Location: In the village square in the centre of the village of Olšová Vrata southeast of Karlovy Vary
Period of construction: 15th century
Period of reconstruction: Between 1838 and 1843
Official opening: 15th century
Accessibility: Accessible during religious services
How to get there
Route 1: If you decide for the first route, be prepared for a long and a rather challenging walk to the village of Olšová Vrata along the blue-marked tourist path from the Hot Spring in the spa centre. At the junction below Vítkova hora (Vítek Mountain), you will turn to the yellow-marked tourist path and continue up the road along the open-air swimming pool known as "Na krachu" to the village of Olšová Vrata. This route is approximately 6 kilometres long and it will take you about 90 minutes.
Route 2: If you decide for the easier second route, travel by Bus No. 8 from the "Tržnice" (Market) city bus terminal to the village of Olšová Vrata. The church is only a few metres from the bus stop. After your tour of the church and the village, you may return to Karlovy Vary by following Route No.1 in the opposite direction.
History of the structure
The originally fortified Gothic Church of Saint Catherine with an adjoining cemetery was founded in the centre of the village of Olšová Vrata around the year 1246. At first, it was affiliated to the Church of Saint Wenceslaus in Loket and it served as a parish church from 1352 to 1490. A late Gothic church was constructed on the site of the original fortified tabernacle in the late 15th century. The church acquired its present-day, prolonged appearance after a partial Baroque reconstruction carried out from 1838 to 1843. Between the years 1840 and 1849, the interior was completely refurbished and redecorated by sculptor Johann Wildt from Loket and gilder Johann Viereckl from Karlovy Vary.
The church in the village square surrounded by a cemetery is a well-preserved example of rural sacral architecture. In its interior, you may find valuable carved Gothic statuettes of Saint Catherine and the Virgin Mary with the Infant Jesus, a carved Baroque statue of Saint Sebastian tied to a pole from the 17th century. The church is accessible during religious services. The church and the picturesque village are an ideal destination of a pleasant one-day trip to the surroundings of Karlovy Vary.