In the small village of Lukova, more than 200km east of Prague, lies a dilapidated church that has lain in disrepair for decades. Now it’s gaining international attention and thousands of annual visitors with help from some ghostly parishioners and a young artist.
St George’s Church was built in the village in 1352 but had largely been abandoned by the living since 1968 when the roof collapsed during a funeral. Many people were convinced the place was haunted and opted to leave it to the elements instead of going inside.
In 2012, local resident and volunteer caretaker Petr Koukl wanted to raise the funds to repair it but wasn’t sure how to do it. He enlisted the help of student Jakub Hadrava who created the installation as his thesis for art college. He created plaster models of real people, then covered them with sheets before placing them in the church.
In the past five years, the ghosts have slowly given the church a new lease of life. Word of mouth began to spread and in 2014 a video published on YouTube helped more people discover the Czech curiosity.
Petr told Lonely Planet that 600,000 koruna (€23,500) has been raised from admission fees so far and they were able to get the roof repaired last year. They also organise concerts and even hold the occasional mass in the church.
At present, the ghost church is only open on Saturdays from 1pm to 4pm - though the installation itself is permanent - and attendance is excellent with about 150 people coming every weekend. You can reach it by taking the train from Prague to nearby Ceska Trebova. More information about the church and installation online.