The Church of the Assumption of Our Lady and Saint John the Baptist is a Gothic and Baroque Gothic church in Kutná Hora. It is listed in the UNESCO World Heritage List together with the Chapel of All Saints and its ossuary and other monuments in Kutná Hora. It is one of the most important Czech Gothic buildings built in the time of the very last Přemyslids and also a very important and one of the oldest examples of the Baroque Gothic style.
The church was built first in the Gothic style around 1300 as one of the first High Gothic building in the Kingdom of Bohemia and as the first church in the kingdom resembling French Gothic cathedrals. It was built on the place of an older church and was a part of the Cistercians Sedlec Abbey, which was the oldest Cistercian abbey in the Czech lands founded in 1142. The abbey was burnt down by the Hussites in 1421 and the church became a ruin for the next two centuries.
In 1700 the abbot of the Sedlec Abbey Jindřich Snopek decided to rebuild the old church. The reconstruction was conducted by the architect Pavel Ignác Bayer. After three years the new architect became Jan Blažej Santini-Aichel who had worked for the Cistercians already in Zbraslav. He completed the reconstruction of the church in his original style called Baroque Gothic. His most impressive works in the church are the amazing vaults and front wall of the church with its antechamber decorated with the statues by Matěj Václav Jäckel. The church was consecrated in 1708.
Although the church was rebuilt in the early 18th century his eastern part with side chapels, choir and transept should have preserved its original appearance from outside.References:
Sirmione castle was built near the end of the 12th century as part of a defensive network surrounding Verona. The castle was maintained and extended first as part of the Veronese protection against their rivals in Milan and later under the control of the Venetian inland empire. The massive fortress is totally surrounded by water and has an inner porch which houses a Roman and Medieval lapidary. From the drawbridge, a staircase leads to the walkways above the walls, providing a marvellous view of the harbour that once sheltered the Scaliger fleet. The doors were fitted with a variety of locking systems, including a drawbridge for horses, carriages and pedestrians, a metal grate and, more recently, double hinged doors. Venice conquered Sirmione in 1405, immediately adopting provisions to render the fortress even more secure, fortifying its outer walls and widening the harbour.
Thanks to its strategical geographical location as a border outpost, Sirmione became a crucial defence and control garrison for the ruling nobles, retaining this function until the 16th century, when its role was taken up by Peschiera del Garda.