The historic center of Chomutov was declared a city monument zone in 1992. The core of the city has preserved its medieval layout, typical of a historic market seat. To this day, the original street network is preserved, disrupted only in the area of Žižkov Square. An extensive archaeological survey was carried out here in 2008 before the construction of a new residential and shopping center. Náměstí 1. máje is especially interesting for its burgher houses with arcades with well-preserved late Gothic cellar vaults. The dominant feature of the northern side of the square is the town tower, which is adjacent to the Church of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary.
On the opposite side of the square stands the most valuable historical monument of Chomutov – the early Gothic church of St. Catherine. Adjacent to it is the historic town hall. The southern edge of the historic center is filled with a complex of the former Jesuit complex with the buildings of the Jesuit grammar school and dormitory, the church of St. Ignatius and Spejchar. The monument zone is closed by the Church of the Holy Spirit in Hálková Street.
City Hall building
The fortress of the Načeradec family stood on the site of today’s town hall. In 1252, Bedřich Načeradec donated the property of the Teutonic Knights. They rebuilt the fortress into an order command, or a fortified monastery. During the reign of the Veitmils, the command was rebuilt into a Renaissance chateau. Further modifications were made by Bohuslav Felix of Lobkovice after 1571. After the redemption of the town from servitude in 1605, the chateau was rebuilt into a town hall. The building was modified to its current form after 1846. There is an exposition of the Regional Museum and Gallery, on the first floor there is a part of the municipality. On European Heritage Days and International Remembrance Day, you can see a jewel box – a room with rare frescoes from the 16th century with the theme of Tobias’ legend.
The Regional Museum is located here and visitors will find art-historical exhibitions of Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque art, a lapidary, a Baroque pharmacy, an armory or Fiala’s moving nativity scene.
Church of St. Catherine
St. Catherine’s Church is the most valuable historical monument in the city and one of the oldest early Gothic churches in Europe. It was built on the site of an older manor church at the command of the Teutonic Knights after 1252. To this day, an older transept and a presbytery from the end of the 13th century have been preserved, which is significant for its preserved vaulted bolts and footings with plant motifs. The building documents the arrival of Gothic in our territory. The consoles are Romanesque and the vault is tightened to the Gothic line. The main nave of the church and the west tower were absorbed by the reconstruction of the monastery church and the adjacent command post into a chateau in the 15th and 16th centuries.
The transept and the chancel continued to serve as the chateau and later the town hall chapel. From the end of the 18th century, the church served as a warehouse and carriage house. In the 1960s, it was decided whether the building would be demolished or repaired. The church remained, but repairs did not begin until 1991. In November 2000, the church was reopened to the public after more than 200 years. Exhibitions and concerts take place here and you can also visit it as part of a tour of the Regional Museum.
The town tower is adjacent to the Gothic Church of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary and forms the dominant building of the town’s monument zone. It was completed in 1525, but already at the turn of the 15th and 16th centuries, the lower part was vaulted with a rich cellar vault. It was last rebuilt in 1874 in the neo-Gothic style.
The area of the former Jesuit college and grammar school fills the entire southern edge of the historic center of Chomutov. The construction was initiated by Jiří Popel from Lobkovice, the highest burgrave of the Kingdom of Bohemia, who brought the Jesuit order to Chomutov in 1589. 14 burgher houses were bought for the construction and the foundation stone was laid in August 1590. The grammar school building included two fortification towers, the Observatory Tower is still preserved. After the abolition of the order in 1773, the dormitory was rebuilt into a barracks, where the soldiers lived until 1968. The building served as a grammar school until 1932. The Jesuit complex currently consists of St. Ignatius Church, Spejchar Municipal Gallery, arcaded courtyard, Chomutov Library and Regional Museum.
Church of St. Ignatius
The Jesuit Church of St. Ignatius is an early Baroque building with a two-tower northern facade. It was built between 1663 and 1668 by the Italian architect Carl Lurage. It bears the name of St. Ignatius of Loyola, the founder of the Order of the Society of Jesus. After the abolition of the Jesuit order in 1773, the church was part of military barracks. From 1945 he stopped serving services and began to let go. In the underground crypt of the church there were eighty preserved mummies of monks. By breaking the ventilation system in the crypt, the mummies began to disintegrate and all were buried in the city cemetery. Between 1991 and 2000, the church was sensitively restored and handed over to the Center for Library and Cultural Services. Exhibitions and concerts are held here, the church still uses the church for worship.
The Špejchar building was the first Jesuit church before the construction of the Church of St. Ignatius. It was built around 1611. Now there is a city gallery, which has excellent lighting conditions and a separate part of the gallery consists of its cellars. In the same building, before the entrance to the Renaissance atrium, you will find the Golden Jewel Gallery.
The building of the Jesuit grammar school
When visiting the Regional Museum in the building of the former Jesuit grammar school, you can visit exhibitions of prehistory, crafts, natural history collections, a museum library, occasional exhibitions or you can climb the observation deck of the Star Tower. This is the original watchtower, which was preserved during the construction of the Jesuit grammar school in 1590. Along the way you will see the exhibition of Ilja Sajner and see for yourself that “only from the Observatory Tower looking. “
Holy Trinity Column
The Baroque column made of Cretaceous sandstone is sometimes mistakenly called the Plague Column, but it has a trinity iconography. It is located at the top of May Day Square. It was built in 1697 by the sculptor Ambrož Laurentis from the funds of the foundation of the master of the bakery guild Ondřej Josef Wolf. On the pedestal of the column are statues of four saints: St. John of Nepomuk, St. Rosalia of Sicily, St. Catherine of Alexandria and St. John the Baptist. In the years 1725–1732, it was supplemented by a balustrade with statues of seven saints: St. Florian, St. Theodore Tira, St. James the Greater, St. Linhart, St. Roch, St. Victor and St. Wenceslas.
Technical monuments and points of interest
One of the oldest technical monuments is the dam on Kamenička in Bezruč Valley with a stone dam from 1904. The Kamenička Dam together with the newer Křimov reservoir serves as drinking water reservoirs. The water tower in Otvice was part of the construction of a water supply system from 1915. The water was pumped from groundwater, driven by an electric pump into the tower, from where it already flowed by gravity. The mining tower of the Karel mine in Vysoká Pec was built as a part of a modern shaft with a mechanical drive already in the first half of the 19th century. In the late 1950s, work had to be stopped due to a flood. At present, the building houses the municipal office. The mountain railway from Chomutov to Křimov and Hora Svatého Šebestián with several small bridges still standing was built in 1875.
Technical attractions also include the Podkrušnohorský feeder. The artificial canal between Klášterec nad Ohří and Jirkov was built as a supply of industrial water from Ohře for the supply of Chomutov and Most regions with service water. It was completed in 1967. An interesting part of the feeder is a functional aqueduct that connects the slopes of the Bezruč Valley. Around Chomutov there are fortifications from the Second World War.