The red sandstone facade of St. Ignatius’s rises up in the midst of the low houses of the old city in Kapuzinerstrasse. The church was constructed between 1763 and 1774 to the plans of Johann Peter Jäger, namely in place of the old church of a suburb enclosed within the city wall after 1200.
The church shows an impressive interplay of baroque, as the expression of joy in faith, and classicism, as the expression of reason. Luxuriant stucco works and puttos appear between the strict lines of classicism. Ceiling frescos relate the life and death of St. Ignatius. They were originally by the baroque painter Johann Baptist Enderle, but were later touched up several times. The classicist organ casing (1774-81) above the main entrance is worth of seeing, the organ itself dates from 1837.
Under the church is a crypt in which, apart from clergymen and members of the parish, the church’s architect, stucco worker and carpenter have also been laid to rest. The towerless church is surrounded by a parish garden in which the large crucifixion group, the tomb of the sculptor Hans Backoffen (died 1519) and a Gothic wooden crucifix are to be seen.References:
Kroměříž stands on the site of an earlier ford across the River Morava. The gardens and castle of Kroměříž are an exceptionally complete and well-preserved example of a European Baroque princely residence and its gardens and described as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The first residence on the site was founded by bishop Stanislas Thurzo in 1497. The building was in a Late Gothic style, with a modicum of Renaissance detail. During the Thirty Years' War, the castle was sacked by the Swedish army (1643).
It was not until 1664 that a bishop from the powerful Liechtenstein family charged architect Filiberto Lucchese with renovating the palace in a Baroque style. The chief monument of Lucchese's work in Kroměříž is the Pleasure Garden in front of the castle. Upon Lucchese's death in 1666, Giovanni Pietro Tencalla completed his work on the formal garden and had the palace rebuilt in a style reminiscent of the Turinese school to which he belonged.
After the castle was gutted by a major fire in March 1752, Bishop Hamilton commissioned two leading imperial artists, Franz Anton Maulbertsch and Josef Stern, arrived at the residence in order to decorate the halls of the palace with their works. In addition to their paintings, the palace still houses an art collection, generally considered the second finest in the country, which includes Titian's last mythological painting, The Flaying of Marsyas. The largest part of the collection was acquired by Bishop Karel in Cologne in 1673. The palace also contains an outstanding musical archive and a library of 33,000 volumes.
UNESCO lists the palace and garden among the World Heritage Sites. As the nomination dossier explains, 'the castle is a good but not outstanding example of a type of aristocratic or princely residence that has survived widely in Europe. The Pleasure Garden, by contrast, is a very rare and largely intact example of a Baroque garden'. Apart from the formal parterres there is also a less formal nineteenth-century English garden, which sustained damage during floods in 1997.
Interiors of the palace were extensively used by Miloš Forman as a stand-in for Vienna's Hofburg Imperial Palace during filming of Amadeus (1984), based on the life of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, who actually never visited Kroměříž. The main audience chamber was also used in the film Immortal Beloved (1994), in the piano concerto scene.