Project for the digitization of the pilgrimage complex at Svatý Kopeček.

The goal of the project is to enhance the presentation, strengthen the protection, and develop the cultural heritage. Through the main activity of the project – the digitization of both the exterior and interior of the monument – a new exhibition will be created, which will be made accessible to the public. This represents a modern and contemporary approach to the presentation of the monument, enabling sustainable, functional use that meets the current needs of visitors.

Impressive view of the ceiling of the basilica at Svatý Kopeček.

Financial support for the project is provided by the EU through the Integrated Regional Operational Programme (IROP). The project number is CZ.06.3.33/0.0/0.0/15_015/0000357. Project activities will take place in the basilica complex at Svatý Kopeček until October 30, 2021.

The outcome will be the enhancement of cultural heritage with a newly accessible part of the monument, allowing visitors to experience a multimedia presentation form assisted by the latest technologies. The implementation of the project also contributes to measures aimed at the efficient management and protection of the furniture funds that are part of the property.

Main Project Activities

  • Digitization of the Interior and Exterior of the Monument: The aim of this major activity is to digitally document the entire monument to ensure the protection of its cultural heritage. Digitization will allow for permanent capturing using the latest technologies, thereby creating an extensive source of digital content for public presentation of the project results.
  • Development of a Depository Information System for Museum Collection Management: This activity directly follows the outputs of the first activity—the digitization of exteriors, interiors, and furnishings—with the goal of efficient management and presentation of cultural heritage.
  • Construction of a Security System for the Depository and Newly Created Exhibitions: The purpose of this activity is to create conditions for enhanced security of the monument and protection against theft or fire.
  • Creation of Digital Content for New Digital Applications and Exhibitions: The main intention of this activity is to create an attractive presentation of the digitization results for the general public. This activity leverages the rich content obtained through the latest technologies and 3D scanning procedures of objects and exteriors.

The digitization will enable the creation of a virtual representation of the interior and exterior of the monument in the form of modern, long-lasting digital content. The realization of the project will lead to the establishment of a depository information system for managing the furniture of the monument, which will improve and clarify the record-keeping of items, enhance their security and protection, and be usable in digital form. The new exhibition will allow the presentation of information about the monument in an exceptional, attractive, educational, and entertaining way.

Digitization is a significant step for the monument for several reasons, as it represents:

  • Improvement in the management of collections
  • Ensuring the protection of collection items
  • New possibilities for presenting the collections
  • New opportunities for scholarly use
  • Documenting the current visual condition of the monument and its furnishings for future generations

Benefits of Digitization

  • Preservation of Original Collection Items – In cases where an item is damaged and at risk of physical destruction, digitization offers a means to preserve it.
  • Protection of Original Collection Items – By creating digital copies of items and attaching them to documentation records, the need for physical handling of the collection items, such as during exhibition preparations, is reduced, thereby minimizing the risk of damage.
  • Assistance in Describing and Cataloging Collection Items – Digitization can facilitate the description and cataloging of collection items in some cases. The ability to enlarge, zoom in, invert the image, adjust contrast or lighting allows curators to see details that are beyond the capability of the human eye.
  • Archival Perspective – Digital copies also serve as important references in the event of theft, loss, or destruction of items, useful for the police, Ministry of Culture, curators, and restorers.
  • Acceleration of Scholarly Requests – Digital copies allow for faster service to researchers, eliminating the need to handle the items directly in some cases.
Stage 1 of the Project

As of July 31, 2021, the first phase of the project was completed, during which the selected contractor, Vertical Images s.r.o., conducted work on the digitization of the Svatý Kopeček pilgrimage complex and the creation of digital content from 2020 to 2021.

This allows researchers to serve themselves and approach the curator with a specific request. The opening to the public – utilizing online database browsers enables access to information without restrictions related to space, time, physical, or other disadvantages. New presentation opportunities – once a digital copy of an item is made, the production of additional copies for presentation purposes, such as for e-exhibitions, is facilitated and accelerated.

Work done in the second stage of the project

In the second stage of the project, which took place from August 1, 2021, to September 30, 2022, all planned project activities were completed: the digitization of the interior and exterior of the basilica complex at Svatý Kopeček was finished, and new digital applications and exhibitions for users and visitors were completed. In the basilica complex, two new comprehensive systems were also launched: a security system and a depository (cataloging) information system.

Outcome of the second stage of the project.

Digital applications for visitors have been newly supplemented with presentations designed for larger groups (such as schools, group tours) or for visitors with disabilities. The new presentations introduce users and visitors to the history and present of Svatý Kopeček in an engaging manner that is attractive and user-friendly. Digital presentations can be used for both comprehensive and modular presentations of the digitization results of the area at Svatý Kopeček, but they also serve as presentations of the site itself as a significant cultural monument protected by UNESCO. The digital presentations can be divided into several sections (history of origin, architecture and its changes over time, tour of the contemporary complex, interesting and hard-to-reach objects and items, digitization and its significance) and are created in four language versions (CZ, PL, EN, DE). Presentations can be launched and operated unmanned as a whole or in parts (blocks) with an operator, and can also include commentary. The presentations are available in three lengths: 10, 20, and 40 minutes of net time.

Svatý Kopeček Application

Thanks to the project, 3D models of the complex were also processed. Initially prepared point clouds and mesh models were gradually expanded into vectorized models and digital drawing documentation (a kind of digital twin of the object). This step created a basic part of the construction-technical documentation for subsequent management, maintenance, and development of the historical object, which is a fundamental enhancement of the digitization outputs and their direct transfer to practical use. Ultimately, the vectorized model in IFC format was converted and inserted into the digital application, where it is available to users. As part of the work done, a so-called Building Information Modelling (BIM) information model of the building was prepared.

Sample from the digitization project: cross-section of the basilica at Svatý Kopeček.

In the basilica complex, a mobile sound system was also installed, supplementing the existing enclosed sound system. The mobile sound system is primarily used for recording, editing, broadcasting, and reproducing events in the complex, not only religious but also concerts and other cultural or social gatherings. The mobile sound system can transmit sound outside the basilica's premises, into the garden areas, spaces in front of the monastery, the cloisters, and also online. The entire system is enhanced with a loop for the hearing impaired. The recording and streaming system, which is also part of the project activities, can capture sound through separate microphones thanks to the mobile sound system, thus expanding the possibilities and quality of recording and transmission both on-site and online to a professional level.

Sample from the digitization project: facade of the basilica at Svatý Kopeček.

The project met its planned objectives: it made the presentation of the monument more efficient and strengthened its protection and security; it created new exhibitions, presenting the outputs of digitization in a new, visually attractive, entertaining, and educational form; and made the informational potential of cultural heritage accessible to the public. The outputs of the project contribute to the preservation, protection, promotion, and development of cultural heritage.


Sample from the digitization project.
Sample from the digitization project.
Sample from the digitization project.