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Crypt of the Klášterec branch of Thun-Hohensteins

Crypt of Thun-Hohensteins


Michael Oswald began to build the parish Church of the Holy Trinity in the year 1665, according to just elaborated plans by Italian architect Carlo Lurago. Proper building has been given to Italian builder and plasterer Rosi de Luca and ended in 1670 by consecration of the church. Along with the church, an early Baroque crypt was built, located under the chancel, imminently under the main altar. The crypt has the same groundplan as the presbytery and it has arched, rolling vault. At that time it was accessible by a staircase from the chancel area.

The builder of the church, Michael Oswald was buried in this tomb as the first in the year 1694. Franz Pad. Anton in 1714, and then Marie Philippina nee von Harrach in 1763. The crypt was closed thereafter, because the burials in the crypts were ceased.

Josef Oswald I decided to carry out a thorough renewal of the crypt in 1853. At the same time, he obligated to respect the official health requirements for the burials in a closing vessels. Namely, to abolish the entrance to the crypt from the church and to establish a new entrance instead of it, by rebuilding from the outside, that a new vents will be carried out and that only embalmed bodies of the departeds will lay to rest there. The realization of this intention put back a big fire of the town in 1858. Thus rebuilding of the crypt was possible as late as 1861 and that with the inclusion of construction of a building above the new staircase to the crypt from the outside and construction of a relatively high enclosure wall, separating the area in front of a church long side wall with a new lordly oratory and the crypt.

Crypt of Thun-Hohensteins Crypt of Thun-Hohensteins Crypt of Thun-Hohensteins

The crypt was inundated with water in the spring of 1950. The coffins were transported to a cemetery and seven of them stored in a small tomb under the Chapel of dead opposite the Church of Our Lady. Two coffins were probably buried somewhere in a cemetery. The empty old crypt under the church was subjecting to total devastation for the time being, when it remained open and accessible for a long time. Dr. Jiří Kynčil was engaged in the history of Klášterec for years and within the context of it also in the Klášterec family of Thun-Hohensteins. Upon his impulse, the Klášterec nad Ohří Municipality headed by the mayor Ing. Zdeněk Šroubek ruled in the summer of 1991 that will carry a recovery of the crypt. The overall implementation has been entrusted to the engineering company KAPPA (Ing. Vladimír Janda) in Chomutov. The coffins remained in the tomb at a cemetery until the beginning of winter in 1991, when they were provisionally deposited in the right sacristy of the Church of Our Lady, and then in the castle.

The crypt reconstruction began in the spring of 1992. In course of the works, a stone stele with porcelain tables was removed from the today's face wall of the crypt in places of the former entrance from the presbitary. A slight remnants of remains of already mentioned Thun family members and three tin plates relating to them have been found behind it. Meanwhile, the local artists Karel Meloun with his son David, and then Josef Bernášek worked at artworks, that significantly supplement our restored area. These are the blacksmith artworks - the entrance door, forged handrails on a stairway, and then the noteworthy latticed wall with a centric gate door, which close in the accessible part of the crypt - came from the workshop of Karel and David Meloun. The painter Josef Bernášek is the author of a beautiful colour family tree - the tree of life - of local Thun-Hohensteins, established by Dr. Kynčil, with a porcelain tables - heraldic labels of individual members, which will be further supplemented. Karel Meloun also made an adjustment on the ancient stone plinth with lavabo, which is situated in the right corner of the crypt.

Crypt of Thun-Hohensteins Crypt of Thun-Hohensteins Crypt of Thun-Hohensteins

The adaptation continued also in 1993. In the beginning of May, a transit of the coffins with modified surface was managed, from the castle to the old crypt. Finally, on June 4th, the crypt was solemnly enabled and at the same time consecrated by the Bishop of Litoměřice Mons. Dr. Josef Koukl.

Presently, there are remains of these people in a glassed-in cabinet in the crypt:

  • Michael Oswald (1631-1694) – the skull and several bones
    the founder of Klášterec fee tail: Klášterec, Pětipsy, Benešov n. Ploučnicí, Žehušice and Markvartice), the fee tail lord, a restorer of the local castle and park, a builder of the Church of the Holy Trinity and two palaces in Prague, baroque cavalier and a supporter of artists.
  • Marie Philippina, nee von Harrach (1693 – 1763) – the skull
    the spouse of Johann Franz Josef, mother of Josef Antonín, who administrated the fee tail as a trustee at the time of his nonage.
  • Franz Pad. Anton (1713 – 1714) – the remains of this child haven't been found, only one of his shoes
    the son of Johann Franz Josef

In addition, there are the earthly remains of family members in metal coffins:

  • Josef Mathias (1794 – 1868)
    the fee tail lord, member of the Royal Czech society of doctrines, linguist, translator of folk songs, Rukopis Královédvorský and others to German, one of the leaders of the Estates opposition against the government, member of the National Board in 1848 etc.
  • Karel (1803-1876)
    the son of Josef Johann Sabbas from the second marriage with civil girl Eleonora Fritsch, brother of Josef Mathias, general, General of the Artillery, the holder of imperial and royal 99th Infantry.
  • Josef Oswald II. Thun-Hohenstein-Salm-Reifferscheid (1849-1913)
    the fee tail lord, Knight of the Order of the Golden Fleece, diplomat, Mayor of the town of Klášterec in 1876-1913.
  • Josef Oswald I. (1817-1883)
    the fee tail lord, Mayor of the town of Klášterec in 1861-1876.
  • Erwein (1858-1870)
    the son of Siegmund Ignaz Karel and the grandson of Josef Mathias, student.
  • Johanna nee von Salm-Reifferscheid (1827-1892)
    the spouse of Josef Oswald I.
  • Franziska nee von Thun-Hohenstein the branch of Benatek-Ronsperg (1796-1883)
    the spouse of Josef Mathias.