The Pilgrimage Church of the Elevation of the Holy Rood and Our Lady

Address: Krnov - Cvilín
GPS position: 50°4′48.487″N, 17°43′16.685″E
Telephone: +420 732 664 763, +420 595 171 332

The Pilgrimage Church of the Elevation of the Holy Rood and Our Lady, situated on Cvilín Hill southeast of the town, was built by Andreas a George Gans from 1722 to 1728, near a place where an old wooden chapel used to stand.

The flood-light church is signifiant dominant of Krnov and is visible from far at night.


The tradition of pilgrimages to the Cvilín Hill has been more than 400 years old. In the first half of the 13th century came to our country Order of Friars Minor, appearing in Krnov in 1273. The founder of the Pilgrimage Church on Cvilin was P. Cornelius Ottweiler, the quardian of Friars Minor Monastery in Krnov, who initiated the establishment of a wooden chapel of the Sacred Cross and Our Lady of Sorrows in 1684.


Since the Middle Ages there has been a legend about the healing power of the picture of Our Lady of Sorrows that is placed behind the altar. The image should be placed on a wooden column till the reign of Premysl Otakar II. Nowadays stands on this place a wooden pillar, dating from the 1635.


Every year there are several pilgrimages. The most significant one is held every year in the middle of September and is called the Pilgrimage the Elevation of the Holy Rood and Our Lady.


The Baroque building of the church consists of a main body with six side chapels dedicated to the Gospel side of the presbytery of St. Michael, Mary and Ann; on the epistolary side to St. John of Nepomuk, the Divine Heart of Jesus and Lawrence.

The main altar with the image of Our Lady of Sorrows is perfectly aligned with the overall decor of the temple.


A beautiful fresco decoration was made by Franz Eckstein, a painter from Brno. The internal device was progressively sourced from numerous donations. One of the bells for 54-meter high tower was casted directly at place. Because of a large number of pilgrims there was established a dormitory and a restaurant near the church.


In 1786, according to the regulation of Emperor Joseph II the church should be closed and demolished. However, it was bought back by four citizens of Krnov. The church was reopened in 1795, on condition of building of a dwelling colony with 18 buildings.

In 1865 the church burned. Bells were melted by the heat. Organ made by Francis Rieger originating in 1855 was fortunately saved before fire. The building could be reconstructed from public donations. At the beginning of the 70s of 19th century were built 222 stone stairs leading to the church.


During the World War II the church was damaged heavily, however restored by Order of Friars Minor again. In 1950 the monastery located in the town was abolished and after 1989 restored and returned to the Order of Friars Minor, thenafter the restoration of the church at Cvilín followed.


The church is open to public during religious pilgrimages starting on the 30th April and ending on the 2th November. Masses are celebrated every Sunday at 10:00 pm (except for the pilgrimage time) The main pilgrimage takes place on Sunday closer to the feast of Our Lady of Sorrows.


From 1994 to 1996 was built St. Joseph's pilgrimage house, primarily serving to religious and the faithful youth.

In 2007-2008 the file of Chapels of the Calvary around the church of Our Lady of Sorrows was reconstructed. To this project contributed the Moravian-Silesian Region, citizens and businesses from Krnov. Thereafter were places back images of the Calvary into the chapels.


The Pilgrimage Church is held to be one of the most significant sacred jewels of Silesia.



You can get there on green marked foot path from the town centre. It is necessary to overcome 222 stairs leading to the church.

It is possible to get there by car as well. Turn on Opavská Street direction Cvilin and take Nová Cvilínská Street leading directly to the church.

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