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Church of St. Nicholas in Boletice

The church, originally a Romanesque building from the second half of the 12th century, is considered to be the oldest sacred monument in South Bohemia. It is situated on a ridge known as “Olympus” near the former village of Boletice, which was demolished after being incorporated into the Military Training Area.

The church has been rebuilt and modified several times over the centuries. The expulsion of the original German population and the creation of a military area began the process of gradual and intense devastation of the church and the surrounding area, including the cemetery, parish, and school. The greatest damage to the church came in the 1960’s and 1980’s, when soldiers of the Czechoslovak People's Army and the occupying Soviet troops left Cyrillic inscriptions on the walls and destroyed the frescoes. All the furniture was destroyed, treasure hunters dug up the floors, and the original floor tile was stolen. The roof was damaged, and the ceiling over the nave was almost completely destroyed, as were the wooden construction of the floors and the stairs in the tower. The wall murals were seriously damaged by leaking water, were physically destroyed in some areas, etc. Salvage work began on the church soon after November of 1989, beginning with repairs to the roof coverings and ceilings. A detailed survey of the entire outer cladding of the building was carried out, and disrupted plaster layers from the 20th century were removed. The entire church was finished with a replica of its Early Baroque façade based on historical research.

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