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Cultural Heritage

The Via Foundation’s Czech Heritage Society supports those people who work to preserve and protect landmarks of cultural and historical importance in the Czech Republic.

As you travel through the Bohemian and Moravian countryside, you see them dotting the landscape: an 18th Century monument commemorating the victims of the plague; an early 19th Century chapel set off the main road, obscured by overgrowth; a synagogue whose roof collapsed years ago; a statue in a town center, faded and weather-worn. Each landmark helps comprise the unique historical landscape of the Czech Republic, but due to neglect, indifference, or a lack of available funding, the very existence of this cultural heritage is in jeopardy.

With the support of members of the Czech Heritage Society, the Via Foundation actively works to give grassroots organizations the opportunity to succeed in preserving and safeguarding the legacy of Czech history. We consider it critical to preserve the rich diversity of cultural sites in the Czech Republic – not only for those who live here, but also for those who have Czech roots or those who appreciate the beauty and history of the Czech cultural heritage and Bohemian and Moravian history.

Even beyond the physical restoration of a building or monument, Via donors are assisting communities throughout the Czech Republic to restore civic pride.  By providing the means for Czech citizens who want to help themselves, members of the Czech Heritage Society assist in revitalizing community life and the spirit of volunteerism in the Czech Republic. The Czech Heritage Society continues the hope of the 1989 Velvet Revolution by giving individuals the power to positively effect change in their communities.

Please consider joining the Czech Heritage Society to ensure the continuation of this success and assist in the preservation of Czech cultural heritage!

Klimkovice - Memory of Klimkovice - A Smile for a Chapel

project A group of citizens in the town of Klimkovice decided to improve their community by beautifying a site which is an eyesore, despite the fact that many residents walk through it every day. (...more)

Všemily - Civic association for Preservation and Conservation of Dolský mlýn Cultural Monuments - Reconstruction of the Central Cross at the Cemetery in Všemily

We supported residents of Všemily with a grant for restoration of a central cross in the local cemetery, which was neglected and fell into disrepair after World War II. They have been working on general cemetery clean up and gravestone revitalization. (...more)

Tři sekery - Municipality of Tři Sekery – Revitalization of a Statue of St. John Nepomuk

project The municipality of Tři Sekery provides funding for restoration of the area surrounding the statue of St. John Nepomuk. The statue itself, which is adjacent to a church, was fully repaired in 2010 – 2011. Local residents and children who attend the nearby elementary and preschool expressed great interest in renovation of the statue and pledged to help with the work. (...more)

Mšeno - Pšovka – Kokořín Beautification Society – Brusná Wooden Folklore Chapel

project There is an unusual wooden chapel along the hiking trail from Mšeno at the pod Drnclíkem intersection, where the trail connects to the E10 pan-European hiking high road. The chapel was probably built in the latter half of the 19th century. (...more)

Otovice - Omnium civic association – Renovation of a Column with a Statue of the Virgin Mary in Velká Vsi u Broumova

project We also supported an application submitted by residents of Velká Vsi u Broumova, who seek to restore a column with a statue of the Virgin Mary. Broumov is part of the former Sudetenland and the restoration is intended a symbolical remembrance of the region’s former inhabitants. (...more)

Pec pod Sněžkou - Město Pec pod Sněžkou – Chapel on Přední Výsluní

Breathing new life into a chapel in the municipality of Velká Úpa is the dream of the municipality as well as local residents. The chapel still serves as a pilgrimage destination and as a gathering place for local residents, who visit the chapel and decorate it on religious holidays. (...more)

Lestkov - Pomozme si sami (Let’s Help Ourselves) civic association - Revitalization of Crosses of Horní Vísky

project A group of several dozen adults and children in the municipality of Lestkov seek to repair four crosses in the nearby but extinct municipality of Horní Vísky. For the past two years they have run a children’s camp where the children act as stewards of this site, cleaning it up and improving it, thus building a bond to it and developing an understanding of its history and related issues. (...more)

Radkov - Radkov civic association – Renovation of the Gravestone of Anton Skrbenský

project The Radkov cemetery contains a number of gravestones of notable aristocratic families which were active in the Opava region from the mid-1800s to the mid-20th century. Most of the gravestones are registered as cultural monuments. (...more)

