11. 12. 2012

A new citizens' association called Friends of Saint Clement's Fortified Settlement aims at lifting Saint Clement's Fortified Settlement at Osvětimany up to the top ranks of the national cultural heritage monuments and to emphasize its Europe-wide importance because, presently, this national cultural monument stands almost on the margin of interest. Members of the association want to change this in a very short period of time.

"We are picking up the threads of the work of several preceding activities carried out by individuals as well as associations, which pointed out that the meaning of Saint Clement's Fortified Settlement was appreciated fully neither from the national perspective nor from the European perspective," stated Tomáš Sedláček, chairman of the newly emerging association, which commenced its activities officially on the last Sunday of November.

It is possible to identify the oldest place of pilgrimage in our country supported by documents with Výšinná Morava, well-known from the Prologue or Vyšehrad, mentioned in Prokop's Legend. If Výšinná Morava was the fortified settlement, then, with the highest probability, the translation of the Bible into the Old Church Slavonic was finished there in 884. And, in accordance with the Pulkava Chronicle, the fortified settlement contained, for a certain period of time, also the remains of Saint Clement, which were brought by the missionaries to Great Moravia. Therefore, also the church at the fortified settlement was consecrated to Saint Clement. Archeaologists also uncovered two graves at the fortified settlement that were supposed to belong to Methodius. However, up to now discussions keep going on regarding the exact place of his tomb. "With respect to the limited archaeological research, mainly in the 1960s, it is not possible to arrive at any final conclusions regarding the fortified settlement. The only clear conclusion that follows from the absolutely unique system of six concentric fortifications is that it belongs to the period of Great Moravia," noted Sedláček.

And it is the period of Great Moravia which is the most important historical period for that region. Therefore, on the occasion of the upcoming celebrations of the 1150th anniversary of the arrival of Cyril and Methodius, the association intends to inform about the unique and neglected historical importance of Saint Clement's Fortified Settlement. "We are preparing a number of activities which will, to those interested, mediate information about the Slavic history in an attractive form by means of modern technologies," disclosed Sedláček. The first step is the authentic visualization of the fortified settlement from the 9th century that emerged in compliance with existing archaeological findings and ground survey. This was created by a historian, Jindřich Vodička, who won the National Award in Design in 2010. The association will introduce other multimedia and technologically up-to-date projects in February.

Saint Clement's Fortified Settlement is located in Chřiby, on the boarder of the Zlín Region and the South Moravian Region, four kilometers far from Osvětimany. The main aims of the association are its reconstruction and preservation, support of new archaeological research projects, information and promotion activities, but also fund raising, money from which should support maintenance of the national cultural monument.


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  • Here are our roots.

    (Blessed John Paul II, 22nd April 1990, Velehrad)

    They wanted to become part of those nations and to share their destiny in everything. Here, in this place, at Velehrad, in Moravia, we can feel the historical legacy of the kingdom in a peculiar way – we can feel even those who became its keepers and guardians.

    (Blessed John Paul II)

  • For us, people of the present age, their apostolate contains even the elocution of the ecumenical appeal, i.e. to build unity again, in a peaceful reconciliation, which later after their deaths was heavily damaged, and in the first place the unity between the East and the West.

    (Blessed John Paul II)

  • Their work is also a very important contribution to the growth of the common Christian roots of Europe, which by their firmness and viability create one of the main contact points, which must be respected by every serious attempt at reunification of our continent in a new and topical way.

    (Blessed John Paul II)

  • The story of both brothers, Cyril and Methodius, is a distinct example of unity.

    Saints Cyril and Methodius contributed, to a great extent, to the building of Europe, not only regarding its Christian religious community but also concerning its civil and cultural unity.

    (Blessed John Paul II)

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