This church, located close to the main square, was built from 1545 on as an Ev.-Lutheran church - the town was owned by Georg von Schleinitz, a wealthy guy from neighbouring Saxony back then. However, the Catholics fought back and since the 30-years-war the region is catholic again.
St. Bartholomew was damaged by several fires between 1624 and 1744 and reconstructed in Baroque style, in 1701 the altar painting was consecrated. In 1874 the church underwent another redesign, resulting in the Neo-Romanesque style that you see nowadays.
The church can be entered only for masses but in summer the doors are open and you can peek inside.
The center of Rumburk is Luzicke namesti, the market square. Around the square are nice townhouses, partially with arcades, from the Baroque era and the 19th century - the town suffered severe damages in the Hussit wars and the 30-years-war, thus not much older architecture is preserved.
In the middle of the square is a beautiful Baroque Marian column from 1681. It commemorates a plague epidemic. The sculptures were created between 1725 and 1775.
The outstanding sight in Rumburk is the northernmost Loreto sanctuary, built 1704 - 07 on the grounds of a former Capuchin monastery. Architect was Johann Lukas Hildebrandt, initiator and sponsor was Prince Anton Florian von Liechtenstein. Result is an exact copy of the Italian original with the exception that in Rumburk sandstone was used instead of marble.
Along the street front is a balustrade with sculptures which are works of Franz Biener (from Schirgiswalde). In the centre is the Casa Santa, surrounded by cloisters with 14 large paintings depicting scenes from the way of the cross. At each corner is an altar. The 12th station of the way of the cross is the Scala Santa (Holy Stairs), leading up to another chapel.
The former Capuchin monastery's church is now parish church. The main altar depicts the martyrdom of Saint Laurentius, in the underground burial vault are the graves of 26 Capuchin monks (not accessible).
The buildings are in very poor condition. Money for restoration is not in sight - the distance to Prague is too long it seems. A very sad affair.
Admission fee 3 Euro.
Open Tue - Sat; Apr-Oct 9-17, Nov-Mar 10-16 h
Website in German and Czech, no English, sorry.
Getting to Rumburk by car is not overly convenient, either. The town is located quite far from any bigger city of significance in the Czech Republic. Best maintained and fastest are the roads from Germany: Dresden - Bautzen - Zittau, border crossing either in Ebersbach via Jirikov (see Off the beaten path tip) or Neugersdorf right to Rumburk.
From Prague drive north to Decin, then turn east so you'll have at least a scenic trip. Or drive to Liberec, then cut through Germany (Zittau).
Parking is no problem. Streetside parking is fine, mostly free (see pic).
Getting around to the sights in the surroundings by car is most convenient. See Warnings tip, though!
Getting to Rumburk by public transportation is possible, but it takes quite a while. The town has a railway station, trains run (Dolni Poustevna-) Rumburk - Decin where you can change to international trains Prague - Dresden - Berlin. By changing trains in Rybniste, a stop shortly after starting the ride in Rumburk, you can also hop on a train that runs via Zittau/Germany to Liberec.
Train service is infrequent, though - they run only every two hours. And the trains are quite old and inconvenient as you can see on the picture ...
I mentioned in the intro that the region has problems. By expelling the Germans (Benes decrees) after WWII the region lost the majority of the population - a loss not only in numbers, but also of culture, finances, knowledge. The people that the Czech government transferred to this region could not fill the gaps - they also felt it was a temporary home for them. The result were abandoned buildings, a lack of care for the cultural heritage, but especially shrinking economy.
After the fall of the wall and the introduction of the capitalist system in the Czech Republic in the 1990s things got even worse in many cases. Many people in this region lost their jobs because the few companies could not compete on the world market. In recent years the administration in Prague decided to get rid of their Sinti and Roma problem by transferring them to the border regions - like Rumburk. Guess what happened ...
The crime rate in the region is really scary. I'm talking about (car) theft, but also burglary and robbery. These are no singular incidents. I always feel somewhat unsafe when visiting (it's only a quick hop across the border for me.)
I never carry much cash. Don't wear expensive clothes/jewellery. Better do NOT bring an expensive camera. Leave your car at lively places (main square or busy streets), on guarded parkings or where you can have a look at them from time to time (from the restaurant window e.g.)
Adjoining to the Loreto complex are the remains of the former Capuchin monastery. It was built 1683-90. In 1950 the communists closed the monastery, the last monk, Father Leonhard lived in nearby Jiretin pod Jedlovou until he died in 1995.
The monastery church is catholic parish church since 1957. The buildings of the former monastery are home for the public city library. The monastery's garden was turned into a public park in English style (quite nice but nothing spectacular), in the area near the main road is a monument for the "Uprise of Rumburk" which was a mutiny of the military, stationed in Rumburk, on 21 May 1918. Three of the mutineers were executed. 560 of them were arrested and imprisoned in Terezin. The monument "Nepokořený" (The Unconquered) was erected in 1958.
Only a few miles north of Rumburk, right on the German border, is the village Jirikov. Like Rumburk it also has a German history and after WWII all the Germans were expelled. The condition of most houses is very bad but I saw a few that were restored - especially around the main square.
Nowadays Jirikov has a pop. of 3,900. Two (road) border crossings link it to Ebersbach and Neugersdorf in Saxony/Germany. Top sight is the parish church St. George (pic 1), built 1724-28 by Johann Lucas Hildebrandt. The church is not open for visitors, thus you must attend a mass to see the interior. Easier to appreciate is the Baroque group of statues (1769) below the church (pic 2).
All over the main square (pics 3, 4), to both sides of the small river, are statues of Saint Nepomuk (pic 5) and others - works from the 18th and 19th century. Inscriptions are in German, of course.
This school building in the centre doesn't really fit into the town's style which is totally Bohemian architecture - it reminds me of a similar building in nearby Zittau/Germany which was designed by Carl August Schramm, a student of famous architect Schinkel.
I would not be surprised if the same architect (Schramm) had made the plans for the school in Rumburk, too. Whatever the deal is, the building is one of the best restored in town.