In 1903 Ferdinand J. Lehner published “Dejiny Umeni Naroda Ceskeho", (History of Art of the Czech nation) (Prague 1903). He described many of the churches, he considered to be of significance for the structural art of the building, and provided sketches of the Church of Saint Nicholas for that time period.
Images below are the sketches from Lehner's book.
In the past two decades, Saint Nicholas has been transformed by an aggressive reconstruction and restoration program. The “Civic Association for the Romanesque Church of St. Nicholas Church in Potvorov”, made repair and restoration of the bell tower and church tower their first project.
The Civic Association web site provides an extensive summary of their activities since the formation of the association. (http://www.potvorov.cz/). Their web site also contains an excellent album of photographs of their restoration work and the events at Saint Nicholas. (http://www.potvorov.cz/modules/myalbum/).
A summary of their work: (10)
- 2007 – Bell tower and church tower repairs
- Church roof and trusses
- Restoration of church entrance stairs
- Crèche repair
- Church drainage
- Electric cables, church wiring
- Tower façade repair
- 2012 – Restoration of Romanesque portals and pillar
- 2013 – Interior staircase repairs
- 2013 – Church organ (built 1852) repair and restoration
- 2014 – Main altar removed for repair and restoration
- Painting restoration
- Restoration of original plaster and paintings
One important event in the long history of Saint Nicholas was the installation of a new church bell in 2011. In October of 2011, a celebration was held which included holy mass, choral singing, the consecration of the new bell and other festivities fit for the day. (16) (Left Image #12)
A number of pages in the book this writer purchased in the church (“Romansky Kostel Svateho Mikulase V Potvorove” by Vojtech Martinek and Irena Bukacova, published 2011 – 2012), indicate that the 2011 bell was one of four or five known bells placed in the church tower over the centuries. Bells were installed in Saint Nicholas’ church on, or around the year of, 1468 or1489, (or both dates) 1796, 1861, and 1924 before the latest installation of 2011.
During the time the Civic Association has worked to restore the church, once again, activities are taking place there. While work continues, there are concerts, fund raisers, and more held at various locations for the church, or in the church itself. The exterior landscaping, the church cemetery, have both benefited from these changes too.
In 2005 and 2019 several groups of the Facebook group Vernon and Richland County members visited Potvorov and Saint Nicholas’ Church. Fellow Facebook members agreed the visits to the church were inspiring and emotional. Two of our groups of relatives participated in a Sunday mass. When there it was discovered that much needed work continues on projects set by the Civic Association. The walls of the apse were bordered by scaffolding as work continued on the wall paintings. The altar was still not returned to the apse.
Kostel Sv. Mikulase v Potvorov - Church of Saint Nicholas in Potvorov - Images
Top: Left - Nancy Lawrence 2019 Center - Author 2019 Right - Author 2019
Bottom Left - Alan Picha Postcard purchase 2019 Center - Author 2019 - Right - St. Nicholas 1925 - with help provided by Museum and Gallery of the North Pilsen in Marianske Týnice
Images Row Above: The Church of Saint Nicholas in Potvorov in 2005.
Image Right: The Church of Saint Nicholas in Potvorov in 2005.
Images courtesy of L. Liska
The Apse of Kostel Sv. Mikulase v Potvorov
Images - Row Below
Left - 2019 - Courtesy of Elizabeth Anne Center - 2007 - Courtesy of Vojtech Cerny Flickr Album Potvorov - Right - 2019 - Author
Images - Row Above
Left - 2019 - Courtesy of Elizabeth Anne Center - Photo of Apse Altar - Chart on Church Wall - Altar 2019 still removed Right - 2019 Author
Images - Row Below
Left and Center - 2019 Author Right - 2019 - Courtesy of Nancy Lawrence
Images Above Left and Left - Church Wall - 2019 by Author
Image Above - Opposite Church Wall - 2019 by Author
Image Row Above: Center - Back of Church Image - Courtesy of Vojtech Cerny Right - Inside Church, looking to main doorway - Courtesy of Vojetch Cerny
Image Row Below: Left - Back of Church, under Organ Loft, Courtesy of Elizabeth Anne - Center: Baptismal Font - Author Right - Back of Church, under Organ Loft - Confessional in background - Author
Images Above: Left - Doorway entrance to church loft - Courtesy of Vojtech Cerny Center & Right - Statues on Loft railing - Author
Images Below: Left - Doorway entrance to church loft, view from loft - Courtesy of Vojtech Cerny Center - Restored Organ Bellows - Author Right - Restored Organ - Author
PDF file listed below, after working down the file a number of pages, has an excellent collection of images for Saint Nicholas. These include many exterior and interior images not easily found anywhere else on the Internet.
