Following worship in Brno last Sunday evening, I stayed overnight with a family who are members of the congregation, in order on the next day, to meet up and have lunch with a Czech-British couple living near Olomouc. After a most enjoyable lunch, I headed back across the Vysocina (Highlands), in order to meet up with a Czech teacher of English, living and working in Žd’ár nad Sázavou, who has been using part of the text of this blog, as teaching material with his students.
Being ahead of myself time-wise for my meeting with the Czech teacher on Monday evening, I stopped off about ten kilometres short of Žd’ár nad Sázavou, to explore the small town of Nové Mesto na Morave. The town’s name literally means ‘New Town in Moravia’. But like many places bearing the name ‘Newtown’, nowadays it is many centuries old, having been founded in 1250.
Vratislavovo námestí is the main square in the town centre. Overlooking the square is the Roman Catholic Church dedicated to St. Kunhuta. The outside walls feature some remarkable sgraffito decoration with pictures illustrating Biblical stories, together with lives of the saints. Since visiting on Monday, I have discovered that these are the work of a local artist Karel Nemec, and date from the late 1920s.
Despite over forty years of Communist rule, all this wonderful artwork has survived and seems to have been renovated and restored fairly recently. I trust that the photographs that follow, illustrate what I mean, far better than my words.