The task of drawing up designs for the reconstruction was undertaken by Jan Blažej Santini Aichel, the most important Czech Baroque architect. His ambition was to create a monumental church and integrate it sensitively into the Křtiny Valley. He designed an ingenious symmetrical composition based on a ground plan in the shape of a Greek cross. This Baroque gem, known as the “Pearl of Moravia”, is one of Santini’s greatest works.
The church’s cloisters hold one of the largest working carillons in Central Europe with thirty-three bells. The carillon plays regularly twice a week. An extensive charnel house was discovered beneath the church a few years ago and opened to the public. It contains the remains of hundreds of inhabitants of Křtiny from the Middle Ages, as well as a number of skulls decorated with mysterious ornamentation, the meaning of which has yet to be determined. The charnel house can also be viewed following agreement with the parish authority.
The church is open all year round.
Easy access for the disabled to the unique complex of extensive underground spaces of the Výpustek cave was opened in 2008 on the Křtiny edge of the Josefov Valley. The complex, known since the Middle Ages, was severely affected in the past first by the extraction of phosphate soils at the beginning of the twentieth century, later by military production for Nazi Germany during the Second World War, and finally by the actions of the Czechoslovak Army. An underground nuclear shelter and a top-secret command post, which remained operational until it was definitively abandoned by the army in 2001, were built in one of the labyrinth’s passageways in the nineteen sixties. The shelter has been preserved in its original form and is now part of the tour route.
The Křtiny area offers lovers of hiking, mushrooming and sport a large number of regional and national cycle paths and educational trails and an extensive network of signposted footpaths heading to the Moravian Karst, Rakovec Valley, Říčka Valley, the Rudice Sink and the Jedovnice fishponds. The educational hiking path “Lesnický Slavín” (Forest Pantheon) and the Marian “Radostná Cesta" (Way of Joy) are also well worth a try.
In 1928, Professor Augustin Bayer of the Faculty of Forestry at the University of Agriculture in Brno established an extensive arboretum on twenty-three hectares in the Křtiny Valley in the direction of Jedovnice. As many as a thousand taxa of native and exotic trees are cultivated here. The arboretum features an educational trail of “Native Trees” and its natural beauty is augmented by more than twenty-five wooden sculptures and other objects created here by students from the Faculty of Forestry and Wood Technology at Mendel University in Brno during their sculpture symposia. The new peatbog and moorland are interesting additions, as are the outdoor study amphitheatre and the associated leisure and educational trail “Praise Be to the Trees”, devoted to individual tree species.
A demanding hike or some intellectual or sporting activity can be followed in the summer by some time spent at the pleasant outdoor swimming pool with its outdoor buffet, football pitch and forest tennis courts.
Demanding and undemanding visitors alike can find ideal opportunities for rest and relaxation at a number of local restaurants and guesthouses, the caravan site and Křtiny Chateau which offers comfortable hotel-type accommodation and congress services.