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Lomec pilgrimage site

North of Netolice, about half an hour's drive from České Budějovice, lies the town of Lomec, one of the most important Baroque pilgrimage sites in South Bohemia.

The Pilgrimage Church of the Virgin Mary was built between 1692 and 1702 by Count Bucquoy for the miraculous statue of the Virgin Mary with the infant Jesus. The Bucquoy family owned a small statue of Our Lady de Foy, carved from oak. Count Karel Bucquoy, among other things, was a great traveler and always carried the statue with him. When he sailed from Rome to Spain in 1684, the ship was caught up in a great storm. Sensing the danger, the Count prayed and promised that, if saved, he would build a church on his Czech estate as a manifestation of gratitude. The storm suddenly subsided and everyone was saved. His promise was fulfilled by Philip Emanuel Bucquoy when he laid the foundation stone of the Virgin Mary Church in 1692. The construction began only in 1699 and was completed in 1702 and consecrated two years later. The main altar stands in the center, an imitation of St. Peter's Baldachin by Bernini in St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome. The altar is completely carved by the woodcarver Wauscher from Linz. Above the altar hangs a tabernacle in the form of a lantern that holds four angels on four garlands. The sanctuary also holds the Blessed Sacrament, above which the small statue of the Virgin Mary is stored in a glass box.

Lomec is also home to a Bucquoy hunting lodge from 1709-1710 which later served as a parish and a school. Today, the Congregation of the Gray Nuns of the III Order of St. Francis is active there. There are pilgrimages and masses regularly held on every first Saturday of the month. A meditation garden has recently been added here.

The church grounds are freely accessible and make up one of the stops on the Netolice historical landscape educational bicycle path. Entrance into the church must be arranged in advance.

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