Schwarzenberg Tomb Domanín



Schwarzenberg tomb

The cemetery Chapel of St.Giles served as Schwarzenberg tomb until 1874, founded by the Rosenbergs before 1515. In 1865, Josef Tischer, the vicar and dean in Trebon, noted that the tomb was too full and it was not possible to use the facility for future burials. The impulse to build a new family tomb was given by Eleanora of Schwarzenberg, who also chose the location. The original design for the new tomb was given by the renowned Austrian architect Jan Schmidt, while the prince´s builder Damasius Deworetzky modified the design for local conditions.
The construction began in 1874 with creating a complex water drainage system from beneath the tomb location. A canal, 60 cm wide and 2 meters deep, led the water from the site and aerated the brick walls, which were plastered by a special mix of calcium hydroxide, river sand, plaster, and soluble glass, thereby waterproofing the object. The bricks used in the building were fired in a special kiln at extraordinary high temperatures, assuring extra hardness and resilience against water. The work of the tomb was completed in 1877 as a hexagonal circular Neogothic two-storied building with an advance tower and majestic double staircase. The tomb itself has an independent entrance (as per the building codes of the time), small vision-proof windows, and an internal ventilation system.
The sombre chapel itself, devoted to the Holy Redeemer, was decorated with a white sandstone altar, plaster, and Istrian marble by the sculptor Josef Pokorný. The window flanning and door frames are from shelled limestone, brought from Czech and Austrian quarries. The lamps and requisites in Neogothic style were prepared from an alloy of zinc, tin, and bronze imported from Vienna, while the painted window panes including their lead mounts were provided by the Steffens firm from Ceske Budejovice. The tomb was ceremonially consecrated on 29. July 1877 by the Prague Archbishop Friedrich of Schwarzenberg. The existence of the tomb and chapel necessitated the construction of a parish nearby, and the entire area around the tomb was converted into an English park.