Location: In the spa woods southwest of the centre of Karlovy Vary
Period of construction: Around 1200
Official opening: Around 1200
Accessibility: Freely accessible
How to get there
Route 1: You may reach the church ruins by taking an approximately 4 kilometre long walk through the picturesque spa woods from the centre of Karlovy Vary. Walk up the street from the Hot Spring to Zámecký vrch (Castle Hill) and to the junction by the Chapel of Saint Anne. From there, continue along Sovova stezka (Sova's Path).
Route 2: If you decide for the second route, travel by Bus No. 6 to the terminal stop in Doubí. From there, walk 2.5 km up the blue-marked tourist path that leads by the former Saint Linhart Café and continues along Sova's Path to the chapel. Parking for passenger vehicles may be found in the vicinity.
History of the structure
The oldest ecclesiastical structure on the territory of the spa town is the originally fortified Late Romanesque Church of Saint Linhart (Saint Leonard), which was probably built around the year 1200. The church and the cemetery situated on a small rocky hill above the presently deserted medieval village of Obora (Thiergarten) on the territory of the royal hunting preserve of Loket is first mentioned in 1246. The decay of the church is associated with the foundation of Karlovy Vary, which resulted in the gradual depopulation of the village and the diminishing importance of the whole area in the late 15th century. The church was left to its fate and faced inevitable dilapidation.
With the regeneration of the spa woods surrounding Karlovy Vary in the 18th century, the church ruins became a popular outing destination for spa guests, as well as a point of interest for researchers. Archaeological research was carried out on the site of the church ruins between the years 1989 and 1992 by the Karlovy Vary Museum. Subsequently, the original church walls unearthed during the excavations were conserved in 1998 and 1999, the surrounding terrain was landscaped, and the site was open to the public.