A sight reminiscent of the film “The Purple Rivers”: The hooded figures of St. George send shivers down the spine of visitors.

A well-filled church is a real rarity in many parishes. St. George in the Czech municipality of Lukova does not seem to have the problem. Mute, hooded figures in white robes sit in the pews of the church. An eerie sight that should serve to save the church.

The building in western Bohemia was first mentioned in writing in 1352. At the end of the 18th century the walls fell victim to a fire and were painstakingly and poorly rebuilt in the Neo-Romanesque style. In 1968 the roof collapsed – of all things during a funeral. From then on, the faithful of the congregation were forced to hold their services in the open air; there was no money for a new roof. Over time, the church fell into disrepair and became the scene of ghost and horror stories.

Horror as a means of saving the Church

The artist Jakub Hadrava was inspired by them in 2012. The student took plaster casts from his fellow students and created real scary sculptures, which he placed on the benches of St. George. They should commemorate the former German residents of the place until 1945. Hadrava’s goal: “I wanted to make the church attractive to visitors and try to raise money for the renovation,” he told the British Daily Mail in 2014.

The project was and is a complete success. In the meantime, so many donations have been collected that the roof and ceiling have been renewed. Admittedly – with the new coat of paint the church has lost a few points on the scary scale. However, many mystery fans are still drawn to Lukova, who are happy to put up with a two-hour drive from Prague.