The Church of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary is a late Gothic church building in Most. The 13th century deanery church in Most, which stood in the middle of the church yard near the road to Žatec, burned down in 1515, and only the eastern crypt and the inner peripheral brickwork of the western tower could be saved.
The building of the new church began on August 20, 1517, when the cornerstone was laid, and was financed by individual donors. The designer was Jakob Heilmann from Schweinfurt. He proposed the church as a big hall of three naves, with inside supports, a pentagonal presbytery and a prismatic tower with a gallery in the main elevation. The northern wall contains a vestibule, and a sacristy is located in the north-western wall.
During the first year, demolition work was carried out. Heilmann handed over the project in 1518, and control of the building works was taken over initially by the foreman Jörg of Maulbron and later by another foreman called Peter. The vaults of the peripheral chapels were finished during the second decade of the 16th century, then the inner pillars were erected and in 1532 the church was prepared for vaulting. Then, the windows were placed and the vaulting ribs were dressed. The carcassing was finished in 1549 and the renaissance portals installed in the second half of the 16th century. Unfortunately the church burnt out in 1578, and was finally repaired by 1602. The church was consecrated in 1597.
A new roof was put on the church in 1650. The actual main altar was constructed during 1735–1739. The altar decoration was made in the workshop of the sculptor Bartolomeo Eder and the main altar picture was produced by Josef Kramolín - both in 1773. A boundary wall round the cemetery, church and the ossuary was demolished in 1840. Another big repair was made during 1880–1883, during which the interior was reshaped into the Gothic style, and a part of the baroque inventory was removed. New gothic paint was used, and equipment was installed in the new gothic style. The plaster renovation of the outer walls, as well as a treatment of the stone parts was made in 1932.
During the sixties, Most's historic center was completely destroyed to make room for the expanding lignite mines, a process that lasted until 1980. Unlike other historical building it was decided to save the church by moving it away from mining area. Prior to moving the building, the peripheral masonry, the bearing and supporting pillars were reinforced, and the remainder of the western tower was demolished. The church circumference was reinforced by a concrete ring and the church was gripped by a steel framework construction on the inner as well as outer sides. The preparation work lasted seven years, as it was also necessary to demolish all houses in the transfer path and fill in the former opencast mine.
Between September 30 and October 27, 1975, the church was moved a distance of 841.1 meters at a velocity of 1–3 centimeters per minute to the vicinity of the old hospital with a small church of the Holy Spirit, and it was set on an iron-concrete two-storied foundation. After the move was completed, restoration work went on until 1988, and the church was solemnly consecrated again in 1993.
The church is 60 m long and 30 m large, has only one tower, conforming to the South-German late-gothic layout. Its interior walls are plain, and the peripheral walls are broken by two rows of windows. The lower windows belong to the individual chapels and the upper ones belong to the flank naves of the hall. The inside of the church forms a big hall, divided into three naves by seven pairs of octahedral columns. Between the counterforts are 16 chapels, two side vestibules, a sacristy, a double worm staircase on the eastern side and a worm staircase on the western side. Each of the chapels has its own ribbed vault and is dedicated to the patron saints of its donors — the guilds, rich citizens and one to St. Bartolomew, patron saint of the abbot Bartolomeo of Osek.
The church is used both for religious services as well as an exposition of the Gothic and Renaissance art of the north-western Bohemia, and the church basement is used as an exhibition space for the North-Bohemian Gallery.References:
The moated castle at Beersel is one of the few exceptionally well-preserved examples of medieval fortifications in Belgium. It remains pretty much as it must have appeared in the 15th century. Remarkably, it was never converted into a fortified mansion. A visitor is able to experience at first-hand how it must have felt to live in a heavily fortified castle in the Middle Ages.
The castle was built in around 1420 as a means of defence on the outer reaches of Brussels. The tall, dense walls and towers were intended to hold any besiegers at bay. The moat and the marshy ground along its eastern, southern and western edges made any attack a formidable proposition. For that reason, any attackers would have chosen its weaker northern defences where the castle adjoins higher lying ground. But the castle was only taken and destroyed on one occasion in 1489, by the inhabitants of Brussels who were in rebellion against Maximilian of Austria.
After being stormed and plundered by the rebels it was partially rebuilt. The pointed roofs and stepped gables are features which have survived this period. The reconstruction explains why two periods can be identified in the fabric of the edifice, particularly on the outside.
The red Brabant sandstone surrounds of the embrasures, now more or less all bricked up, are characteristic of the 15th century. The other embrasures, edged with white sandstone, date from the end of the 15th century. They were intended for setting up the artillery fire. The merlons too are in white sandstone. The year 1617 can be clearly seen in the foundation support on the first tower. This refers to restorations carried out at the time by the Arenberg family.
Nowadays, the castle is dominated by three massive towers. The means of defence follow the classic pattern: a wide, deep moat surrounding the castle, a drawbridge, merlons on the towers, embrasures in the walls and in the towers, at more or less regular intervals, and machiolations. Circular, projecting towers ensured that attacks from the side could be thwarted. If the enemy were to penetrate the outer wall, each tower could be defended from embrasures facing onto the inner courtyard.
The second and third towers are flanked by watchtowers from which shots could be fired directly below. Between the second and third tower are two openings in the walkway on the wall. It is not clear what these were used for. Were these holes used for the disposing of rubbish, or escape routes. The windows on the exterior are narrow and low. All light entering comes from the interior. The few larger windows on the exterior date from a later period. It is most probable that the third tower - the highest - was used as a watchtower.