canonized on 21st May 1995 in Olomouc by Pope John Paul II. The following year, the church was awarded the title of Papal Basilica Minor of St. Lawrence and St. Zdislava (25th June 1996).
In 2000, St. Zdislava wasa declared the patron saint of the Litoměřice diocese, in 2002 of the Liberec region, and in 2020 the patron saint of the Czech Dominican province.
Zdislava used to help before, and she keeps helping today. That is why this place attracts both home and foreign visitors who ask St. Zdislava, the patron saint of families, for intercession, for healing of the sick and for help in difficult life situations. Basilica of St. Lawrence and St. Zdislava is thus not only a beautiful national cultural monument, but also a place of peace and help for the incoming pilgrims.
The basilica will be closed in the years 2021 – 2023 because of a complete building renovation.
Distance from the object