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Église Saint-Nicolas (Kostel svatého Mikuláše)

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Église Saint-Nicolas

Though smaller and not as rich as the Cathedral of St. Nicholas from the Lesser Town, The Church of St. Nicholas in the Old Town Square plenty deserves its place among Prague’s most appreciated and visited places. If you just think about the eight centuries that it has stood and faced the wickedness of the history you come to look at it in a totally different way.

History

Historical sources mention this place of worship as early as 1273, originally as a parish church, where Hussitism and Reformation used to be preached. Later in the 17th century the church fell into Benedictine possession and after burning down in a fire, it become famous architect Kilián Ignác Dienzenhofer’s mission to give it a Baroque look in the 1730s. The Church of St. Nicholas remains one of his best works and reminds a lot of his other masterpiece, the Cathedral of St. Nicholas in the Lesser Quarter. Then the real tough times came. The Church was closed during the rule of Josef II and the expensive interior decorations were sold. The new “empty building” served as a granary for a while and then as a registry archive. Not until 1871, when it was used by the Russian Orthodox Church, was the church returned to its original purpose. The only noticeable “souvenir” from the orthodox era is the splendid crystal glass chandelier, made in Harrachov glass works in northern Bohemia.

The 20th century brought new decorations with Neo-Baroque style paintings, statues, and a life size sculpture of St. Nicholas put in the niche of the church. Since 1920 the Church of St. Nicholas has been a Hussite Church, with beautiful greenish Baroque towers and dome that can be seen from all over the old town centre.

The picturesque interior can be visited every day except Sundays, when a Holy Mass is being held. It is also a very appreciated place for religious and classical music concerts.

Source: prague.net

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