Plánice - Nicov – Church of the Nativity of the Virgin Mary

The impetus for the construction of the Church of the Nativity of the Virgin Mary in Nicov was given in 1720 by Adolf Bernard of Martinice, the then owner of the Planice estate. He chose the renowned architect Kilián Ignác Dientzenhofer as the builder of the church. The choice of the builder was apparently not accidental, as Martinic could at that time watch Dientzenhofer build the church of St. Jan Nepomucký in Hradčany in Prague. He apparently liked its layout, because a similar one was used in Ničov. Historian Milada Vilímková writes in her book Builders of Palaces and Temples: "It was an elongated cross with semicircular side arms and an apse, and was enriched by the square spaces of the repository and sacristy on the sides of the chancel and a pair of towers in the front.

The treatment of the tectonic elements in the interior, the capitals of the Corinthian pilasters and the profiling of the cornices is almost identical in both churches. In these contexts, the opinion that Kilián Ignác Dientzenhofer proposed the construction of the sally terrain in Smečně, which was the ancestral home of the Martinics, also seems to be justified. Another sacral building, which Adolf Bernard Count Martinic entrusted to Kilian Ignac Dientzenhofer, was the church of St. Jan Nepomucký in Nepomuk built in the years 1734 - 38." The construction of the new Nice church took a full seven years and was completed in 1727. However, it was not until September 17, 1730 that the church was consecrated by Litoměřice bishop Jan Adam Count Vratislav of Martinice and the altar was placed a copy of the miraculous statue of the Virgin Mary with Jesus.

The Nica church has preserved its original form, except for the roofs of the towers, which were blown down along with the roof by a windstorm in 1870. They were then replaced by new ones with a pyramidal shape, which do not correspond very well with the construction of the church. Above the main entrance to the church in the three-part facade is the stone coat of arms of the Martinic and Dietrichštejn with the insignia of the Order of the Golden Fleece. The peculiarity of the Nice church is the orientation of the main altar, as most Catholic churches have the altar facing east, but in the Church of the Nativity of the Virgin Mary it is south. Also interesting is the fact that the construction of the church was based on piles. Before the Baroque church was built, there was a smaller Gothic church here, which was already in considerable disrepair at the beginning of the 18th century.

Source: Ing. Martin Kriz