Mysterious Hermits and a Provostry in the Brdy

According to local folk tradition, there were eight hermits here as early as 1084, who built a wooden church and lived here in strict ascesy and solitude. They built a wooden church in honour of St. John the Baptist. Some authors took this information rather uncritically and concluded theories about the settlement of the southern part of the Brdy in the 11thcentury. The local Benedictine hermitage was mentioned in the 17th century by the Jesuit Jiří Crugerius.

However, the first reliable mention of the local provostry dates back to 1385. Despite the earlier foundation of the provostry in Teslíny (sometimes referred to as Baštín), the selection of a place for the establishment of a filial home for the Benedictines had both practical and spiritual dimensions; the principles of the hermit life were still applied in the 14thcentury, when the second wave of the spread of their order took place in our country. It is not certain when the hermitage was built here, when the hermit began to cut down the forest and built a wooden chapel on the cleared place.

It is possible that the owner of the local manor, Protiva of Rožmitál, took notice of the existence of the hermitage and decided to endow it with some foundation, which was quite common a practice both in our country and elsewhere, where the Benedictine monks settled. The possible existence of the local hermitage is also suggested by the dedication of the church to John the Baptist, who is considered the patron saint of hermits and whose popularity is reflected in a number of hermit legends.