Chapel of the Virgin Mary
1708 - 1710, new building; investor Eugen Tyttl, Abbot of Cistercian Monastery in Plasy
The Abbot Eugen Tyttl needed to test the architect’s skill, so he gave him a project to build a smaller chapel in Mladotice. It was set close to a pond on a marshy ground that was similar to the ground on which the monastery in Plasy was built. The design of the Chapel of the Virgin Mary is proof of Santini’s virtuosity. It is based on geometric speculation and variations on the motive of a star. Its central building is in the shape of a hexagon and the geometric diagram is constructed from mutually intersecting circles. The result is a hexagon with concavely curved sides and lobes with stretched corners. A so-called Italian dome covers the chapel, where the roof lies directly on the wall of the vault. It creates an impression of a star thanks to the combination of flat surfaces with accentuated lines and a lantern. In the interior, you can see two instances of the star motive in the ground plan. First, in the arcade where the dome is intersected by six sectors that ultimately create an impression of the star. Second, you can find it in the shallow dome of the lantern. In both cases, the effect is emphasized by intelligent manipulation of light. Light shines inside the nave through large rectangular windows that are placed on each of the main axis of the convex curve of the wall. As the windows are placed high, light is accumulated over the heads of the visitors and creates a continuously bright atmosphere through which we can see the stars of the vaults.