St Nicholas Cathedral (Old Town) (Chrám sv. Mikuláše (Staré Město))
This monumental Baroque church was built from 1732 – 1737 according to plans by Kilián Ignaz Dientzenhofer. The side facing Pařížská Street has since been subsequently rebuilt during modern times. The interior, with its interesting lighting effects, is dominated by a crystal crown chandelier from the Harrachov glassworks, donated by russian Tsar to the Orthodox Church. Today the Czechoslovak Hussite Church uses the building is as a concert hall.
- January – December
- Mon, Tue, Wed, Thu, Fri, Sat
- 10.00 – 16.00
- 12.00 – 16.00
- Sundays and public holidays: 10.00
- Wednesdays: 12.00
SIGHTSEEING OF THE CHURCH AND COLUMBARIUM
- except the times of the masses
- free admission
The church is known for its unique acoustics, organ with statues of angels and gilded decoration of carved draperies from the mid 18th century.
concert hall - classical music concerts, organ concerts
- regular concerts from April to November (daily at 17.00 and 20.00)
- irregular concerts out of season
- the church is partially heated
information, sale and reservation of tickets: tel. 777 581 690, 774 178 774, 777 179 609
online sale: www.concertsinprague.eu
The existence of the church is first mentioned in a Břevnov Monastery deed from 1273, but a St Nicholas chapel has stood at the marketplace since the Romanesque period. The church was reconstructed in the Gothic style in the 14th century, expanding to a three-aisle church with two towers, an attached rectory, school, cemetery and ossuary. The Jan Milíč of Kroměříž in around 1360 and later Matthew of Janow both preached at the church. The church belonged to the Hussite camp. French incendiaries set fire to the Old Town in 1689, the resulting conflagration completely destroyed the original architecture of St Nicholas. As a result, the decision was made to tear down the church and erect a new one in its place. One of the most renowned Baroque architects, Kilian Ignaz Dienzenhofer, was commissioned to build the new church. In 1732 – 1737, a monumental piece of Prague Baroque architecture was erected at the cost of Benedictine abbot Anselm Vlach. The stucco work was executed by Bernardo Spinetti and his journeymen, the frescoes were painted by Bavarian painter Cosmas Damian Asam, and the sculptures are the work of Antonín Braun, who had taken over his uncle Matthias Bernard Braun's famed sculpture workshop. It was here where Dr. Karel Farský announced the establishment of the Czechoslovak Hussite Church in 1920; to this day St Nicholas remains a Hussite church.
The interior features complex forms, trompe-l'œil paintings with interesting lighting effects, and is considered to be one of Dienzenhofer's masterpieces. A crown chandelier decorated with Harrachov crystal hangs in the nave. In the late 19th century Russian Tsar Nicholas II donated to the Orthodox Church, which had been using the church since 1871|. The church underwent a costly renovation from 1967 – 1977.