Milejovice - REGIO POŠUMAVÍ – Revitalization of a Chapel and Spring in the Wall of House No. 18 in Milejovice

project Local residents joined forces with the town hall to restore a chapel and well embedded in the wall of a house in Milejovice in South Bohemia that is dedicated to St. John Nepomuk. (...more)

Tvrdonice - Tvrdonice Beautification Society – Renovation of the Cross of Františka Michalová in Tvrdonice

project Residents in Tvrdonice hope to restore a cross that commemorates a local “nunnery” and the work of the nuns of the Third Order. They believe that restoring this monument is a unique opportunity to keep history alive and improve the appearance of the surrounding park and townscape. (...more)

Chroustov - Municipality of Úhlejov – Revitalization of a Wayside Cross in the Municipality Chroustov

project Inspired by citizen appeals, the town of Chroustov decided to restore this wind-damaged wayside cross monument to its original condition. After a professional team completes the technical restoration work on the statue itself, volunteers from the community will help improve the surrounding area and build a protective fence. (...more)

Vroutek - Budíček (Little Alarm Clock) civic association - Restoration of an Austrian-Hungarian Officer’s Gravestone Dating from 1840

project A group of young people born and raised in Vroutek decided to do something about the sorry state of the Church of St. John the Baptist and adjacent German cemetery, which had been damaged after World War II and later abolished. The young people are capable of managing most of the work themselves, with the help of local residents. (...more)

Císařský u Šluknova - Small Monuments of Northern Bohemia – Revitalization of a Chapel in Císařský u Šluknova

project We also lent a helping hand to a group in the town of Císařský u Šluknova, a typical community in the former Sudetenland. The group seeks to repair an alcove chapel which fell into disrepair after World War II. After the chapel is restored, a pastor will consecrate it and local residents will assume responsibility for further maintenance. (...more)

Merboltice - Merboltice Neighborhood Association – Revitalization of Calvaries below Zaječí Peak in Merboltice

project In Merboltice in the Ústí nad Labem region, local people came together to revitalize and replant a calvary area beneath the Zaječí Peak. In 2014 they asked for help in restoring the calvaries. (...more)

Vizovice - Janův hrad Vizovice civic association – Renovation of the Underground Section of a Well at Jan Castle

project On the other end of the Czech Republic, in Vizovice in Northern Moravia, local residents are saving an 18th century well in the Jan castle complex. Operational until 1990, the well was later neglected and fell into disrepair. (...more)

Vrchlabí - Healthy Krkonoše Mountains - Revitalization of a Cross and the Surrounding Area in Vrchlabí

project Citizens in the town of Vrchlabí seek to restore a dilapidated cross monument dating from the turn of the 18th and 19th centuries, revitalize the surrounding area and install an information board about the monument’s history. (...more)

Veselí nad Lužnicí - Renewal of the Valy Cross in South Bohemia

project The village Val is situated near the town of Veselí nad Lužnicí. Local village people and Union of Scouts reconstruceted a toppled stone base of a cross that was erected already in 1764. Survivors remember that destruction of the cross was caused by a runaway horse who overthrew the monument. (...more)

Brankovice - The Roman Catholic Parish of Brankovice implemented the project “Preservation of the Saint’s Spring.”

project The Saint’s Spring in Brankovice has been a favorite destination for local residents for as long as anyone can remember. The scene is idyllic: in a small clearing in the woods of eastern Moravia, an ancient linden tree casts shade upon a small chapel locals know as U svaté. Beneath the chapel flows a spring whose waters are said to heal all maladies. The chapel dates to 1704 according to records, but locals say that the spring’s miraculous properties have been known for far longer. (...more)

Doksy - Mšeno

There is an unusual wooden chapel along the hiking trail from Mšeno at the pod Drnclíkem intersection, where the trail connects to the E10 pan-European hiking high road. The chapel was probably built in the latter half of the 19th century. (...more)

Frýdlant - The statue of St. Mary Magdalen in Větrov u Frýdlant

project On a quiet path in the forest near the Polish border, a statue holds its mysteries silent. The origin of the statue of St. Mary Magdalen between the villages of Větrov and Frýdlant in northern Bohemia is unknown: who created this? what is the significance of where it is placed? The Frýdlant Monuments Board and a group of local volunteers work to unravel and preserve its history. (...more)

