Svatý Jan pod Skalou

The village of Svatý Jan pod Skalou, small in size and population, but large in its history and rich in sights and beauty of its surroundings, lies east of Beroun, in the middle of the Czech Karst.

Information for visitors

Adress: Svatý Jan pod Skalou 12, Svatý Jan pod Skalou
GPS: 49.96911000, 14.13352640
Svatý Jan pod Skalou map

Interesting facts Svatý Jan pod Skalou

It has been 11 centuries since the first Czech hermit, St. Ivan, settled in the then deep forests, in a cave by a spring. Its existence is documented by a skeletal find in the crypt of a local early Baroque church. It was built together with the current building of the monastery in the years 1657 - 1661 and was connected with the rock church, the former hermitage of St. Ivana.

But the first tabernacle stood here much earlier. It was the chapel of St. John the Baptist, which was built after the death of the hermit by Prince Bořivoj. In the 11th century, the Benedictine order established a monastery here, later a rectory and in the 16th century an abbey.
At present, the Church of the Nativity of St. John the Baptist for regular services and the peculiarities of its interior is a travertine cave with stalactites. It is part of the mentioned rock church. From the outside, at the side of the building, springs the Spring of St. Ivana. Its water passes through the interior of limestone rocks, has a constant temperature of 8 degrees and is considered medicinal.

That is why the spa functioned here for some time at the beginning of the 20th century. The monastery building also became a textile factory and a castle. In recent history, it has had an unhappy fate. In the 1950s, it was used as a forced labor camp for politically uncomfortable people. Tradesmen, diplomats and farmers - "kulaks" worked in the surrounding quarries. The prison, famous for its torture of prisoners and cruel regimes, was transformed from 1955 into a state security police school. At that time, St. John's was not marked on maps due to secrecy. Today, there is a higher vocational pedagogical school in the former monastery.

Near the church is a sculpture of the Virgin Mary and a monument to Hus's boulder. A steep limestone rock rises above the church, giving the canyon-like valley a dramatic character. On the way to the rock lookout you can see the chapel of St. Crisis. If you are not tired of a relatively demanding ascent and descent from the viewpoint, do not miss a visit to the local cemetery. The neo-Gothic chapel with the tomb of the Bergner family, the owners of the monastery in its castle period, is another jewel of the small village.

The flowing Loděnice stream, called Kačák, only underlines the charm of this place. The first marked tourist path in Bohemia also passes through Svatý Jan pod Skalou, there are three nature trails and an open-air museum of limestone mining in the Solvay quarry. Vobci is a hotel with a restaurant, which used to be a primary school and a small museum. In it, you may find the answer to the question why the place where the hermit Ivan lived is called St. John.

Information on the possibility of visiting the church, open-air museum and museum can be found on the website of the village. You can find more interesting facts about Svatý Jan pod Skalou and the Czech Karst in the book by Otomar Dvořák - Gorges of the Czech Karst.

Author: Ivana Dondová