Svatý kopeček – Holy Hill (363 m.a.s.l.)

one of hills of the Pavlovské hills. Cliff of Jurassic limestone has the shape of an oval ridge, flat on the top, with steep slopes. On Holy Hill you can see many plant species protected by the law. That is why it was declared a botanic reserve in 1946, and in 1992 even nature reserve. The original plant species continue to grow in steppe plant community on the top of Holy Hill. On the southern slopes you can find various species of rock steppe community (fleur-de-lys, feathergrass, germander). Unique is occurrence of a few species of parasitic broomrapes. The eastern slopes are covered with shrubbery with dominating hawthorn, the northern slopes were afforested in the past. Thermophilic insects can be seen in steppes. The most admired vertebrates of Holy Hill are eagle-owls nested on the face of the deserted quarry.

Dietrichstein’s vault

In the lower part of the square a Capuchin monastery was built in 1612. Next to it František of Dietrichstein had a reproduction of Basilica della Santa Casa from Loreto, Italy, built in 1623 (the foundation stone was consecrated two years later). Construction of the church in accordance with the project by Giovanni Tencalla started before 1638 under Maxmilian of Dietrichstein, the cardinal’s successor. The new church of St. Anna was consecrated in 1656 and the Santa Casa was located in the centre of the nave. Construction of the burial chapel of the family Březnický of Náchod was carried out concurrently with construction of the church at the northern wall, and a sacristy with a treasure house on the first floor on the opposite side. It was rebuilt in 1678–1682 and decorated with stucco by Giovanni Castelli in 1679–1680 (at present the exhibition hall in the building number 6). The Dietrichstein’s burial chapel was added to the south-west wall of the St. Anna’s Church, at present it serves as a sacristy. In 1701–1706 a monumental, quite new two-steeple front was built in the church, probably in accordance with the project of Johann Bernhard Fischer of Erlach, although his original project was not implemented. Nearly the whole church, separated from the square with much more suitable staircase decorated with sculptures, was destroyed by the fire on 14 September 1784. Only the church chancel, with so-called Náchodská chapel, the church outer wall with sequence of side chapels, and the masonry wall of the north-west front were not damaged.

Shortly after the fire the remains of St. Anna’s church should have been sold as building material. It wasn’t implemented, but the first steps aiming at securing of the damaged masonry were implemented only in 1837 under František Josef of Dietrichstein. In the end, he had the whole building rebuild into the burial church of the Dietrichstein family in accordance with the project by Heinrich Koch in 1845–1852. The architect cancelled the original burial chapel located in the south, and had the old crypt filled up. The former chancel was closed with a classicist wall dating 1846, and this way the nave became an open courtyard. Arcades of the side chapels were bricked up, and the newly formed corridors were used for coffins of the members of the family who died in 1617–1852, and after the fire were provisionally put under St. Vaclav’s church. The newly established chapel was fitted with a new altar with an imposing crucifix by Franz Bauer, and a large brass chandelier of Dutch type made in 1854. The damaged front was also repaired; the masonry attachments replaced the original Baroque cupolas, and sculptures of Christ and two angels were installed on the balustrade between the two towers.

The crypt remained unchanged till the beginning of 1990s, when the town authorities started a demanding reconstruction of the building that had been damaged by that time. The stone carcase of the building and figural decorations were restored as well as all of the interiors and the courtyard area with the monument to František Josef of Dietrichstein with a marble sitting figure of the prince Emanuel Max dated 1859, originally made for the Hall of Ancestors in the castle. Scenes of acts made by F. J. of Dietrichstein in Valennciennes in 1793 are carved out in the monument sides.