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The history of Horní Stropnice church

The village of Horní Stropnice is located on the old way from Weitra to Doudleby. The Czech Prince Friedrich enfeoffed the Weitra region including Horní Stropnice to Hadmar von Chuenring in 1185. It is likely that the first church at Horní Stropnice was built during his reign around 1200. In 1257 Vok of Rosenberg received the half of the village as the dowry of his wife Hedvika. The second part of the village belonged to Albert of Boršov, who called himself „of Stropnice“ from 1279. As far back as 1302 Horní Stropnice was promoted to a township or a small town and that meant that it was allowed to hold markets. Originally, there was a cow market every week and there was an annual market on the feast of the Ascension which Emperor Rudolf II confirmed in 1607. This privilege was confirmed by the Emperor Ferdinand I in 1848 and there were two other markets added, on February 5 and on November 6. The owners of the two halves of Horní Stropnice continually changed until 1359, then the whole Horní Stropnice was taken over by the Rosenbergs and they kept it until the extinction of their house in 1611. It had been shortly owned by Švamberk family before Charles Bonaventura Buquoy received it together with the domain of Nové Hrady in 1620. Mary Magdalene, the widow of Charles Bonaventura Buquoy, who died on July 10,1621 near Nové Zámky, exempted Horní Stropnice from all dues in 1623 because the village was very poor. In years 1476-1486 Horní Stropnice was pawned to Oldřich of Grafeneck. His enemy Rubík of Hlavatec burnt down the village including the church in 1486. That fire was a landmark in the building development of the Church. Originally, the Church was built in the Romanesque style and there was only one aisle. Elements of that style can be still observed on the tower. After being burned down the Church was arched over and it became three-aisled as are most of the Gothic churches are. The presbytery, the old sacristy and the clock tower above the western entrance were also built in the Gothic style (later adapted).  This complex was later completed with a hall before the south entrance in the Renaissance style, with a new sacristy and an open chapel between the south entrance and the pillar in the Baroque style. Henry of Rosenberg entrusted the spiritual management to Cistercians of Vyšší Brod, who cared for it until 1945. The present region of parishes Hojná Voda and Dobrá Voda belonged also to this parish and they were disjoined during the reign of Joseph II. The graveyard was built next to the church until 1801. The Marian column on the square was built in 1765. The main altar is the work of monks of Vyšší Brod from 1649. In the picture St. Nicolaus is bowing down before the Virgin Mary with Child. In the background there are two angels holding a bishop’s crook and a bowl with apples. On the walls there are statues of two saints of the Order of Cistercians. At the top of the altar there is the picture of the Most Holy Trinity with statues of St. Veit and St. Wenceslaw. The altar is topped off with the archangel Michael. The original side altars were also from 1649 but they were replaced by new ones. After the Thirty Years War there remained only the font from the Gothic inventory. The Rococo pulpit was made by the carver Bernard Mayer from Hojná Voda in 1777. During 1990s the church was completely restored and it became a beautiful dominant feature of the square of Horní Stropnice again.