Tuesday, 6 November 2012
Slavonice - The Lutheran Prayer Room
Slavonice is a small quiet town in the area of Czech Canada on the Austrian border. The town isn't on most tourists' itinerary, which is a shame for the tourists but good for those of us in the know. The town is decorated with spectacular Renaissance sgraffito, but for me the gems in the town are to be found inside the buildings which crowd round the town's two adjoined squares. Step through any number of archways and you will find yourself in entrance halls with wonderful ornately ribbed ceilings.
I recommend visiting the tourist information centre, if for no other reason than to admire the wall decorations. But best of all is a house where one of the rooms was used as a Lutheran chapel in the very early days of Protestantism. Three of the four walls are decorated with scenes of the end of the Last Judgement. The iconography is fascinating with the pope clearly depicted as the anti-Christ. It is not hard to see that to the worshipers who sat in that room four and a half centuries ago the day of Judgement was nigh.
The house is now a small museum and bed and breakfast. It was very strange spending the night in a museum, although I am pleased to say that you do not sleep in a room with demons dragging souls off to hell on the walls. Now that really would be spooky.
The museum is only open in the peak summer months, but can be visited by prior appointment on other months via the website http://www.evagiordanova.cz/en/modlitebna. You can also book accommodation there too.