Thursday, 5 April 2007
Good Friday at Rimov
Easter is a special time in the Czech Republic and it means a lot to me personally. As I said the first time I visited the country was around Easter and somehow since then I have often been in the country for the Easter celebrations.
A special place to visit at Easter is Rimov a few miles from Cesky Krumlov. The village has been a place of pilgrimage since the 17th century. The Baroque Loretto Chapel there is beautiful but my preference is to walk around the short trail (about 5 kilometres), which takes you past 25 small stations of the cross - the Rimov Passion. The stations are all very different - some are simple hand painted paintings in small wayside chapels, some are tableaux, some are more complex. My favourite is the one shown in the photo above - the statues in the Garden of Gethsemane, all life size and set naturally in the landscape. You are walking through a wood along a small stream set about with coltsfoot and early spring flowers and then on a brow of a low hill you see the first of the statues. Statues of the sleeping disciples lie prostrate, Jesus is in urgent prayer, he leans forward, his eyes fixed on an angel at the top of the slope who proffers the cross.
The trail combines gentle exercise with prayer - at Easter you will find families, couples and friends walking, talking or meditating. And if you aren't religious you can always raid the willows along the river for withies - now why would you need them?