The town of Manětín, denoted as the pearl of western Bohemian Baroque, is first mentioned in written records in 1169 when King Vladislav II (also denoted as Vladislaus II of Bohemia) gave the settlement to the Knights Hospitaller (also known as the Sovereign Military Order of St. John of Jerusalem of Rhodes and of Malta) in Prague. In the late 16th century, the family of Hrobčický of Hrobčice built a Renaissance manor in the centre of the town. A Baroque chateau was built on its site according to the design of Thomas Hafenecker following a fire of the town in 1712. Its owner, Václav J. Lažanský, began the construction of the chateau the ground plan of which resembled an elongated letter "L" and was surrounded by a large chateau park. His wife continued in his efforts and the construction was completed by their son. The chateau is now a museum and its interiors are freely accessible to the public. A roofed corridor connects the chateau with the decanal Church of St. John the Baptist. The south forefront faces the renewed Baroque garden adjoined by the chateau park. The introduction of the pilgrimage tradition is attributed to priest Václav Alexius Pleschner who accompanied Count Lažanský to Italy in 1700, bringing back a picture of the Blessed Virgin of Loreto, a silver print on textile. In 1712, the entire town was destroyed by a devastating fire except for the parish and the miraculous escape was attributed to the picture from Loreto. The picture was displayed on the main altar of the Church of St. John the Baptist and later on a triumphal arch under the crucifix. It has been a part of a small Baroque altar since 1933.