Hartmanice - Vatětice - Chapel of Our Lady of Help

With the establishment of a new noble residence, its noble inhabitants began to feel the need for their own sanctuary. Vatetice belonged to the parish under the nearby Mouřenec with the local church of St. Mořice and after 1684 the owners of Vatětice acquired the right of patronage over this church (previously it belonged to the town of Sušice). The small spaces of this tabernacle and the considerable number of small farms in the vicinity motivated individual lords to establish private chapels right next to their castle residences. They were founded in the second half of the 17th century - in 1677 the chapel of St. Antonín Paduánský in Kundratice, in 1689 Marie Anna Říčanská from Říčany modified the castle chapel of St. Valentina in Palvínov, built in 1682, around 1714 he established a chapel of St. John of Nepomuck to Count Gottfried Daniel Wunschwitz, in 1746 a chapel was founded at the castle in Dolejší Těšov.

Under the same conditions, the chapel in Vatětice was also created, despite the fact that the owners of Vatětice, as holders of patronage rights, had a place of honor in the Mouřenice church, where they certainly had their patronage pew. A site was chosen for the construction in the close vicinity of the manor house between the main access road from Palvínov and the pond, which clearly indicates the initial intention of the builders – to establish a private sanctuary for the inhabitants of the castle. The oriented building with a rectangular floor plan was covered with a gable roof with a ridge perpendicular to the western facade, above which a tower with an onion mine and a four-sided lantern was built. The sides were broken by a pair of windows with a semicircular crown. The main entrance from the west was also semi-circular, the sides next to it were decorated with two semi-cylindrical niches topped with a conch. The same niche was still above the entrance. The interior of the chapel had a vaulted presbytery, in side niches were placed Rococo statues of St. Thaddeus and St. Dominica. The altar bore a rococo painting of the Descent from the Cross, above which were grouped coats of arms (one belonged to the Boryňs of Lhota). German natives also remembered unspecified paintings that were pierced, which they explained somewhat romantically, together with stone balls embedded in an iron frame, as a reminder of the stormy times of the Thirty Years' War.

Zevrubné pátrání v historických pramenech zatím nedokázalo datum dokončení stavby jednoznačně upřesnit. V archivu velkostatku Vatětice se nedochovaly z přelomu 17. a 18. století žádné relevantní písemnosti, které by mohly něco napovědět (největší výpovědní hodnotu by měly účty), takže bylo nutné vycházet pouze z pramenů církevní provenience. Tzv. Responsa z roku 1700, jimiž mouřenecký farář zodpovídal arcibiskupské konzistoři 42 dotazníkových otázek, kapli ještě nezachytila a v obvodu farnosti uvedla pouze kaple sv. Vintíře na Dobré Vodě, kostel sv. Kateřiny v Hartmanicích, kapli sv. Antonína v Kundraticích (zbudovanou v roce 1677) a kapli sv. Valentina v Palvínově. Zato duchovenská fase tereziánského katastru z roku 1713 vedle zmíněných rozšiřuje výčet ještě o kapli Panny Marie Bolestné ve Vatěticích a s poznámkou, že jde o domácí vrchnostenskou kapli (na rozdíl od kaple kundratické, v níž se tehdy sloužily mše celoročně). Zajímavě tyto kusé údaje rozhojňuje pamětní kniha mouřenecké farnosti, jež přináší i zcela konkrétní informaci o roku založení kaple: při výčtu svatyň v obvodu mouřenecké kolatury hned za kostely zmiňuje zděnou kapli Panny Marie Bolestné s jedním oltářem a zvonkem, zbudovanou v roce 1709 ve vzdálenosti 40 až 50 kroků od panského sídla. Kaple byla dotována 50 zlatými a vysvěcena prostým obřadem svěcení (benedikována).

