The Baroque Era brought with it new interest in the personal, emotional, and spiritual experience. The aim of sacred architecture and art is to inspire awe, and faith in their miraculous abilities gave birth to the cult of the Virgin Mary and the martyr John of Nepomuk. The church and the nobility have plague columns, chapels, churches, and Stations of the Cross built as an expression of gratitude for deliverance from suffering. Interest in matters beyond the horizon of human life also plays an important role. Miracles, both actual and arranged, enjoy immense popularity. „Books of Miracles“ are kept at pilgrimage sites, containing testimonies of pilgrims' miraculously answered prayers. You can find important pilgrimage sites dedicated to the Virgin Mary, for example, in Moravia in Křtiny near Brno, in Bohosudov in Northern Bohemia, and at Svatá Hora (Holy Mountain) near Příbram.
During the Baroque period, people were more reconciled with the idea of death than we are nowadays. After all, during periods of war and pestilence, they were faced with death to an extraordinary extent. „Remember man that you are dust and to dust you shall return,“ the well-known memento mori, became the central motto of religious life. It reminded all of the living that death is inextricably linked with life, and that deeds on this earth decide what shall happen when their days come to an end. You will encounter this motto at the entrance to the magnificent complex in Kuks as well as at a small Baroque gem: the country cemetery in Střílky na Moravě.
An affinity for ossuaries is a Bohemian peculiarity, and today these sites represent a significant tourist attraction. One of the most significant of these can be found in Sedlec near Kutná Hora, and in Moravia, you can visit the newly-opened ossuary beneath the Church of St. James in Brno. And, while you are there, we recommend that your extend your stay with a visit to the Southern-Moravian city of Mikulov as well, which is worth seeing not just for its Stations of the Cross to Svatý Kopeček (Holy Hill), but also boasts its unique Dietrichstein Tomb, the largest structure of its kind in Czechia, built according to the designs of J. B. Fischer of Erlach.