6. St. Bartholomew’s Church (the old cemetery)

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The walls of the original parish church and Vimperk’s largest example of church architecture shine white on the side of the castle hill, above the north-eastern edge of the town. Its origins go back to the construction of the castle, i.e. some time during the second half of the 13th century. It was adapted in the early 18th century and then again in pseudo-Gothic style. The latest reconstruction resulted in its present austere shape, with typical Gothic perpendicularity.

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The single-nave structure, with a rectangular presbytery and a pointed turret above the front, is entered through an early-Gothic portal containing columns with ballflower capitals in the jamb. The interior impresses visitors with its beautiful late-Gothic wall paintings, which cover most of the sides in horizontal belts and present various scenes from Christian mythology. The prevailing red colour attracts the eye and speaks to the mind with remarkable intensity, making one sense the vibrating aura of this unique space. Ancient tombstones in the presbytery gaze at visitors across the abyss of the centuries, the earlier ones bearing simple crosses, the later ones adorned by reliefs and inscriptions (15th – 17th century). The emotional impact of the newly restored church is further increased by new wooden pews and the simple new gallery of wood. The original Baroque interior, as well as later furnishings, have been destroyed, and the Gothic 15th-century statue of St. Bartholomew is in the museum.

The church stands in the old Vimperk cemetery.