St. Anthony of Padua Church, The Way of the Cross and the Granice Forest Park


The historic town Znojmo and St Hippolytus Mount (Hradiště) are divided by the unusually deep valley of the Granice brook.

The valley remained deforested through most of the Middle Ages for  strategic military reasons.

After 1878 the newly constituted Znojmo Beautifying and Foresting Society and Znojmo’s City Council began to co-operate on a lot of development projects, one of which, the Granice Forest Park was founded.

The main entrance to the park was opened at the end of Přemyslovců street, in front of the former Minorite (Franciscan) Monastery.

The valley was reforested and a network of quality paths winding along the slopes of the valley were built.

There are lookouts, romantic stone niches with benches, and a few footbridges were built to allow the paths to pass over the stream.

Early in 20th Century the Granice Forest Park was connected with Caroline’s Garden by a new path along the slopes of the hill below Znojmo’s Castle.

The valley is now a paradise for hikers and cyclists who often enjoy refreshments at the reconstructed Spalení Mlýn (Burning Mill) half way along the valley.

Around 1660, Thomas von Schlesin, the provost of Hradiště and a counsellor to Holy Roman Emperor Leopold I, had one of the first Baroque buildings in Znojmo built on the top of St Hippolytus Mount.

This small oval church was consecrated by the Archbishop of Prague Cardinal Ernest Adalbert Count von Harrach to Saint Anthony of Padua.

St Anthony of Padua’s Church soon became a popular place with pilgrims travelling from far and wide.

Fourteen small “Stations of the Cross” (wayside shrines) were built along the old path climbing up the slope out of the Granice Valley.

In 1992, this “Way of the Cross” was reconstructed and some new art works were added to the small altars in the stations.


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