Cyril and Methodius Route – Cultural Route of the Council of Europe

Bunč - Velehrad

Church of St. John the Baptist

The Church of St. John the Baptist in Modrá presents a reconstructed ground plan, an information board informs about the history and significance of the site. Not far from where the original Great Moravian church stood, there is now a reconstruction of its possible original appearance in its actual size. The site can be reached by the road leading from Staré Město to Velehrad. The site is located on an elevation belonging to the foothills of the Chřiby mountains, 30 m above the floodplain by the trade route, the so-called “Stará hradská”, connecting the Central Moravia with the Vyškov region. It is situated above the Archaeological Open-air Museum of Modrá.

The foundation masonry of the local church was discovered in 1911 by J. Nevěřil. Revision archaeological research at Modrá was carried out in 1953 – 1954 by the Moravian Museum in Brno. The research fully proved the Great Moravian age of the foundations and, in addition, uncovered a burial site with 37 skeletal graves in the immediate vicinity. The church was founded in the 1930s to 1940s under the influence of one of the missionary streams coming to Great Moravia from Western Europe. It was a small church with a rectangular nave (external dimensions 9.1 × 7 m) and a rectangular presbytery (length 4 m). Burials around the church took place between the end of the first half of the 9th century and the end of the first half of the following century.

Ceramic shards dating back to the turn of the 11th and 12th centuries were also found near the north wall of the chancel. On the basis of written records, it is assumed that the Modra church served as a makeshift church during the construction of the nearby Cistercian complex at Velehrad in the first half of the 13th century. At that time, its nave was supplemented with four internal supports. The final demise of the sacral building is placed before the end of the 17th century. The architectural elements of the dismantled church were used secondarily in the construction of houses in Nová Ves – Modrá, founded in 1786.