The three domes of the St. Michael’s Church are one of the most distinctive landmarks of Olomouc. This Baroque church was rebuilt from the original Gothic church and was consecrated probably in 1251. Outer walls and a vault at the end of the presbytery have been preserved of the original early Gothic building. The church was rebuilt into the current Early-Baroque form in 1673-1686 as proposed by G. P. Tencalla.
The single-nave structure with side chapels has a rich sculptural and painting decoration and is an example of the Baroque appeal aimed at the senses of the church-goers. The front face of the church is decorated with statues of the Virgin Mary and the Salvator Mundi by Ondřej Zahner and date from the 1830’s. A Gothic St. Alexei Chapel and a Gothic Cloister with cross vaulting adjoin the church building.
The interior was re-decorated in the Baroque style after the fire of 1709. In the years 1892-1898 the church underwent a Neo-Baroque reconstruction.References:
The Externsteine (Extern stones) is a distinctive sandstone rock formation located in the Teutoburg Forest, near the town of Horn-Bad Meinberg. The formation is a tor consisting of several tall, narrow columns of rock which rise abruptly from the surrounding wooded hills. Archaeological excavations have yielded some Upper Paleolithic stone tools dating to about 10,700 BC from 9,600 BC.
In a popular tradition going back to an idea proposed to Hermann Hamelmann in 1564, the Externsteine are identified as a sacred site of the pagan Saxons, and the location of the Irminsul (sacral pillar-like object in German paganism) idol reportedly destroyed by Charlemagne; there is however no archaeological evidence that would confirm the site's use during the relevant period.
The stones were used as the site of a hermitage in the Middle Ages, and by at least the high medieval period were the site of a Christian chapel. The Externsteine relief is a medieval depiction of the Descent from the Cross. It remains controversial whether the site was already used for Christian worship in the 8th to early 10th centuries.
The Externsteine gained prominence when Völkisch and nationalistic scholars took an interest in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. This interest peaked under the Nazi regime, when the Externsteine became a focus of nazi propaganda. Today, they remain a popular tourist destination and also continue to attract Neo-Pagans and Neo-Nazis.