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 Veste Coburg is one of Germany's largest castles. The hill on which the fortress stands was inhabited from the Neolithic to the early Middle Ages according to the results of excavations. The first documentary mention of Coburg occurs in 1056, in a gift by Richeza of Lotharingia. Richeza gave her properties to Anno II, Archbishop of Cologne, to allow the creation of Saalfeld Abbey in 1071. In 1075, a chapel dedicated to Saint Peter and Saint Paul is mentioned on the fortified Coberg. This document also refers to a Vogt named Gerhart, implying that the local possessions of the Saalfeld Benedictines were administered from the hill.
A document signed by Pope Honorius II in 1206 refers to a mons coburg, a hill settlement. In the 13th century, the hill overlooked the town of Trufalistat (Coburg's predecessor) and the important trade route from Nuremberg via Erfurt to Leipzig. A document dated from 1225 uses the term schloss (palace) for the first time. At the time, the town was controlled by the Dukes of Merania. They were followed in 1248 by the Counts of Henneberg who ruled Coburg until 1353, save for a period from 1292-1312, when the House of Ascania was in charge.
In 1353, Coburg fell to Friedrich, Markgraf von Meißen of the House of Wettin. His successor, Friedrich der Streitbare was awarded the status of Elector of Saxony in 1423. As a result of the Hussite Wars the fortifications of the Veste were expanded in 1430.
In 1485, in the Partition of Leipzig, Veste Coburg fell to the Ernestine branch of the family. A year later, Elector Friedrich der Weise and Johann der Beständige took over the rule of Coburg. Johann used the Veste as a residence from 1499. In 1506/07, Lucas Cranach the Elder lived and worked in the Veste. From April to October 1530, during the Diet of Augsburg, Martin Luther sought protection at the Veste, as he was under an Imperial ban at the time. Whilst he stayed at the fortress, Luther continued with his work translating the Bible into German. In 1547, Johann Ernst moved the residence of the ducal family to a more convenient and fashionable location, Ehrenburg Palace in the town centre of Coburg. The Veste now only served as a fortification.
In the further splitting of the Ernestine line, Coburg became the seat of the Herzogtum von Sachsen-Coburg, the Duchy of Saxe-Coburg. The first duke was Johann Casimir (1564-1633), who modernized the fortifications. In 1632, the fortress was unsuccessfully besieged by Imperial and Bavarian forces commanded by Albrecht von Wallenstein for seven days during the Thirty Years' War. Its defence was commanded by Georg Christoph von Taupadel. On 17 March 1635, after a renewed siege of five months' duration, the Veste was handed over to the Imperials under Guillaume de Lamboy.
From 1638-72, Coburg and the Veste were part of the Duchy of Saxe-Altenburg. In 1672, they passed to the Dukes of Saxe-Gotha and in 1735 it was joined to the Duchy of Saxe-Saalfeld. Following the introduction of Primogeniture by Duke Franz Josias (1697-1764), Coburg went by way of Ernst Friedrich (1724-1800) to Franz (1750-1806), noted art collector, and to Duke Ernst III (1784-1844), who remodeled the castle.
In 1826, the Duchy of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha was created and Ernst now styled himself 'Ernst I'. Military use of the Veste had ceased by 1700 and outer fortifications had been demolished in 1803-38. From 1838-60, Ernst had the run-down fortress converted into a Gothic revival residence. In 1860, use of the Zeughaus as a prison (since 1782) was discontinued. Through a successful policy of political marriages, the House of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha established links with several of the major European dynasties, including that of the United Kingdom.
The dynasty ended with the reign of Herzog Carl Eduard (1884-1954), also known as Charles Edward, Duke of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, a grandson of Queen Victoria, who until 1919 also was the 2nd Duke of Albany in the United Kingdom. Under his rule, many changes made to the Veste in the 19th century were reversed under architect Bodo Ebhardt, with the aim of restoring a more authentic medieval look. Along with the other ruling princes of Germany, Carl Eduard was deposed in the revolution of 1918-1919. After Carl Eduard abdicated in late 1918, the Veste came into possession of the state of Bavaria, but the former duke was allowed to live there until his death. The works of art collected by the family were gifted to the Coburger Landesstiftung, a foundation, which today runs the museum.
In 1945, the Veste was seriously damaged by artillery fire in the final days of World War II. After 1946, renovation works were undertaken by the new owner, the Bayerische Verwaltung der staatlichen Schlösser, Gärten und Seen.
The Veste is open to the public and today houses museums, including a collection art objects and paintings that belonged to the ducal family of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, a large collection of arms and armor, significant examples of early modern coaches and sleighs, and important collections of prints, drawings and coins.