According to an old legend, a tired butcher's apprentice fell asleep in the shade of a hazel shrub in the slope of Chlum Hill a long time ago. When he woke up, he saw a small statue of the Virgin Mary with the Infant Jesus in the middle of the hazel shrub and he took it home with him. When he wanted to look at the statuette the next day, he could not find it anywhere. After searching for hours, the apprentice returned to the hazel shrub where he found the statuette again. The apprentice believed it was a sign from God; he left the statuette in the shrub, and built a wooden shelter over it to protect the statuette in bad weather. The statuette was soon forgotten afterwards. In the late 13th century, it was re-discovered by a cooper's apprentice, before whom the Virgin Mary appeared when he lost his way. She showed him the way home after he had promised to repent his sins. This time, a wooden chapel was built around the statuette, to which many pilgrims came.
Probably at the end of the 14th century, the wooden chapel was replaced with a small stone church that was gradually rebuilt and enlarged. In the 1660s, a chapel was built in front of the church and the Marian statuette was placed there. As Chlum Svaté Maří was a very popular pilgrimage site, the local parish was raised to a provostry in 1688.
Adapted from: Němec, V: Pověsti. Brána do historie Sokolovska (Legends. A Gate to the History of the Sokolov District), Sokolov District Museum, 1987; National History and Geography Anniversary Volume 1958, the Karlovy Vary District
Literature: Vlček, P. – Sommer, P. – Foltýn, D.: Encyklopedie českých klášterů (Encyclopaedia of Czech Monasteries), Libri, Praha 2002