Display of splender or Egon and the martyrs
Here you find out who angered the Bohemian King and why a tight-lipped confessor died a martyr; what secrets the burial niches in the lower church held and what bonds Egon had to Český Krumlov.
Every town situated close to water needs a special “water saint.” In the case of Tulln, that saint is John of Nepomuk, vicar-general of the archbishop of Prague and confessor of the Queen of Bohemia around 1390. The late baroque Church of the Friars Minor is dedicated to him. The exterior is without ornamentation, as befits a mendicant order. But the interior is magnificent with its presbytery all decorated in gold. The cancel is richly adorned with magnificent carvings. Life-size statues fill the niches and side altars. And above it all are the colored ceiling frescos, so vivid the figures seem alive. Children are not the only ones amazed by the dramatic scenes on the domed ceiling. They also offer a welcome distraction for the adults if Sunday mass begins to drag on.
Late Baroque Church of the Friars Minor
Thrown from a bridge.
“Johannes as Confessor of the Queen of Bohemia.” “The Saint’s Pilgrimage to Altbunzlau.” “The Saint Being Thrown off the Bridge.” These are the titles of the cycle of frescos depicting John of Nepomuk. This man of character impressed the people of Tulln. King Wenceslaus pushed him to reveal the queen’s alleged affairs but he remained steadfast and refused to violate the seal of the confessional. They tortured him with torches. And he died a martyr in the icy waters of the Vltava. He was canonized in 1729. Construction was in full swing at the Church of the Friars Minor at the time. And this water saint was the perfect patron saint for the church and the town.
Venice on the Vltava.
The Vltava had a special significance for Egon. Many people of Tulln never went outside the city limits. Unlike them, Egon had a second home: Český Krumlov in Bohemia, his mother’s birthplace. Even as a small child he spent a lot of time in “Venice on the Vltava”, as Český Krumlov was also called. The nested buildings, the old walls and gates there fascinated him and inspired him as a painter. There would scarcely be another place that would inspire him to do so many townscape and landscape paintings as this small Renaissance town.