Tens of Thousands of Visitors Entered the Open Gates of Churches in 2012

19. 12. 2012

The project called "Open Gates" originated in the Zlín Region thanks to a joint initiative of the Archbishopric of Olomouc, the Zlín Region, towns, villages, parishes, the Saints Cyril and Methodius Faculty of Theology in Olomouc, and the East Moravian Tourist Authority with the aim of pointing to the aesthetic and spiritual riches hidden in the sacral structures located in the territory of the region and introducing them to the broad public. From May through September, it is possible to take part in a guided tour with trained guides, which covers twenty churches altogether. This is available during week days, weekends or even in a combined form – apart from times reserved for regular church services. At some places an accompanying program is prepared for those interested. Thus, for example, in Luhačovice the excursion to the church of the Holy Family is accompanied with a Power Point presentation and a possibility of visiting the chateau chapel as well.

"During spring and summer months 80,859 tourists visited church monuments in the Zlín Region within the Open Gates," said Ladislav Kryštof, in whose opinion the project enjoys a very good response from people.

"What appeals to me personally is the fact that some parishes supplement the tour with something which intensifies the impression from the visit to these sacred places even more. For example, when there is somebody playing the organ in the church, or if it is possible for the visitors to see also places that are otherwise closed, it is a great experience for them for sure," said councilor Kryštof, in whose opinion parishes should continue offering these initiatives in the future as well because he considers them beneficial.

"Once again, it has been proven that the project enjoys a good response especially from people who are searching, supportive and curious. In the years to come, we will definitely focus on the possibility of offering accompanying programs like concerts, exhibitions or children-oriented guided tours in church monuments. In this way it is possible to develop, in young people, the ability to perceive beauty. Therefore, it is also necessary to train a larger number of high-quality guides who would be able to adjust their explication in such a way that it would become informative and interesting for various types and age groups of visitors. In this way, we already have excellent experience with Saints Cyril and Methodius Faculty of Theology in Olomouc," said Pavel Macura, the head of the division for culture at the regional office.

Regarding the funding of the project, in 2012, the Zlín Region subsidy amounted to CZK 360,000; subsidies on part of villages and towns amounted to CZK 515,000 Kč; other financial means came from parishes - each of them contributing as much as they could.

Apart from the honorarium which the Zlín Region paid to the guides, it also took care of methodological, expert and marketing activities. Practical promotion materials were printed in various language mutations.

The training for guides, in which 57 guides participated, took place in May. The most numerous group of those interested in becoming a guide are active seniors, moms on maternity leave and students.

Written by: Helena Mráčková
13th December 2012
Further information:
Sýkorová Dvorníková Gabriela
press agent
Regional Office of the Zlín Region
577 043 190, 731 555 161


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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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