Location: In the village square of the Karlovy Vary district of Sedlec
Period of construction: Between 1738 and 1749
Official opening: 1750
Accessibility: Accessible during cultural events
How to get there
Route 1: The first route that leads from the Hot Spring in the spa centre to the church in the Karlovy Vary district of Sedlec offers a long walk through the spa centre and along the Teplá River. It then continues across Ostrovský most (Ostrov Bridge) over the Ohře River up to Horní nádraží (Upper Railway Station). From there, you will cross the railway bridge into the district of Růžový vrch (Rose Hill) and walk down Sedlecká Street to the church in the centre of Sedlec. This route is approximately 3.5 kilometres long and it will take you about an hour.
Route 2: If you decide for the easier second route, travel by Bus No. 5 from the "Tržnice" (Market) city bus terminal to the terminal stop in Sedlec. The bus stop is right next to the church.
History of the structure
The history of the church dates back to the 900s when a decanate was founded in Sedlec and raised to an arch-decanate in 980. In the 1290s, a new Gothic church was built of stone in the centre of the village. The merciful statuette of Saint Anne, Holy Mother of Mary and Grandmother of Jesus that stood on the altar attracted pilgrims from near and far. The church was therefore proclaimed a pilgrimage site in 1694. Empress Elisabeth Christine, the wife of Emperor Charles VI, visited the church while taking a cure in Karlovy Vary with her four-year-old daughter Maria Theresa in 1721.
The empress revisited the church with the emperor in 1732. In the early 18th century, the old Gothic church was no longer able to accommodate all the pilgrims that used to come to Sedlec on the feast day of Saint Anne. Therefore, a monumental Baroque pilgrimage Church of Saint Anne was erected on the site of a former Gothic church in the village square between the years 1738 and 1749.
The new church was built according to the design of an unknown architect who simplified the original and very costly design of renowned Baroque architect Kilián Ignác Dientzenhofer. The actual construction was effected by builder and master mason Johann Schmidt from Útvina. The interior is decorated with ceiling frescoes painted by Baroque artist Ellias Dollhopf from Horní Slavkov in the decade from 1740 to 1750. Since 2004, the pilgrimage church is managed by the Civic Association for the preservation of the Church of Saint Anne in Sedlec and it is undergoing gradual reconstruction. Numerous cultural events attended by many visitors are held at the church throughout the year.