Maria Restituta Kafka, who was born Helena Kafka in 1894, was a nun and a nurse from Brno, Czechia. Known for her devotion to God and her love of beer, she was beheaded in 1943 by the Nazis who controlled what was then Czechoslovakia. Now, a new church that features unique architecture is named after her.
The result of a multi-million dollar fundraising campaign and designs that evolved over many years, the Kostel Blahoslavené Marie Restituty, or Church of Blessed Mary Restituta, has a striking, circular interior topped by a full rainbow of stained glass, a decidedly non-steeple-like tower, and a modern, concrete facade. It was Kafka’s criticism of the Nazis and her refusal to take down crucifixes in the hospital where she assisted with surgeries that led to her death by guillotine, as well as her beatification by Pope John Paul II in 1998. But another of her notable attributes is commemorated in the church’s design: Her love of beer is represented by a pint of beer.
Know Before You Go
The best way to get to the Church of Blessed Maria Restituta Kafka is by tram (lines no. 9 or 11) from the Brno city center to Lesná. The last stop, Čertova rokle, is right beneath the church, which is surrounded by tall trees. And if you need of good cake and coffee, try the small window café in Čertova rokle.