Beautifully decorated baroque interior of the pilgrimage church in Hejnice, Jizera mountains, Czech Republic.
According to a legend, a poor artisan whose wife and child were very ill, fell asleep under a tree. Dreaming, he saw angels who told him to bring there a picture of Virgin Mary so that anybody passing by could share blessing of that miraculous place. He followed the message, sold his products on the market in a nearby city of Zittau and bought a statuette of Madonna for the money he obtained. He placed it into a cavity in that tree’s trunk and prayed. Soon after, his wife and child were healed, and people started to come to see the Madonna statue, humbly asking for help. In 1211, the tree was cut down and the statue was sheltered by a wooden chapel, that made place to a new stone chapel with gothic vaults in 1252. A Franciscan monastery was built in 1692-1696 to give home to monks, preachers and laics, followed by a baroque basilica in 1722-1725, that could accommodate 1000 pilgrims. According to the Franciscan chronicle, there were 1.381.176 pilgrims who traveled to Hejnice to ask for Our Lady’ intercession between 1699-1725! The history was far less friendly to the basilica and the monastery since the second half of the 18th century. Fortunately, it was possible to reconstruct the church and the monastery several years ago, and a new International Center for Spiritual Rehabilitation was created on this wonderful place.
September 2007. Canon EOS 300X, Sigma 28-135. Post-processing: watercolor, conversion to B&W, distortion correction, blend modes.
More photographs from Jizera mountains: