Cemetery church of Saint Mary in Broumov

Address: Křinická, Broumov, 550 01
Phone: +420 491 523 796

A unique monument of folk wooden architecture – a dominant of the cemetery of Broumov

Cemetery church is one of the oldest sacred wooden buildings in a central Europe. It is remarkable for it´s architecture and interior painting and decorations. What it originally looked like we don´t know, apart from the fact that it was built from wood. The church was burnt during a hussite occupation of the city in 1421 and later rebuilt most likely in 1450. A myth is known about a heathen queen founding the church in 1177.

An extraordinary building with no nail in it.

The church is consecrated to Blessed Virgin Mary and it is not only exceptional for it´s age but also for the technique of its construction, using but massive oak girders and absolutely no nails. The entire girder construction creates a perfect whole - an astonishing piece of carpentry that lasted for centuries.

The main nave is surrounded by a gallery on all sides. It´s actual appearance is the result of a reconstruction after Prussian invasion in 1779 when a part of the building was demolished as not to impede the military usage of it - an order from general von Anhalt. Nine wooden boards hang in the gallery and resemple a chronicle of Broumov - they depict for example bowing to Joseph II. In 1766 or that in 1542 there was a grasshopper disaster in the city. Also, many tombstones are displayed in the gallery that have been brought in from canceled empire-style graves.

The church is decorated with beautiful plant and animal motives and styles and also with late-gothic texts, creating mysterious inscriptions that, however, do not mean anything as a whole. A precious painting of Holy Mary, local Czech saints and Broumov in background graces the decoration.

Many myths accompany the building. “During the 30 years war, when the Swedish were here, one Swedish officer bragged that a wooden church lacks the hardness of stone so he pulled out his sword and hew. He wanted to show that wood is weak but his sword broke. He eventuelly had to admit that wood can sometimes be as hard as stone.“ Also, touching the “hangman´s log is said to bring you eternal luck.“

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Interesting places in the surroundings

Partner / Město Broumov