Virgin Mary Nativity Church

„Virgin Mary Nativity Church in Kryry is located at the bottom of the Church hill, at the border of the town and is surrounded by an old abolished graveyard. The first notice of the church dates 1384. Originally a gothic church was built between 1400 and 1418 and was consecrated on September 8, 1418. In this year the first priest is mentioned in historic documents. 

During the Hussite revolution the church was controlled by Hussites and communions under both kinds were practised. After the Hussites’ suppression the church was used by Protestants until 1664 when it became part of Nepomyšl parish. Since then the Roman Catholic ceremonies have been practised. In 1664 parish register was founded. On January 11, 1696 on the page 128 of the parish register the priest František Xaver Huth, priest in Kryry and Nepomyšl, and his signature are first recorded. 

In 1722 originally gothic church was rebuilt in baroque style with later reconstructions in 1780 and in 19th and 20th centuries. Reconstruction made in 1895 was financed by public fund raising campaign which raised 45,502.62 Austro-Hungarian krones (currency at that time) from local believers. The church has had during its existence its own patrons. These were usually owners of the manor. Josef Herberstein, the owner of Nepomyšl manor, and Theresia, countess from Herberstein, are mentioned as the patrons in 1885 and 1895 respectively. In 1937 Josef Havránek and Jan Lussenburg, owners of Březnice manor, were patrons of the church. 

Today’s appearance of the church dates from reconstruction made in 1722. Minor adaptations were later made in 1780 and in the 19th century. The church is a single nave building with three-sided presbytery to which a sacristy is added on the northern side. A cuboid tower is situated at the western front facade. Facades are divided by lesenes. The presbytery has a divided barrel vault. Walls are divided by underlaid pilasters. A convex-concave wooden organ loft is placed on brick pillars and lacks any vault. 

The main stone altar dates from 18th century and is decorated by a gothic sculpture of Madonna from second half of 15th century. Two opposite altars of St. Barbara and St. John of Nepomuk are placed on both sides of the church and date from second half of 18 They are made of stone boards and are decorated with sculptures of saints and original pictures. The pulpit was made in 1710. The speaker’s stand was rimmed with heads of angels and acanthus ornaments. Sculptures of St. Mary and St. John from the Calvary are places in the southern side, in the presbytery, and were made around 1510. They were brought from Plasy convent. A picture of St. Cecily is hanged on the handrail of the organ loft. An organ is placed on the loft. Movable things have been moved from the church. The coat of arms of the House of Dietrichstein is displayed on the cuboid tower above the main entry.

The church was robbed in 1994. Unknown robbers stole heads of angels from the pulpit, a sculpture from the lid of the baptismal font and a sculpture of John of Nepomuk from the side altar. 

A medieval graveyard is placed next to the church. According to one of headstones the graveyard was still used in 19 th century.

Architecture history of the church

1384 First mention of the church 
1400 - 1418 Construction of a gothic church (under Janeč of Janovice)
1665 Fire burnt probably whole town of Kryry (under Herman of Questenberg)
1722 Construction of a new baroque church (under Walter Xavier of Dietrichstein)
1764 Construction of a Way of the Cross (under Karl Maxmilian of Dietrichstein)
1780 Reconstruction of the church (under Karl Maxmilian of Dietrichstein)
19th and 20th century other reconstructions of the church


September 8, 1418 Consecration Hussite revolution Communions under both kinds
After Hussite revolution The church was used by Protestants
1664 - Roman catholic ceremonies, Kryry became part of Nepomyšl parish

