10 Dec 2013


EU Priorities 2020
Languages & Culture
Dům Českého Švýcarska organized an international conference of the THETRIS project, focusing on promotion of the positive image of churches for local communities.

Press release

The conference was held 4th December and nearly 70 participants from the Czech Republic, Germany, Poland, Slovenia, Hungary, Austria and Italy attended it. It was organized by the public benefit corporation České Švýcarsko in Krásná Lípa, which is one of 11 European partners of the THETRIS project. It was opened by Filip Brodský, the president of the society and Jan Eichler, the chairman of the board.


Zsófia Münnich, representing the main project partner, the Association of the Municipalities in the Upper-Tisza Area in Hungary, presented the main project goals and the role of cultural heritage for the development of rural regions. The whole project was funded by the CENTRAL EUROPE Programme and bears the name THEmatic Transnational church Route development with the Involvement of local Society.


Martina Linzer from the Austrian Diocese Graz-Seckau presented their costly projects using the newest IT technologies. They try to motivate the adolescents to visit churches with the help of applications for smartphones. On the webpage they publish audio recordings with authentic meditations of pilgrims and other spiritual texts; create geographic spiricaches (variations of popular geocaching), 360°panoramas of church interiors, 3D models of domes and interactive adventure games in the style of Indiana Jones stories (with the help of many technological toys of our time).  


Other presentations focused more on traditional methods on engaging the local population in activities to protect and promote churches, e.g. student workshops and school participation on specific professional research work, as in case of the revival project for baroque churches in Broumov (presentation of Jakub Děd: Revival project for churches in Broumov). Other activities included lectures, exhibitions, concerts and traditional festivals.


Klára Mágrová from the Roman Catholic parish in Rumburk presented the pilgrimage site Loreto in Rumburk. Many visitors come to this monument all year round and enjoy guided tours; the schools, kindergartens and families participate on parish activities. There are many temporary cultural-historical exhibitions and school exhibitions in the cloister, night tours in candlelight, church ceremonies with music played by local bands (Pardon Ceremony, Loreto Museum Night, Loreto Festival, Night of Churches). Recently a new exhibition of church art was opened.


Evangelic parish priest Filip Šimonovský from Rumburk spoke about a real resurrection of their church building after a fire in 2003. With the help of fund-rising and local volunteers, they succeeded in restoring the church and founding an unincorporated association “dokořán Rumburk” (open Rumburk), which operates a tee-house and a community center in a house next to the church with regular program on Wednesday evening. Interesting people from the local community present there their opinions, in June there is the Small Art Festival, at Christmas there is an original Nativity Play and another theatre performance at Easter, all organized by the church community and amateur theatre fans.


Anna Góral from the Association of Communes and Cities of Malopolska Region presented a complex of protected wooden medieval churches. In summer, there are music performances with local traditions, e.g. competition to build the longest Easter palm, made from logs decorated with strings of colourful paper blossoms.

Kristýna Solničková from the episcopate Litoměřice spoke about the Night of Churches that originates in Austria and turns into tradition in many our churches. During the Night of Churches, the church building stay open and lit till night and together with music provide unexpected spiritual experience even to visitors who do not attend church regularly.


The conference helped to present methods and possibilities of reviving the local churches that enable to see the church not only as a building and local cultural monument but as a center of spirituality, cultural development and community integration.


Photo: Klára Mrkusová

K. Mágrová presents the festival in Loreto v Rumburk


For more information

Klára Mrkusová

Communication Manager


České Švýcarsko, o. p. s.

(Bohemian Switzerland, Public Benefit Corporation)

Křinické  nám.1161/10

407 46 Krásná Lípa

Czech Republic

 Notes for editor

Project THETRIS is implemented through the CENTRAL EUROPE Programme co-financed by the ERDF.


Project name is: „THEmatic Transnational church Route devolopment with the Involvement of local

Society“  Project acronym is: THETRIS.



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