A thorough search in historical sources has not yet been able to clearly specify the date of completion of the building. No relevant documents from the turn of the 17th and 18th centuries were preserved in the archives of the Vatětice estate that could provide any clues (accounts would have the greatest informative value), so it was necessary to rely only on sources of ecclesiastical provenance. The so-called The responsa from the year 1700, with which the parish priest of Mourenice answered 42 questionnaire questions to the archbishop's consistory, has not yet been captured by the chapel, and only the chapel of St. Vintíre na Dobrá Voda, church of St. Kateřina in Hartmanice, chapel of St. Antonín in Kundratice (built in 1677) and the chapel of St. Valentina in Palvínov. On the other hand, the clerical phase of the Teresian cadastre from 1713 expands the list to include the chapel of Our Lady of Sorrows in Vatětice in addition to the ones mentioned, with the note that it is a domestic nobleman's chapel (in contrast to the Kundratic chapel, in which masses were celebrated year-round at the time). Interestingly, these pieces of information are multiplied by the memorial book of the Mourneč parish, which also provides very specific information about the year the chapel was founded: when listing the sanctuaries in the area of the Mournece parish, right behind the churches, it mentions the brick chapel of Our Lady of Sorrows with one altar and a bell, built in 1709 at a distance of 40 up to 50 steps from the mansion. The chapel was subsidized with 50 gold and consecrated with a simple consecration ceremony (blessed).

The author of the entry, the parish priest of Mourenice, P. Jan Jakub Gerl, did not have a high opinion of the chapel, and his dislike for it intensified when the chaplaincy was established at the church of St. Kateřiny in Hartmanice in 1727. The widow Helena Kateřina Bomalová née von Andlau filed a complaint against the establishment of the chaplaincy in September of that year, she called the Hartmanice church a chapel and, as part of the adjustments to the chaplain's competences, proposed that he serve at least one service a week in the Vatečice chapel. Pastor Gerl countered that the Vatetic sanctuary was not designated as a castle ("Schlosskapelle") or a domestic ("Hauskapelle") chapel, but simply an oratory, in which, according to him, masses were held on Sundays and holidays, which were announced by ringing a bell. At the same time, the sanctuary was not supposed to have a consistory license. At the turn of 1730 and 1731, Bomalová conceived the idea of introducing public devotions in her chapel during Lent (i.e. from Cinderella to Easter), which would be served by two Capuchins from Sušice. The parish priest P. Jan Jakub Gerl, however, considered this procedure to be an interference with his competences and on January 8, 1731, he turned to Sušice's wardian P. Hilarion Vlasatý with a request to prevent Bomalová's plan and not to send any of the brothers to the Vatětice chapel. The matter was still not resolved in July 1731, but according to the second surviving session about the chapel, it seems that Bomalová got her way. According to the entry in the memorial book of the Mournice parish, on January 23, 1733, the archbishop's consistory granted Bomala a license to serve mass in the chapel on Sundays and selected holidays using a portable altar stone "pro se et pro libus necnon advenientibus hospitibus, ita quidem, ut alii intervenientes, et h. Sacrificium missae audientes, minime praecepto ecclesiae satisfaciant". This expressed the private nature of the Masses celebrated in the chapel, and it seems that nothing was changed about this rule during the entire subsequent period of its existence.

Johann Trajer adds to the report from 1733 that it was built under Count Bomal. However, he apparently derived this information from the context of the quoted report without having any more concrete evidence. Count Jan Ludvík Bomal (also Baumal) acquired cotton goods in 1702, when he bought them from Vilém Albrecht Plánský from Žeberek, which would limit the interval of the construction of the chapel, if we take Trajer's information as our own, to the years 1702–1713. The Bomal family was the first in the history of the Vatětice estate to own it continuously for a longer period of time, and it would certainly not be surprising if the chapel was built at their expense. The dating given by parish priest Gerl also corresponds to this. On the other hand, neither Jan Ludvík († 29/08/1726 in Vatětice) nor his wife Helena Kateřina († 18/04/1734 in Vatětice) were buried in the chapel, and the Martyr's Church, of which they were patrons. In 1900, however, he was in the ossuary at St. An altar was placed in Morica, the tabernacle of which bore the painted coats of arms of the Bomal and Andlau families with the year 1707. It is not excluded that this was the original altar from the chapel in Vatětice - however, this is only an unsubstantiated speculation.