Potštát - The Potštát Chapel

project Over 700 years ago, German miners founded the town of Potštát on Eastern Moravia’s Jesenik lowlands. Tucked beneath the Oderské Mountains, Potštát grew into a market town drawing Czech, Slovak, and Wallachian immigrants. In 1781, Potštát’s residents consecrated a stone and mortar chapel to replace the original wooden church that had served their town for years. This chapel is still in use today. (...more)

Jeseník - The Adéla, Flóra and Adolf Springs

project In first half of the 19th century, the farmer, folk healer and founder of modern hydrotherapy, Vincenc Priessnitz, established a health spa not far from the town of Jeseník. There are dozens of small historical monuments scattered throughout the area, many of which were built in gratitude by the patients of the spa. The extensive number of these historical objects is an apt memorial to this famous native. Included among them are the Adéla, Flóra and Adolf springs, which were used for medical purposes as a part of the spa treatment. (...more)

Bohumín - Restoration of the Cholera Graveyard Chapel by the Maryška Association

project Regard for the past is connected to what awaits us in the future. If we lose our past, the path to the future ceomes clear. The age in which we now live is like a depleted memory. Local shops have been replaced by huge supermarkets, roads traveled for centuries have been severed by highways. For this reason, we owe our gratitude to people who seek out to revive the collective memories of the places in which we live; those who have come to realize that if we lose ”trace” of our ancestors, a gap will develop that nothing will be able to fill. (...more)

Bruntál - Club for Old Bruntál – Wooden cross commemorating victims of the plague, 13,500 CZK

project The cross was erected in the 19th century in the memory of the victims of the plague. The cross formerly stood in the town center, but is now located in a small residential area on a frequented footpath. The Association repaired the cross and the area around it and installed a plaque with information about smaller monuments throughout the town of Bruntál. (...more)

Dolní Kralovice - The Libčice Chapel

project The small chapel with its belfry, dating from the year 1937, is the only reminder of the town of Libčice, which in the 1970’s was submerged in the construction of the Želivka – Švihov water reservoir. The town’s inhabitants were evacuated and all the buildings were destroyed, with the exception of the small chapel. (...more)

Kozojedy - Municipality of Kozojedy – Restoration of a chapel in Brána, 65,000 CZK

project The small chapel stands on the edge of the village right on the side of the road. It was most likely first erected in the 19th century by the owner of the neighboring land. While for many years, the descendents of the property and the villagers cared for the monument, it was abandoned in the early part of this decade for lack of resources. (...more)

Holany - Municipality of Holany – Renovation of small cultural monuments, 70,000 CZK

project Several smaller monument located in the district of Holany are considered important as endangered examples of the local folk-art craftsmanship and traditions. The project supported by the Via Heritage Fund focused on the restoration of seven small monuments from the 18th and 19th century – including a small chapel and cross.

Hněvnice - The Chapel in Hněvnice

project For the chapel in the Western Bohemian town of Hněvnice, its very existence was dependent upon its timely renovation. Over twenty years ago, it had already been considered unrecoverable due to its dilapidated state and had been removed from the list of protected monuments. Nevertheless, in 2004, the Hněvnice town chapel was brought back to life. The rescue mission was undertaken by the Association for the Renewal of the Hněvnice Township, who received a grant of $ 3,170 from the Czech Heritage Society for the renovation of this small sacral monument. (...more)

Olbramov - The Statue of St. Dominik

project In Lestkov, there are a series of small monuments that are gradually being reconstructed by the Helping Ourselves Association, working in cooperation with the local government and the Roman Catholic church. Among them is also a public fountain in the town, which was damaged by an American army jeep at the end of WWII, and finally removed in the 1950’s. In its place, there are plans to build a new public fountain. Another of the small monuments in Lestkov is the statue of St. Dominik, which was reconstructed with the help of $ 3,300 from the Via Heritage Fund in 2004. (...more)

Budišov nad Budišovkou - Baroque Column Ecce Homo, 40,000 CZK

project The Baroque Plague Column was originally erected at the town Dvorce’s entrance during the time of the plague in order to warn travelers not to enter, helping Dvorce avoid contamination in the 18th century epidemic. After 1945 however, the column fell into disrepair. In 2002, the Vlastenecký pouník Civic Association succeeded in raising enough money for its restoration. (...more)
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