Church of St Francis Seraph (Kostel sv. Františka Serafinského)
The current early Baroque appearance of this church of the Order of the Knights of the Cross with a Red Star dates back to 1679-1685. Its magnificent interior decoration, including a fresco of the Last Judgment by V. V. Reiner in the monumental, nearly 41 m high dome, can be admired during one of the many regular concerts of religious music that are held here. Concertgoers will especially appreciate the sound of the second oldest organ in Prague – a unique Baroque one dating from 1702.
REGULAR ROMAN CATHOLIC MASSES:
- Su 9.00
- Mo - Fr 7.00
The church is open for sightseeing usually daily 10.00 to 19.00 (April - November, except times of masses and concerts), in winter it is possible to see the interior from behind a glass door or visit it shortly before the mass. Longer tours by tel. appointment only.
CHURCH MUSIC CONCERTS
organ concerts (almost daily) in the season (programme)
tickets at the church or at the usual ticket sellers
Saint Agnes of Bohemia established the Hospital of St. Francis in 1233. In time, the Franciscan brotherhood was reformed into the first Bohemian order of the Knights of the Cross with the Red Star and moved to the Judith Bridge. This location is also where the first St Francis Church was established in the 13th century.
The current church was consecrated in 1688 by the Archbishop of Prague, Johann Friedrich von Waldstein, in honour of Saint Francis of Assisi. The church was constructed as a central structure with a massive cupola. The floor plan of the presbytery is in the shape of a small cross, while the square nave and chapels are laid out in the shape of a large cross. Statues of Bohemian patrons stand in alcoves on the church façade.
The interior of the church has also been richly appointed. Rare paintings by Wenzel Lorenz Reiner adorn the inside: Paintings of four evangelists are on the cupola vaulting between stuccowork created by Tomasso Soldatti; on the arch over the altar there is a painting of the Assumption of Mary, Constantine's battle and the Adoration of the Ark of the Covenant on Temple Mount. The cupola is completely covered with Reiner's fresco of the Last Judgment. Reiner also made oil paintings on metal depicting the church fathers; these are located on the pillars. Johann Christoph Lischka was another major painter. His angels and allegorical figures are depicted on the ceiling of the presbytery, frescoes in the chapels of the Holy Trinity and St John the Baptist, and frescoes of angels over the church entrance. He also painted the figures of the four cardinal virtues (Prudence, Temperance, Justice and Fortitude), the Adoration of the Magi and Adoration of the Shepherds. Lischka's painting of the Stigmata of St Francis is on the main altar designed by Josef Dobner. The Knights of the Cross with the Red Star own the Roman Catholic church.