“Czech Mariazell” - it is the name of the pilgrimage place in the valley of Jizerské hory at the border of three countries – the Czech Republic, Poland and Germany. A legend about a poor workman describes the raise of this place. One day the workman left his sick wife and his little daughter at home and went to the forest to get some wood for his work. On the way back he had a rest under a linden. He had a strange dream. The tree was lit by light and there appeared two angels in its crown. They were talking to him: “You are in a beautiful place which the God got to like. Go and bring a figure of the Mother of God, so that everybody who will pass this place, can give thanks to the God”. The man woke up, did not hesitate and went to the nearest town, where he bought the sculpture and did what the angels ordered. He bought a sculpture of the Virgin Mary and fixed it on the linden. Later he brought his wife and his daughter to the linden, so that they could pray together. By a miracle his family was healed at once. The message about the miracle spread very fast and the pilgrims from the whole surrounding started to gather there.
On the place of the old linden there was built a small wooden chapel in 1211. In the course of the time the chapel was not sufficient for the number of pilgrims. It was rebuilt in 1472 into a Gothic church. In the late 17th century the count Francisciscus Ferdinand Gallas had a Franciscan monastery near the church built. Thomas Haffenecker built the cathedral of the Visitation of Our Lady in 1722 – 1729.
The Hejnice cathedral is one-nave building with the ground plan of the Latin cross with aisles. The main altar is decorated with the sculpture of Madonna from the 80ies of the 14th century. It is made of linden wood and measures 39 cm. It is sometimes called “Mater Formosa”.Madonna holds little Jesus in the left hand and the apple in the right hand. The destiny of the cathedral as well as of the monastery was full of dramas in the past, not only of the local people but the whole country as well. In 1939 it was the evacuation of the Czechs and in 1945 of the Germans. In February 1948 some of the nuns of various orders and congregations were intervened in Hejnice. Later the Centre of spiritual revival was originated there. Every year the “pilgrimage of conciliation” takes place here.To the Hejnice cathedral come not only local people, but also the congregations from Poland and Germany.