The church enlivens

After some years, at the end of 1791, Žďár and Nové Město citizens initiated an effort to repair and reopen the church. The governorate and regional authorities in Jihlava understood the wish of the people but bishop Lachenbacher in Brno did not. In spite of the attitude of the bishop, the governorate granted a permit in 1792 to reopen the church, under the following conditions: a cemetery from Žďár would be relocated to the church and the church would be used for burials, not as a pilgrimage destination. But the people still requested that church services and processions be restored. The bishop refused the request again and the governorate was not going to abandon their original conditions this time. They informed the people that if they did not accept the conditions, the church would be demolished and the material obtained would be put up for auction.
The decaying building thus got a new roof in July 1792 and other necessary adjustments were performed later. The roof of the ambulatory was repaired only in 1794 – 1802. It is necessary to say that all labourers and purchases of the most essential equipment were only financed from donations, both from the believers and from many former monks from Žďár. According to the contemporaries, it was priest Bonifác Procházka, a former Cistercian (and the namesake of V. Vejmluva´s secretary) who participated in the organization of the uneasy operation the most. He died in 1796 before the repairs were complete. Masses were said again in the church by 1800 while the repairs were still going on; some time later, maybe in 1803, pilgrimages were made to the church again. These pilgrimages were only a small reflection of the previous ones.
As written above, the church requires relatively frequent maintenance owing to the exposed location. Other repairs took place in 1815 – 1824 and this time they were coordinated by Josef Linek, a priest from Žďár. Again they were only financed from collections and it was the Hafenbrändl family who contributed to the preservation of the church to a large extent.
The manor in Žďár became private property in 1826. That meant a new element which might have affected the repairs of the the Church of St. John of Nepomuk positively or negatively. The new owner only had to take care of the local parish church (former monastery church) but he did not have to maintain the Church of St. John of Nepomuk. Thus possible contribution to the repair of the church at Zelená hora was quite up to the good will of the owner of the manor. Matěj Sychra, another important person in the history of the church, became the parish priest in 1824. The new owner of the manor, Vratislav of Mitrovice, suggested in 1826 that they continue to repair the sanctuary but he also suggested that they demolish the damaged ambulatory on that occasion. Sychra did not recommend to take the step and, fortunately, the Earl was not one of those who have their way at any cost.
It was necessary to provide at least some maintenance even many years after Sychra died. A storm pulled down part of the roofing in 1833, the truss roof of the church burned down in 1842 following a thunderstorm, the church was hit by lightning again in 1850 and part of the roof burned down once more. Other more extensive repairs were performed from 1857 to 1860 and they were mostly financed by Josef, Prince of Dietrichstein, the owner of the manor. The repairs, especially those of the ambulatory, were continued and partially financed in 1862 by the new owner of the manor, Klotylda Countess Clam-Gallasová.
The church was again in a poor condition about twenty years later and needed other adjustments. Financial resources required to repair the church were partially supplemented by state subsidies but the church was only repaired in 1903. The reconstruction did not concern the ambulatory which had to wait to be repaired. The scheduling of the work took quite a long time then, which was also caused by the fact that the process already involved the state and monument preservation institutes – so called Central Commissions. The procedure for approving the repairs thus delayed the repairs of the ambulatory until 1914 when the chance to start to repair the church was destroyed by the First World War.

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The Pilgrimage Church of St John of Nepomuk at Zelená hora
CZ 591 02 Žďár nad Sázavou

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