Cycle, On foot
Distance from KV: 3 km
The history of Sedlec
In place of today's Sedlec, there used to live a Slavic tribe of Sedlec people in the early Middle Ages. The Sedlec settlement was the successor of the former Starý Loket Settlement in Tašovice. The first mention of the local village comes from 973. Already at that time, Sedlec was referred to as a deanery with a church built around 900. Later, during the 11th and 12th centuries, Sedlec became the Přemyslide administrative centre of the region.
Probably around the end of the 15th century, believers began visiting the statue of gracious St. Anne in the local church, and their numbers kept steadily increasing over the following centuries. Sedlec became a famous pilgrimage site. Even Empress Elizabeth Christine, the wife of Emperor Charles VI visited the Sedlec church along with her then four years old daughter Maria Theresa while undergoing spa treatment in Karlovy Vary in 1721. She came back again in 1732, this time accompanied by the Emperor himself.
Between 1738 and 1749, a new pilgrimage church of St. Anne was built in Sedlec according to the modified design by a Baroque architect Kilián Ignác Dientzenhofer. The church was intended to accommodate all processions coming to see St. Anne. At the end of the 18th century, deposits of high quality kaolin were discovered near Sedlec. The discovery was followed by the opening of numerous mines and rafting companies. Working in mines became the main source of income for the local population.
Interesting historical sights
The dominant building of Sedlec is the Baroque Pilgrimage Church of St. Anne, built between 1738 and 1749, standing in the village square. After years of decay, a Civic Association for the preservation of the Church of Saint Anne in Sedlec took charge of the building and immediately started its gradual reconstruction. Benefit concerts and other cultural events are held regularly in the church making it the cultural centre of this Karlovy Vary district. Near the church you can see the Baroque column with a statue of the Virgin Mary from 1716. In the nearby park stands a memorial to the liberation from 1946.
If you walk along Přemilovická Street on the north-west side of Sedlec, you arrive to a Baroque chateau from the second half of the 17th century. The château used to serve as an administration seat of the kaolin companies, and was extended with the addition of a new wing sometime before 1927. Today, the building is abandoned and, in 2012, was destroyed by fire.
Behind the Sedlec château, by a pond, there are remains of a Gothic water fortress called Přemilovice. On the hill surrounded by a moat, you can find old stone walls uncovered during an archaeological survey in 1937.
The vicinity of the village is filled with ponds and other bodies of water left here after the extensive mining.
How to get there
The district of Sedlec is located about 3 kilometres from the spa centre on the northern outskirts of Karlovy Vary. You can get there by Bus No. 5 leaving from the Tržnice city bus terminal. Another option is to walk pass Horní nádraží (Upper Railway Station) through the Růžový vrch (Rose Hill) district and further along Sedlecká Street all the way to Sedlec. The whole walk is about 3.5 kilometres long and will take you less than an hour. Sedlec can also be reached by bike or alternatively by car.