The cemetery of Kostel Svateho Mikulase V Potvorov has been created for Find A Grave. Several known interments have been posted for the cemetery. If you have records of burials in the cemetery, you are encouraged to post them to this new Find A Grave cemetery site. Hrbitov Kostel Sv. Mikulas - Cemetery ID 2704362
Images - Above Left: Author, Center: Author, Right: Author
Below Left: Elizabeth Anne, Center: Pat Sebranek, Right: Author
Prague Monitor 2017 -Burial customs radically changing in Czech Republic
If you have an additional interest in Saint Nicholas, or would like to contribute to the continued restoration of the church, you can contact the Association (http://www.potvorov.cz/modules/news/article.php?storyid=6).
References and Resources
(1) Hana Polesná Týlová, “Románský kostel sv. Mikuláše v Potvorově” Univerzita Karlova V Praze, 2015, Page 8.
(2) Tylova, Page 28.
(3) Ivan Klima created a 3d rendering of Saint Nicholas. He was very kind in allowing us to use images of that 3d project in our paper and at our online addition (www.csagsi.org/potvorov). You can view Ivan’s 3d project at: http://3dmodel.potvorov.cz/page3d.htm
(4) Web site - Civic Association for the Church of Saint Nicholas - Must visit site (translate.google works well with this site) - http://www.potvorov.cz/modules/news/article.php?storyid=20
(5) Tylova, Page 34.
(6) Tylova, Page 36.
(7) Tylova, Page 36.
(8) Tylova, Page 35.
(9) Tylova, Pages 36 - 40.
(10) Timeline Chart - http://www.potvorov.cz/modules/news/article.php?storyid=20
Portafontium Archive Web Site for
- Potvorov Church Records at Potvorov - http://www.portafontium.eu/contents/register/soap-pn/cirkev-rimskokatolicka/potvorov
- Potvorov Church Records at Zebnice - http://www.portafontium.eu/contents/register/soap-pn/cirkev-rimskokatolicka/zebnice
- Potvorov Chronicles 1897 - 1952 -http://www.portafontium.eu/chronicle/soap-ps/00516-fara-potvorov-1897-1952
Web site - Village of Potvorov - https://www.obec-potvorov.cz/
Hana Polesná Týlová - University of Karlov Bachelor Thesis Saint Nicholas Church - Comprehensive, excellent images - PDF - https://dspace.cuni.cz/bitstream/handle/20.500.11956/62800/BPTX_2014_1_11260_0_384668_0_158815.pdf?sequence=1&isAllowed=y
Web site - Ivan Klima's 3D rendering of Saint Nicholas Church - Various Time Periods - Excellent - http://3dmodel.potvorov.cz/page3d.htm
Note: https://translate.google.com will translate web pages and documents (stored on your computer files).
Romarch.cz architectural surveys - Excellent web site - http://romarch.cz/01_CZ/03_veda_a_vyzkum/texty/Potvorov_vyzkum.htm
Website (referenced above) contains three PDF files with the history of Saint Nicholas, the architectural summary of Saint Nicholas and images of the church, many of which may not be found elsewhere on the Internet.
Links to three PDF Saint Nicholas documents found at the above web site
Romarch.cz architectural surveys - Student research report web page for Saint Nicholas - http://romarch.cz/01_CZ/01_katalog_CR/texty/Potvorov.htm
Flickr web site for Vojtech Cerny - Vojtech allowed us to use his Potvorov Church Images - https://www.flickr.com/photos/141034087@N08/35634344285/
Museum and Gallery of the North Pilsen in Marianske Týnice, - Provided us with 1925 Image of Saint Nicholas Church - http://www.marianskatynice.cz/
Peter Skalicky of Charles University produced a research report on Saint Nicholas. Research paper contains a number of good images. View PDF