Owners of Kryry manor


Albert of Kryry and Žeberk was the owner of the castle on Church hill and the adjacent town since 1320. The House of Žeberk was an old Bohemian noble family whose beginnings date back to 12th century. In 1357 Albert’s sons Heřman and Alšík sold the town and the castle to Jeneč of Janovice who made them part of Petrohrad manor. The House of Janovice was an old Bohemian noble family who originated in the beginning of 14th century. In 1484 the town with abandoned fortress, as a part of Petrohrad manor, was bought by Burián of Gutstein. The House of Gutstein, a Bohemian noble family, originated in 14th century. In 1566 Mikuláš of Lobkowicz married Anežka of Gutstein who obtained Kryry with towns of Chýše, Podbořany and Lubenec as her wedding present. In the same year she transferred the whole manor to her husband. Mikuláš of Lobkowitz rebuilt Chýše castle in renaissance style. Jindřich Brozanský of Vřesovice gained Kryry in 1577. The House of Vřesovice was an old Bohemian knight family with origins in the first half of 14th century. In 1579 Jindřich sold Kryry to Ferdinand Renšperger of Ronšperk and Držkovice, whose family originated in the end of 14th century. Nevertheless the next year Ferdinand sells the town to Jaroslav Libsteinský of Kolovraty, member of an old Bohemian noble family with beginnings dating back to 14th century. In 1623 the town of Kryry was confiscated from Jaroslav’s son since he participated in rebellion of Bohemian protestant estates against the king. Soon after the town was sold to Herman of Questenberg a German merchant who came with his brothers from Cologne to Prague in 1594. Herman took service with the Holy roman emperor and was granted nobility title by the emperor Matthias of Habsburg. In 1686 after Herman’s death, the town as a part of Nepomyšl manor became a property of Gundakar of Dietrichstein. Since 1672 Gundakar had also owned a castle of Libochovice. The House of Dietrichstein was an old family who originated in Carinthia in 11th century. In 1895 all Dietrichstein’s property was inherited by Jan Josef count of Herberstein – Proskau since he was the son of Theresia of Dietrichstein (see the text about the House of Dietrichstein). The House of Herberstein is an old Styrian family from 11th century. In 1945 the whole property was confiscated by the Czechoslovakian government.

House of Dietrichstein

The House of Dietrichstein is an old family who originated in Carinthia in 11th century. In 16th century the family split into two main branches, the Weichselstätten branch and the Hollenburg branch. Later the Weichselstätten branch split into the Styria and the Carinthia branches which both became extinct in 19th century. The whole family property was inherited by Moritz of Dietrichstein (1775 – 1864) of the Hollenburg-Mikulov branch. The founder of Hollenburg branch was Siegmund of Dietrichstein (1484 – 1533) whose sons split the branch into the Hollenburg-Hollenburg and the Hollenburg-Mikulov branches. Adam of Dietrichstein (1527 – 1590), founder of the Hollenburg-Mikulov branch, bought Mikulov manor which became the main family seat. The family vault is placed in Mikulov. 

1672 – Gundakar of Dietrichstein of Hollenburg-Hollenburg acquired Libochovice castle. 
1684 – Gundakar of Dietrichstein acquired Nepomyšl manor (with Kryry as a part of it). 
1690 – The property is inherited by Ferdinand of Dietrichsein (1656 – 1698) of Hollenburg-Mikulov branch. 
1769 – Karl Maximilian of Dietrichstein (1702 – 1784) inherited the coat of arms and the manor of the House of Pruskov (Silesian-Polish noble family). 
1802 – Johann Karl of Dietrichstein inherited the coat of arms and the manor of the House of Leslie (noble family from Scotland who came to Bohemia in 17th century). 
1858 - Josef Franz of Dietrichstein-Proskau-Leslie died (born in 1798). His wife was Gabriela, daughter of Jan Antonín Wratislaw of Mitrovice. He was a member of “Unity to encourage the industry in Bohemia”, from 1833 till 1840 as the president, “Economic Company of the Kingdom of Bohemia” and “Company of National museum of the Kingdom of Bohemia. Last male descendent Moritz of Dietrichstein (1775 – 1864) refused the inheritance. The property is divided among Josef Franz’s four daughters. The eldest daughter Theresia (1822 – 1895) inherited the Bohemian fideikommis (entail), (including Libochovice and Nepomyšl), Dolní Kounice manor, Ptuj castle in Slovenia and a property in Hungary. The second eldest daughter Alexandrina (1824 – 1906) inherited Mikulov. Her husband Alexander Mansdorff-Pouilly (1813 – 1906) gained the right to use the title, the name and the coat-of-arms of the extinct House of Dietrichstein. He used title Dietrichstein of Mikulov, count Mensdorff-Pouilly. 
1895 – Theresia of Dietrichstein died. His husband was Johann Friedrich of Herberstein (1810 – 1861). The manor is inherited by their son Johann Josef of Herberstein – Proskau (1854 – 1944). 
1939 – Forced German administration was imposed. 
1944 – Johann Josef of Herbestein – Proskau died. His son Johann Friedrich of Herberstein – Proskau waived his right to inherit the property in favour of his son Johann Alexander of Herberstein – Proskau (born in 1930). 
1945 –The whole property was confiscated under the Decree of President of the Republic, No. 12/1945 Sb. Theresia of Dietrichstein and her son Johann Josef of Herberstein – Proskau were patrons of the church in Kryry.



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