The parish of Hostau was one of the 52 parishes, which belonged to the Arch-Deanery of Bischofteinitz, which at the same time was also an arch-deanship. Until the establishment of the Diocese of Budweis in 1785 the parish was assigned to the Archdiocese of Prague.

By selling the dominion of Hostau in 1656 to Adam Matthias Count Trauttmansdorff at Bischofteinitz this also included the transfer of the patronage over the church and the parish. From then onward it could be realized that many priests worked in Hostau at first and then in Bischofteinitz. The parish of Hostau is a good classical example of how the clergy developed in a Bohemian patronage during the feudalism. This implied precarious consequences regarding the filling of parishes, the rights of the clergy and the management of the diocese. Only applicants from the same patronage were accepted to parishes for the patronage.

The end of the First World War and its consequences affected Europe entirely, of course Hostau as well. The new created Czechoslovakian republic, one of the many successor states of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, made drastic changes due to a legislation which was always hostile to church and religion. Among other things the patronage of the Prince of Trauttmansdorff was replaced. The prince lost his whole property in Hostau after 264 years by the land reform, which disseized large-scaled landed property over 370 acres. The Ministry of Agriculture in Prague took over the patronage. Additionally a Czech minority of 160 Catholics extended the pastoral care.

Hostau was also a seat of a deanery. It was not necessary that the dean had to be the pastor of Hostau. Each priest of the deanery could have been appointed by the bishop. 14 parishes with 25,223 Catholics belonged to the deanery.

A new chapter for the parish was opened by the political changes in 1938 in the Sudetenland separating and getting part of the Third Reich. The Czech clergy who were pastors in the deanery left before the occupation of the German troops and resettled on Czech territory.

On November 11, 1938 the clergy of four districts demanded on their memorable conference in Hostau in a memorable resolution the separation of their districts from the Diocese of Budweis and the integration into the Diocese of Eger or at least the integration to the Diocese of Regensburg. After one year the deaneries of Hostau, Bischofteinitz and Deschenitz were subordinated to the Bishop of Regensburg as an administration district. By the end of the war, the administration district was canceled again in 1945. Today the parish is part of an assembly of parishes in the 1993 established Diocese of Pilsen.

As the church was sanctified to the Apostle James, it reasons due to Saint James that Hostau had already had a church in early times. The church building is a one-sided, longish baroque building of the year 1731, which was partly covered and got a new prismatic tower after the large fire in August 1877 at the west side for the collapsed one. The presbytery has a polygon end with a longish sacristy and chamfered corners, in the axle on the eastern side. The nave has an arched barrel vault with lunettes. The same vault can be found in the presbytery as secluded part of a monastic arch.

The interior decoration is in pseudo-Renaissance style. Beside the high altar with the image of the Saint James outside of the presbytery on the side of the epistle there is gracious altar of sorrowful Virgin Mother. The shrine is wooden sculpture of the second half of the 17th century. Besides that there is a life-size statue of the holy heart of Jesus. It dates back to the early 20th century. The side altar on the side of the gospel shows the picture of Christ’s castigation, - a handiwork from the first half of the 18th century.

Colorful frescos which portray the highlights of the salvific history please the eye of the visitor before looking towards the partly pinched triumphal arch over the barrier into the presbytery. In the center of arch there is Mary’s coronation. On the left it is flanked by a large picture of Christ’s birth with heads of angels levitating. On the right of the coronation in bright colors is Christ’s resurrection with the three women, who hurried to the grave on the morning of Easter. Next to them there is an angel at the empty grave; behind, one sees the three crosses.

At the end of the arch directly before the presbytery there is an image of the ascending Christ to his father in heaven. Christ looks down to his faithful prayers. Pictures also decorate the small arches, which follow this effigy.

Presentation - The History of a Parish in Bohemia

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