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Church of Sts. Apostles Peter and Paul in Mnichov near Mariánské Lázně with mummies of local burghers

 

Mgr. Lukas Hanzl

The Church of the Apostles Peter and Paul was built in 1719-1725 in the Baroque style (Gnirs 1932, 87). We assume that burials took place between 1725-1783. More research is still missing on this issue. In 1860, the church was renovated for the first time by the abbot Marian Heinl (Klement 1882, 161). Another reconstruction was carried out in 1905, when the new painted wood ceiling was set up in the church.

According to an oral statement by Chancellor Václav Škach from the Diocese of Pilsen, the content of the crypt was known after 1945. The crypt was  probably before 1945 unknown. Anton Gnirs do not mention the crypt in the "Topographie der Historischen und Kunstgeschichtlichen Denkmale, in den Bezirk Tepl und Marienbad". On the contrary, crypt is known and mention by Franz Klement in Der Politische Bezirk Tepl, but only very generally in the sense that he comes under the church and that there is a burial ground (Klement 1882, 162).

 

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Apparently, the first public tours of the mummies started after the departure of the German Premonstratensians from Teplá to the parish priest Jiří Bárta, originally a Premonstratensian from Strahov. At that time, only a few coffins were opened and, according to Chancellor Škach (he worked here from the 1950s until 1992), there was a big mess in the crypt, which was gradually arranged to the present day.

According to one legend, Count Filip Kolovrat, a hostage of French troops, is allegedly buried in the crypt. Which was to die here in the retreat of the French army in 1741.

 

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Already in the nineties RNDr. A. Kubátová from the Faculty of Science MUDr. Martínková from the hygiene station Cheb made a discovery of the fungus Oncocladium flavum and its synananmorph Malbranchea flava. It is a keratophilic fungus, the occurrence of which is unique in that it was first mentioned in our country and for the first time on mummies in around the world. Coffins were attacked by fungus Sepula lacrymans. They published this in the article Oncocladium Flavum and Malbranchea flava micromycetes discovered on the human mummies in Remedia-Clinical Microbiology in 1998. The article also mentions High Moisture and Water Condensing on the Walls and Iron Cross, which is still in the crypt.

The church is struggling with high humidity, which creates good conditions for spreading woodfungus. They mashrooms has already penetrated into the main church nave area and attacked the inventory. Most recently, it was discovered on church pews. Also, signs of progressive decay appear in the crypt mummies.

 

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Gnirs, Anton: Topographie der historischen und Kunstgeschichtlichen Denkmale in der Tschechoslowakischen republik. 50, Die Bezirke Tepl und Marienbad / verfasst von Anton Gnirs, Brünn Prag Leipzig Wien : Rudolf M. Rohrer, 1932, 604 s.

Klement, Franz: Der politische Bezirk Tepl. : Ein Beitrag zur Heimatkunde / Über Wunsch des Tepl-Weseritzer Lehrervereines hrsg. von ... 2., verm. Aufl.           Tachau : H. Holub, 1882, 334 s.

Kubátová A. & Martínková E. (1998): Oncocladium flavum and Malbranchea flava - interesting filamentous micromycetes discovered on human mummies. - Remedia - Klin. Mikrobiol. 2(8): 269-272.