The Holy Trinity Column in Olomouc is a Baroque monument in the Czech Republic, built in 1716–1754 in honour of God. The main purpose was a spectacular celebration of Catholic Church and faith, partly caused by feeling of gratitude for ending a plague, which struck Moravia (now in the Czech Republic) between 1714 and 1716. The column was also understood to be an expression of local patriotism, since all artists and master craftsmen working on this monument were Olomouc citizens, and almost all depicted saints were connected with the city of Olomouc in some way.
It is the biggest Baroque sculptural group in the Czech Republic. In 2000 it was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List as “one of the most exceptional examples of the apogee of central European Baroque artistic expression”.
At nearly 115-feet tall, the Holy Trinity Column is topped by a gilded sculpture of the Archangel Gabriel, with the Assumption of the Virgin resting beneath. Three tiers descend on all sides from the pillar, decorated with cartouches, reliefs of the 12 apostles, and 18 stone sculptures of major saints intermingling with Moravian favorites. The base of the column also houses an entire chapel.
Unfortunately the Holy Trinity Column’s visionary architect creator, Wenzel Render, died not long after work began. A builder named Franz Thoneck took up Render’s mantle, only to die himself while working on the column. Then came Johann Wenzel Rokický, who passed away before its completion, as did Augustin Scholtz.
After claiming the lives of four master craftsman, a fifth man named Johann Ignaz Rokický was finally able to complete the divinely-inspired monument to perseverance in the face of Death… though not before the man in charge of gilding the Virgin Mary perched atop the column would fall irrecoverably ill from his contributions to the project.