In connection with the consecration of the chapel, some inaccuracies appear. The name of the field track in the indicative sketch of the stable cadastre from 1837 ("bey Sct. Johann") seems somewhat confusing, but it undoubtedly belongs to another small sacral building. In the German book about central Šumava, the chapel is attributed to the consecration of St. Václav, which, however, is not relevant because the book was created as a collection of memories of displaced German residents with a considerable time gap. The earliest mention mentions the dedication of the chapel to the Virgin Mary of Sorrows, the concept of a questionnaire on the state of the parish from the mid-19th century then confirms the patronage and specifies it as the Virgin Mary of Sorrows. This Marian cult spread in the region thanks to the image kept in the Capuchin church of St. Felix of Cantalica in Sušice. In the immediate vicinity of Vatětic, he manifested himself several times - in 1704, the altar of Our Lady of Sorrows is documented right in the Mouřenice church, and on her feast day, a procession was organized from the parish of Mouřenice to Sušice. In 1726, the owner of the Palvín castle, Ignác Boryně from Lhota, donated a new organ to the Capuchin monastery in Sušice, and the fact that Count Antonín Andlau owned a suburban homestead No. 11/III in Sušice in the first decade of the 18th century is also interesting.

The private character of the Vatečka chapel complicates the historian's possibilities to shed light on its origin and subsequent historical development. It escaped all records and it is also not known that an extension of the mass license was requested (K. Hostaš and F. Vaňek are talking about the mass chapel). Also, due to the absence of lordship accounts, we have no news about its repairs and modifications. Every now and then it appears from the registers that a wedding was held there. In addition to the castle's own inhabitants, there were also people connected to them in some way personally. So, for example, on February 15, 1802, Sušicky municipal councilor Václav Janda and Markéta Langová got married here, and his witnesses were Augustin Müller, then the owner of Vatětic, and Sušicky burgomaster Josef Ignác Moser.

After the Vatečice castle lost its residential functions for good in 1832, the importance of the Vatečice chapel can be expected to decline. The Müller family lived in a castle in Palvínov, where they had the chapel of St. Valentina. However, the inventory of monuments from 1900 mentions the Vatětic chapel without further comment on its condition, so it can be assumed that it was in good condition. After 1945, however, its inevitable destruction began. Just like the creation, the date of the demise of the Vatěčka chapel is not reliably illuminated. When the Palvínov-Vatětice estate was confiscated from the last owner, Zdenko Müller, on the basis of Beneš's decrees, it was transferred to the national administration, and from January 1, 1949, it was taken over by the Czechoslovak State Estates. The Chapel of Our Lady of Sorrows was demonstrably still standing in 1953, when Vladimír Holý photographed it for museum documentation. According to eyewitnesses, it was torn down sometime in the first half of the 1970s.

In December 2011, Jakub Vinčálek from Prague bought the area of the former chateau and estate in Vatětice with the intention of gradually restoring it. He chose the construction of a chapel as the first construction step. On the basis of preserved images, Ing. architect Martin Volejník from Prague, a project that preserves the original layout of the chapel, but enriches it with new elements in the intentions of historicism. He was primarily inspired by the chapel of Our Lady of Help in nearby Červená near Kašperské Hory. The implementation of the project will be the most dignified reminder of the historical twists and turns that marked the place.

The contribution focuses on illuminating the origin and existence of the chapel of Our Lady of Help in Vatětice near Hartmanice. The village of Vatětice is documented for the first time in 1540, but it is probably of pre-Hussite origin. In the first half of the 17th century, a manor house with a riverside yard was built here, which occupied a large part of the rustic land in the village. From 1702, the estate was owned by the noble Bomal family, who probably initiated the foundation of the chapel in 1709. Several other castle chapels were created in a similar way in the vicinity, but they mostly had the character of public sanctuaries, where even subjects could attend services. In the case of Vatětice, it was a private shrine which apparently did not have a Mass license until 1733. It was located very close to the castle and its consecration probably resulted from the veneration of the image of the Virgin Mary of Sorrows in the Capuchin monastery in Sušice. At the end of the 19th century, the authors of the art-historical topography of Sušick, Karel Hostaš and Ferdinand Vaňek, described the chapel. According to eyewitnesses, it disappeared in the 1970s. In 2012, the new owner of the area, Jakub Vinčálek, started activities to restore the chapel while respecting its historical appearance.

Written by PhDr. Jan Lhoták, historian of the Šumava Museum