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Most, Czechia

Moved Church of Most

This Gothic church was wheeled in its entirety to a new location a half a mile away. 

The devout believe that faith can move mountains. The people of the Czech town of Most believed faith (with the help of some civil engineering) could move the entirety of the Gothic church at the historic center of their town to a new location about 2,755 feet away. And so they did.

In the 1960s, a rich supply of lignite was discovered under the center of the town, and the authorities were keen to expand mining operations there. Many other buildings were demolished to make way for this project, but the decision was made to retain the 16th century Kostel Nanebevzetí Panny Marie, or Church of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary.

After considering and rejecting a few alternatives like disassembling the church and putting it back together, a new location just over a half a mile away was selected, and the entire church was to be moved there—on wheels. 

It took nearly seven years to prepare for this huge and unprecedented operation. The building’s pillars and foundation were reinforced, and a circular ring was installed to support the church’s circumference. All the structures in the way were demolished to clear the path for the big move, and rails were installed along the route. The building was placed on 53 trucks and on September 30, 1975, it was time to get going.

With the help of hydraulics, the church began to inch towards its new location, moving at an average speed of 0.06 feet per minute. It reached its new home just under a month later. The church was placed on a foundation made of iron and concrete, and it took another 12 years to complete the restoration. The church was consecrated again in 1993. Visitors today admire the Gothic interiors as well as the story of this incredible move, which earned a place in the Guinness Book of World Records.